Peer-to-Peer Fundraising and the Infectious (In a Good Way) AFP Conference

There’s most definitely something in the air here at the AFP International Conference on Fundraising. Or, maybe more fittingly since it’s in San Antonio, we’ve concluded there must be something in the water.

Because even after day one, the raw energy and willingness to learn more about fundraising in order to better our causes is both apparent and infectious.

Can’t be at AFP ICON this year? That’s a bummer, but no problem. Be on the lookout for more exclusive content that you can only find at the AFP conference.

And one of our can’t-miss sessions took place yesterday in a packed room, and rightfully so. Nancy Palo schooled us on the world of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) fundraising and simplified the seemingly complicated process. In case you missed it, here’s what we learned at Palo’s P2P presentation.

1. You might be doing P2P fundraising, but don’t realize it.

It sounds like this daunting fundraising task. Peer-to-Peer. Crowdfunding. Event fundraising. And we’re not downplaying the intensity of a campaign. But as Palo pointed out, sometimes people don’t even realize they’re already doing it.

“Have any of you ever asked a board member to make an ask?” Palo questioned the crowd. Hands flew up and she pointed out that having board members ask is exactly what P2P fundraising is. P2P fundraising is when your supporters are making an ask on your organization’s behalf, from one peer to another.

2. Want more of the ever-so elusive millennial crowd? P2P is where it’s at.

When polled, 70 percent of millennials said they were willing to raise money on behalf of an NPO they truly cared about. And with tons of talk on the millennial crowd and how to reach them, P2P seems like one of the most viable options for where it’s at.

3. The odds are in your favor. This is why you can’t ignore P2P.

Did you know—it takes 1 in 1,250 emails to get one donation? However, it takes just 1 in 4 asks to get a donation with P2P. Why is that? You already have a personal connection with the person asking you to give. You know them, you like them. You want to help them with things they’re passionate about.

Plus, in 2013 the top 30 P2P fundraising campaigns raised $1.6 Billion. Granted, these were the top campaigns. But that’s a lot of money. And your small organization can be wildly successful with the right P2P campaigns.

4. P2P fundraising doesn’t have to be a limited-time campaign.

From a New Year’s campaign to a specific month that’s special to your nonprofit organization and everything in between, P2P campaigns are something that your organization can focus on year-round. Plan them out so that you never run out of ideas, and set up your P2P campaigns to be sustaining.

5. Getting started doesn’t have to be hard.

Sometimes, we prevent ourselves from getting off of the ground because we fear the process or what could happen. But P2P doesn’t have to be scary at all.

From DIY campaigns (where you let supporters choose how they want to raise money for your organization) to coming up with ideas to get your supporters started, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Just plant the seed. Palo recommends three steps. First, set strategic goals. With every fundraising campaign, we need to know where we’re headed. Next, monitor constituent behaviors. If there’s something that jives really well with your constituents, set that up as a P2P campaign. Finally, keep an eye on industry trends for anything else you might be missing. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

What has been your organization’s favorite P2P campaign that you’ve implemented or have seen executed by another nonprofit?


Lyndsey Hrabik

Lyndsey is a former editor for Nonprofit Hub and Nonprofit Hub Magazine. She now serves as a guest contributor, writing on topics such as social media, technology, marketing and starting a nonprofit.

March 24, 2014

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