Just as word of mouth can be the best form of advertising, sometimes the best method of fundraising is to enlist supporters to solicit donations for you—especially for small and midsize nonprofits with limited budgets.
This is the theory behind peer-to-peer fundraising, also known as "P2P fundraising" or "social fundraising." It's a form of crowdfunding that enables your donors to raise money on your behalf.
Facebook's charitable giving tools are an example of this process at work. Individuals can create fundraisers on behalf of a charity with the option to either send supporters directly to the charity to donate or collect the money themselves to donate in a lump sum after the fundraiser is over.
Facebook isn't the only tool available for this type of fundraising, though. Peer-to-peer fundraising software, either on its own or as one component of a fundraising or online fundraising software suite, can make it easier for your nonprofit to leverage supporters to bring in more donations.
In this Buyer's Guide, we'll discuss the key features of peer-to-peer fundraising software and how it can help you leverage the vast resource of your existing donors and supporters. We will also review some key questions you should ask of yourself and potential vendors before purchasing any software.
Here's what we'll cover:
Peer-to-peer fundraising software provides the necessary tools that enable your existing supporters to run individual and team-based campaigns to raise funds on your behalf. It let's them create personalized webpages to accept donations. You can spur them on with encouragement and support, track their progress and keep them (as well as their donors) updated about how you're using their donations to carry out your mission.
By using software to facilitate your peer-to-peer fundraising efforts, you stand to gain donations from people who would not otherwise be exposed to your message, without having to spend extra money on new marketing campaigns.
Nonprofit organizations are dedicated to doing good in the world, so it's no surprise that they often gain a following of good-hearted and fervent supporters. Whether they're donors, volunteers or just fans of your work, these supporters are a vital resource.
Not only are they likely to donate to your cause and volunteer at your events, but you can—and should!—also use them as fundraisers. Peer-to-peer fundraising software will help you to accomplish this.
Peer-to-peer fundraising software offers a variety of features. Here are a few of the most common software functions to look for when evaluating vendors:
|Campaign creation||The core functionality of this software; it allows your supporters to create and run their own fundraising campaigns with customizable webpages they can share with donors.|
|Accept donations||Provides a channel for supporters to accept donations and either send the money directly to you or collect it to give later as a lump sum. In most cases, you'll be able to accept these donations online or in-person at an event.|
|Event management||Some systems can help your supporters plan and execute their own fundraising events to benefit your nonprofit organization. This feature includes functionality such as gathering donor information and accepting donations at the event.|
|Social media integration||Most peer-to-peer fundraising software vendors recognize the importance of leveraging social media and provide easy ways for your fundraisers to share their campaigns over Facebook, Twitter and other popular platforms.|
|Gamification||Some peer-to-peer fundraising tools provide gamification capabilities to encourage competition between your supporters' campaigns. These can include leaderboards, fundraising thermometers or badges.|
|Real-time updates||An important facet of the software for you will be the ability to get updates on all of your supporters' campaigns in real time. This will allow you to track the success of different campaigns and estimate what their overall intake will be.|
A personal fundraising page made through RallyBound
Other factors to take into consideration when picking the best peer-to-peer fundraising software for your organization include:
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