Peer to Peer Fundraising:
How It Works

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By now you’ve heard that peer to peer fundraising is an excellent fundraising strategy for nonprofit organizations and schools. But how can peer to peer campaigns benefit your organization or charity, beyond raising needed funds? What are ways that you can use peer to peer that work with your organization‘s supporters and mission? What’s the difference between peer-to-peer fundraising and crowdfunding?

Peer to peer is a powerful method of fundraising that leverages supporters to fundraise on behalf of your organization or cause. It’s also known as p2p fundraising or P2P crowdfunding and sometimes social fundraising. The power of a p2p fundraiser lies in your participants’ fundraising abilities. By tapping into their social network of friends and supporters, your organization is able to reach a much larger audience of new donors, therefore spreading greater awareness of your cause and raising significantly more dollars than traditional fundraising campaigns.

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Benefits of Peer to Peer Fundraising

P2P fundraising campaigns can be wildly successful, when well managed. Benefits of these fundraising campaigns include:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to expand your organization‘s reach and share your cause with new donors and potential supporters.
  • As individuals actively fundraise on your school or nonprofit‘s behalf, the connection that the supporter has for your mission and organization is strengthened.
  • P2P is a unique way of empowering individuals to raise funds on their own, with more of a supporting role in the fundraising approach for organizational staff.
  • Since peer-to-peer participants are volunteers, it decreases the need for staff time and resources. Of course, you still need to support and encourage your fundraisers to succeed!

15 Best Peer to Peer Fundraising Ideas

P2P campaigns are best suited for active events (think run/bike/ride fundraisers) and friendly competitions that promote community. These types of nonprofit fundraising events work well because new supporters and donors can get excited about supporting the individual who participates in the event and thereby learn more about your cause. When selecting the best peer to peer fundraiser for your organization, think about your mission and how you want to brand your organization to new supporters.

The best peer-to-peer campaign ideas are below.

Walk-a-thons & Virtual Walks

Walk-a-thons & Virtual Walks

Walkathons are great fundraisers for schools that can raise a lot of money with few upfront costs. This is definitely the year of the virtual walkathon! Be sure that your virtual events start with a great online experience for your participants. People who sign up for the virtual run/walk will register online and create their personal fundraising page.



A spin-a-thon® is a fundraising event where participants raise money by riding stationary bicycles, asking friends and family to donate to the cause. It’s a great way to get a community party started by playing music and having food available for everyone to share before, during, or after the spin.

Color Runs

Color Runs

Who doesn’t love a fun run or walk? Hosting a color run fundraiser is a great, memorable way to get people interested in your cause. Color Run Fundraisers make great fundraising events for a simple reason – they are fun! Participants raise money on your crowdfunding website.

Golf Marathons - peer to peer fundraising ideas

Golf Marathons

Golfers are some of the most competitive people around, so there’s hardly a better way to get them involved in fundraising than to host a golf marathon. Offer golf tournament contests like hole in one contests, who can golf the most holes, or who can be the first to get to 100 holes over the course of the tournament weekend.



With a bike-a-thon fundraiser, cyclists bike a predetermined course and commit to raising money for your organization. Bike-a-thon fundraisers work well because almost everyone enjoys riding a bike. They are a great family or corporate event, while also offering a venue for avid cyclists to participate. 



A great way for baseball and softball teams to raise money is to hold a hit-a-thon fundraising event. Each hit-a-thon participant will be raising funds by asking friends and family to donate a certain amount per foot or per hit. Get people watching and have them pledge money for every hit scored. Bonus points (and funds!) if they score a home run.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Clay Shoots

Clay Shoots

If you have supporters interested in clay shooting, it’s worth getting a fundraiser together where shooters both new and experienced participate by shooting at clay targets. This is a fun group activity that’s a bit different from the rest but will make for a fun day outdoors. To increase fundraising and awareness around a clays tournament, many organizations are turning to nonprofit crowdfunding

Readathon Fundraisers

Readathon Fundraisers

If your organization is a school, library or advocate for literacy, why not try a read-a-thon fundraiser? Reading challenges promote a love of reading in kids and everyone else who wants to participate. Just get involved with a local library or school and get everyone reading for a set number of days or time per day of your fundraiser. Bring on the pledges!



Ready to get shaking? Involve your community in a dance-a-thon fundraiser where they can raise money for the benefit of your cause. Register and take donations online for a live or live-streamed virtual event. You can change up the theme and style of dance depending on the age group, and even hold competitions within the dance-a-thon.

Choir Fundraising

Choir Fundraising

When implementing a choir crowdfunding campaign, each choir member is responsible for a certain donation amount. This can be broken down by finding a number of donors to donate a minimum donation amount (i.e. each choir member has a goal of finding 10 donors to donate $20 each). We have hosted several 30/30/30 campaigns where choir members have 30 days to find 30 donors of $30.



Get the whole gang together for bowling night and raise funds for your favorite cause! Bowl-a-thons make great fundraising events for many types of organizations. Your organization benefits as bowlers create teams and compete to raise the most money for your cause. In fact, Bowl for Kids’ Sake is the signature fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Let us show you how to plan a successful bowl-a-thon fundraiser.

Polar Plunges are social fundraising events

Polar Plunges

Fancy taking a plunge into icy cold waters in some of the coldest months of the year? We didn’t think so! But get a few sponsors into the mix and rally your friends, because the more plunges taken, the more money is donated to your charitable cause. This is a great fundraising idea as it can really go viral on social media and gain a lot of attention. Learn how to host a polar bear plunge fundraiser.

Dog Walks

Dog Walks

Furry friends are so important, which is why many charities host dog walk fundraising campaigns. Why not please your dogs with a fundraising dog walk or run, get some exercise, and give back to your community? Dog Walks are fun peer-to-peer crowdfunding events and are usually 5K or less in length.

