In the nonprofit fundraising world, spring is peer-to-peer event season. From Relay for Life to March for Babies, communities around the country will be participating in walks, runs, and dance-a-thons. As you plan your event, it's important to consider which version of P2P fundraising will work best for your organization.
At a high level, P2P can be divided into three major categories. Terminology can differ, but for our purposes we refer to them as traditional “athon” fundraising, crowdfunding, and do‐it‐yourself (DIY) fundraising.
We've reached our final peer-to-peer campaign option - DIY fundraising. Let's take a closer look.
Do‐it‐Yourself (DIY): Creative and Governed
“Do‐it‐yourself” (DIY) fundraising falls somewhere in the middle of a‐thons and crowdfunding. With this approach, supporters have the authority to create their ideal type of fundraiser, and the organization has the ability to maintain a centralized platform.
Supporters are given great latitude in the approach to fundraising, which can range from a menu‐style approach to a flat out free‐for‐all.The DIY model of P2P fundraising offers a much stronger relationship between organizations and their supporters than crowdfunding.
DIY Campaign Benefits
As supporters are using the tools of the organization, there’s a greater opportunity for input, oversight, and assistance between the organization and the supporters.
Flexibility + Coaching
The organization can tap into the creativity of its supporters, which increases the likelihood that certain fundraisers will go viral, and can step in and offer support when campaign participants need a little guidance.
The DIY model has the flexibility of crowdfunding, but with an added level of control through coaching. Here, campaign leaders coach participants throughout their fundraising journey. This is often done with people being grouped into teams and reporting to team captains, but the structure also works for individual fundraisers.
This method often leads to higher fundraising numbers overall, plus it has an additional benefit that is somewhat hidden at first glance... new constituent prospects.
DIY peer-to-peer campaigns are an excellent way to acquire new donors. In fact the donors that are acquired through P2P can be even more important than the dollars.
As an example, if Dan does a crowdfunding project for you, is wildly successful, and as a result raises $10,000 . . . well, that’s pretty awesome.
Meanwhile, Olive does a DIY fundraiser, is wildly successful, and also raises $10,000. With an average gift of $50, Olive not only contributed $10,000 dollars but also added 200 new donors to the organization’s database.
These qualified donors most likely wouldn’t have ended up on your organization’s radar without the influence of Olive's network. In the long run, her contribution to the organization far outweighs Dan's.
That is because with DIY, you get donors and dollars.
The Bottom Line
DIY fundraising is also pretty practical. It doesn’t cost much (or anything) to get started, and it can all be done online (but doesn’t have to be). With its low cost of entry and the ability to tap into the creative collective of your supporters, DIY is a great approach for organizations to get started with peer‐to‐peer fundraising.