Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: A Quick Overview

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Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: A Quick Overview


Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: A Quick Overview

In the dynamic fundraising landscape, innovative strategies emerge to capture the hearts and wallets of today’s socially conscious audience. Peer-to-peer fundraising has risen as a juggernaut in the realm of philanthropy, leveraging the interconnectedness of social networks to amplify outreach and donations. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of peer-to-peer fundraising – a strategy not just about raising funds but building a community of advocates who are as committed to your cause as you are.

What is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising?

Peer-to-peer fundraising, often abbreviated as P2P, is a method of fundraising that empowers individuals to fundraise on behalf of a larger organization. It’s like volunteer fundraising combined with crowdfunding, where supporters can create fundraising pages to personalize and share within their social circles.

Peer-to-peer fundraisers often engage in various activities, from marathons and fun runs to bake sales and social media challenges. The underlying idea is that personal connections lead to personalized giving. This person-to-person approach makes it an effective tool for increasing support and engagement, often leading to donations from new donors who might have never encountered the organization through traditional means.

Top 3 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign Examples

Movember Foundation

Movember is an annual event where men grow mustaches during November to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and mental health. The campaign’s success stems from its fun, relatable theme and encourages widespread participation through friends’ and family’s networks.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral in 2014, with participants dousing themselves in ice water to promote awareness of the disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and encourage donations to research. The challenge, rooted in social media sharing, brought the previously little-known disease to the forefront of public awareness and raised millions of dollars for research. Here’s a compilation of our favorites from this campaign:

Relay For Life

Relay For Life, an event by the American Cancer Society, brings communities together to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. Teams camp out at a local school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. The overnight event symbolizes cancer patients’ often sleepless, grueling treatment.

These examples underline the creative freedom and inclusivity that peer-to-peer fundraising can offer, creating contagious moments that live well beyond the initial fundraising efforts.

How is peer-to-peer fundraising different from crowdfunding?

The line between peer-to-peer fundraising and crowdfunding can be quite blurry. Both rely on social networks and online platforms to raise money. However, there are distinct differences that are important to note.


  • Institutional Anchoring: While crowdfunding often involves individuals seeking financial backing for various personal projects, peer-to-peer fundraising is tied to a specific nonprofit or cause.
  • Community Building: Peer-to-peer fundraising is deeply rooted in community. Participants don’t just raise funds; they are active advocates who build social capital around a cause, often resulting in more long-term support and fundraising opportunities for the institution.
  • Event-Centric: Many peer-to-peer campaigns revolve around events and activities, creating a sense of occasion that drives participation and donations.

Crowdfunding vs. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Output Language

  • Crowdfunding tends to target individual efforts or new startup initiatives. It often centers on innovation, new products, or personal goals.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising focuses on established nonprofit organizations and their causes. It is inherently more community-driven and typically tied to specific events and campaigns, often with a recognized brand or charity behind it.

Peer-to-Peer Platforms

In the burgeoning field of peer-to-peer fundraising, the choice of platform can significantly influence the success of your campaign. These platforms facilitate fundraising efforts and provide tools for creating engaging content, tracking donations, and managing communications with supporters. Here are a few notable platforms that have been pivotal in driving it campaigns to success:

1. GoFundMe

One of the most widely recognized crowdfunding platforms, GoFundMe, is known for its user-friendly interface and versatility. While it caters to a wide range of fundraising efforts, it has also been effectively used for peer-to-peer fundraising, particularly for personal causes and medical expenses.

Crowdrise (now part of GoFundMe)

Crowdrise focuses on fundraising for charitable causes and nonprofit organizations. It’s known for its social media integration, which makes it easy to share campaigns across various platforms, amplifying reach and engagement.

2. Classy

Classy is a platform designed specifically for nonprofits. It offers a suite of tools that make launching and managing peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns easy. Its customization options stand out, allowing organizations to tailor their fundraising pages to align with their brand and mission.

3. Fundly

Fundly offers a visually appealing platform that prioritizes storytelling, making it easy for fundraisers to share their stories through videos and photos. This emphasis on narrative can help boost engagement and encourage donations.

5. Peer-to-peer fundraising by Blackbaud

Blackbaud’s peer-to-peer fundraising platform is designed for larger organizations seeking comprehensive fundraising solutions. It offers advanced features like event management, donor insights, and integration with other Blackbaud products, catering to the complex needs of big nonprofit organizations.

Choosing the right platform for your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign depends on several factors, including the scale of your campaign, the features you require, and the level of customization you desire. Each of these platforms brings something unique to the table, and selecting the one that aligns with your organization’s goals can be a key factor in the success of your fundraising efforts.


Ultimately, peer-to-peer fundraising is about people coming together to support a cause they believe in. In a time when connection is more valuable than ever, this approach can make all the difference in raising funds, hope, and awareness for the issues that matter most.  So, while it may share similarities with crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising is unique in its ability to build and unite communities towards a greater purpose.

By understanding the distinctions and utilizing best practices, organizations can harness this powerful tool to make a real impact on their cause. And that’s something worth celebrating – not just at the end of a campaign but throughout the entire journey.  So, let’s continue to champion peer-to-peer fundraising and all the good it can do for our world. Together, we can make a difference – one person at a time.  Happy fundraising!

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Alice Ananian

Alice has over 8 years experience as a strong communicator and creative thinker. She enjoys helping companies refine their branding, deepen their values, and reach their intended audiences through language.


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