Community Serve-a-thons

Community Serve-a-thons

Raising money for your organization or charity can be a great opportunity to get participants involved in their local community. Try service projects where participants volunteer to get a certain project done in the area surrounding their school or community, all while raising funds. These are generally one-day or weekend projects.

Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger Hunts

Get the whole community together for a fun day finding items at a scavenger hunt. Hand out a list of items and clues as to where they may be, getting sponsors to donate both items and funds towards a fun day for the community. Families can participate and the kids will love it. The more items found, the more funds raised!

Organizing Peer to Peer Fundraising Events

Successful peer-to-peer fundraising events hinge on the recruitment and action of a strong leadership team. Your team should include not only your development department but volunteers who have a strong connection to your cause or charity. Members of your leadership team will take on various fundraising event and planning responsibilities including:

  • event logistics and permits,
  • event budgeting and financial planning,
  • recruiting and supporting event participants and volunteers,
  • gaining sponsorships and in-kind donations,
  • managing your peer to peer software platform,
  • and day of event operations.

So be sure to start early and plan for at least 6 months prior to hosting a peer-to-peer crowdfunding campaign. This ensures that you will have the time necessary to reach your fundraising goal.

Utilizing a Peer to Peer Fundraising Platform

By their nature, peer to peer campaigns rely on powerful peer-to-peer crowdfunding software tools and social media networks and integrations. Utilizing online fundraising software allows your message to be organically spread by your supporters while your nonprofit or school is able to manage the over-arching fundraising campaign and maintain brand consistency.

Some features and tools of our P2P software include:

  • Secure event registration
  • Provides participants and teams with the ability to personalize the fundraising experience via personal fundraising pages
  • Fundraising pages include images and videos, fundraising thermometers, a personal statement, social media integration links (Facebook and Twitter) to easily share with friends and family and more
  • Templates include top fundraisers’ leaderboards and event fundraising thermometers
  • Donor interaction via comments and listing of all donations
  • Ability to easily track and distribute prizes and awards with our prize management system
  • Sponsorship promotion for local businesses
  • Virtual event support – including live stream integrations
  • Free text to donate (for US-based campaigns)

DoJiggy's Peer-to-Peer fundraising platform and software solutions

Tips for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign Success

  • Responsive Websites help your fundraising effortEnsure that your p2p fundraising campaign website is responsive and readily visible on mobile devices. The majority of social media interaction is done on mobile phones and your crowdfunding website will be accessed through social media. Therefore, it’s vitally important for your campaign page to be responsive and professional in appearance and allow for easy donation collection to raise money online.

  • Stories are of utmost importance. The individual raising the funds should share their reason for loving the mission of the organization, along with the organization being able to clearly define what makes their mission come to life. Taking the time to frame your success stories in a compelling manner helps to ensure that people feel connected to your work and compelled to give.

  • It is important that individuals raising funds and potential donors are able to see the progress of a campaign. Check to see if the crowdfunding software you are considering has a fundraising thermometer to illustrate how much money has been raised thus far towards a goal. This can also be shown in the form of leaderboards. Our sites use fundraising thermometers at the campaign, team, and individual fundraiser levels.

  • Every P2P campaign must be able to be shared on social media with ease. By ensuring that individuals can easily share links to events and the campaign itself creates ease in access for people wishing to give their financial support.

  • Payment Processing for your Peer to peer donor baseYour fundraisers are most likely busy people with limited time to spend raising money for your organization. Make it easy for them by providing resources and fundraising tools P2P for volunteers.

  • Create weekly campaign progress reports that are sent out to each volunteer participant so that everyone understands where the campaign stands in terms of goals and which individuals are the highest performers. Your role as an administrator is to support and motivate your participants.

  • Weave a culture of gratitude through every step of campaign progress. By making sure participants feel appreciated and supported, you will increase the likelihood of their enthusiastic support and future participation.

  • Don’t give away a large percentage of your fundraising money in software and payment processing fees. Many crowdfunding platforms advertise themselves as a free service – but be sure to read the fine print. All e-commerce transactions carry a transaction fee (since Visa and MasterCard charge merchants for the privilege of accepting their cards – even for charitable donations). We offer a percent-based model or a free option with optional tipping by donors enabled – whatever works for your charitable organization.

A Beginner’s Guide to Crowdfunding and Peer-to-Peer Campaigns

Free Download – A Beginner’s Guide to Crowdfunding and Peer-to-Peer Campaigns

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Evaluating the Value of Peer to Peer Fundraising for Nonprofits

Some organizations have asked us to help them evaluate the benefits and value of peer-to-peer campaigns. We created this infographic to help answer the question – is peer-to-peer fundraising a good idea for my organization?

The Value of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising for NonprofitsLearn More

See just how much value a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign can bring to your cause today! Try DoJiggy’s peer-to-peer crowdfunding software out for your fundraising event today. We support walk-a-thons, school fun runs and jogs, bike-a-thons, school reading fundraisers, bowl-a-thons, even car wash-a-thons, Community Service Projects, and more. Use our leading peer-to-peer platform for FREE with optional tips from your donors, so your organization can keep more money for your cause.

Peer to Peer Fundraising vs. Crowdfunding – What’s the Difference?

Peer to peer fundraising is a type of crowdfunding and the two terms are often used interchangeably. The difference is that with P2P fundraising, your supporters create personal fundraising pages on behalf of your cause. Your supporter shares his or her page with friends, family, and other community members and donations are made directly to your organization via their page. With traditional crowdfunding for nonprofits or school crowdfunding campaigns, donations are made by many people, directly to the organization or cause, but without the personal or team fundraising page or component. DoJiggy P2P crowdfunding software supports both of these types of social fundraising campaigns.

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