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How Do You Encourage Peer-to-Peer Participants to Fundraise?

How Do You Encourage Peer-to-Peer Participants to Fundraise?

The power of a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign lies in your participants’ fundraising abilities. As your participants tap into their social network, new people are introduced to your organization, and many will likely become donors.

If your organization has decided to host a crowdfunding or peer-to-peer event, the percentage of your participants that fundraise (and fundraise well) will likely be a key metric of your success. And it’s not as easy as you might think to motivate participants, even those excited about your cause, to raise money. We often see events where the fundraising participation rate (the number of participants that have raised at least one donation) is less than 20%.

So read on to learn how to encourage peer-to-peer participants to fundraise and see your nonprofit smash your fundraising goals!

Are You Sending the Right Message to Your Participants?

Are You Sending the Right Message to Your Participants?

First, be sure that your messaging clearly asks supporters to fundraise. You may have decided to charge a registration fee to cover basic event expenses. Doing this sometimes leads participants to believe they have done their part for your organization – after all, they paid to come.

Your job as an event coordinator is to announce loudly on your organization and fundraising websites and on Social Media and all communications that this fundraising effort will be successful only when participants raise money for your cause. Registration fees cover basic expenses but do not raise the much-needed funds to make your event the success you are working for.

Track Your Participation Rate

Tracking Your Participation Rate with Peer-to-Peer Software

Tracking your participation rate is the first step to improving it! The participation rate is the percentage of participants actively fundraising for your organization. You still have work to do if your participation rates are less than 100%.

Team participation rates can also be tracked and made competitive. This metric works exceptionally well for schools and teams with closed systems; some schools have successfully reached 100% participation by heavily promoting this metric on their website home page.

Use Fundraising Thermometers and Badges in Your Peer-to-Peer Platform

Fundraising thermometers and goal badges can be used to motivate participants and donors. But be careful about how these goals are implemented. Creating participant fundraising goals that are too low (i.e., $20) lets your participants know that anything goes for your organization. Set participant and team fundraising thermometers high enough to encourage your participants to work hard at fundraising but not too high as to be unrealistic.

Prize Management and Incentives for Peer to Peer Participants

When supporters hit their goals, celebrate them. For example, giving shoutouts to your top peer-to-peer fundraising participants on social media is a fun way to recognize and motivate them.

Offer Prizes and Incentives for Peer-to-Peer Participants

Prize medals

Prizes are always strong motivators to fundraise, so include prizes and incentives for top fundraisers to help reach your fundraising goals. Incentives don’t need to cost your organization anything, as you can use free ideas or donated items.

Our software includes a prize management and incentivization system. This system allows your organization to monitor fundraising prizes and awards. The function is configurable for your prize levels and ideas. A prize widget will appear on personal fundraising pages when a participant has reached a certain prize level. Your participants will love to see this! 

Kids love prizes of all kinds and will work hard to earn even very small prizes. We recommend that school fundraisers (like Fun Runs and read-a-thons) are structured to encourage everyone to participate and not leave anyone behind:

  • Participation – Students receive a small prize (i.e., a pencil, sticker, or choice from a treasure box of small items) for registering on your crowdfunding website or receiving their first donation of $1 or more.
  • $100 or Other Attainable Level – Students receive a free t-shirt, hat, or other memorabilia or school spirit award when they reach this level of fundraising. Some schools also include a raffle option; anyone reaching the goal is entered into a raffle for prizes.
  • Top Student Fundraisers – The top three school fundraisers receive large prizes, like $50 and $100 gift cards or electronics.
  • pizza partyClassroom with 100% Participation – When everyone in the class has registered or collected at least one donation, students receive extra recess or a dress-down day. These are free prizes that do not cost your school any money but are very popular with kids.
  • Top Fundraising Classrooms – Students receive a pizza party or similar luncheon event for the top one or two fundraising classrooms.

Provide Easy Tools for Participants

Your peer-to-peer participants are likely busy people who don’t have a lot of time to spend on fundraising activities. Your job as a p2p administrator is to make fundraising easy for them by providing the tools they need. But why reinvent the wheel? Our P2P Participant Fundraising Toolkit provides fundraising event participants with helpful fundraising tools, tips, and templates to accomplish fundraising goals successfully.

Thank Your Fundraising Participants

When the event is over, it’s time to start thinking about next year’s event. So be sure to thank every fundraiser for getting involved, and don’t forget to show appreciation for their donors who contributed to the campaign’s success. Doing this will make it much easier to recruit them for next year’s event.


To make the most of your p2p or Athon event, you must track your participation rate and incentivize fundraising. Start a free P2P campaign with our crowdfunding software for nonprofits.

Lisa Bennett

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.

See other posts from Lisa Bennett