Starting a Peer-to-Peer Campaign? Answer This Crucial Question First

Before you activate your first peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, you need to have a plan.

It's important to know your goals -- and your target audience -- before you start your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

It’s important to know your goals — and your target audience — before you start your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

After all, successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns aren’t built overnight. They require months of thoughtful planning, a strong staff, and a dedicated team of volunteers.

Quite simply, these events require a lot of work to produce results. So where do you begin?

There are a number of important questions your nonprofit should answer before you get started, but the single most important question should be this one: What is Your Goal?

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are about raising money and awareness, right? Well, yes.

But successful fundraising efforts are built on more than just a race for dollars and cents. They are built with specific goals in mind.

Is your primary goal to expand your donor base, to engage more directly with your existing donors, or to create awareness about your cause? Are you looking to engage more donors online or generate media attention?

You might answer yes to all of the questions above. But to be successful, it’s important to have a focus. Having six major goals for your peer-to-peer program is a recipe for having an unfocused event that fails to achieve any of your goals.

Instead, prioritize one or two goals — and make sure that everyone who is involved in planning your campaign understands what those goals are and why they are important.

For some charities, that goal might be to reach more younger donors. For others, it might be courting families. For others, it might involve finding ways to build stronger ties with existing supporters.

When you’re faced with decisions throughout the planning process, those goals should help guide those decisions and ensure that you’re maintaining your focus.

After all, you probably wouldn’t want to recreate Cupid’s Undie Run — in which participants strip down to their skivvies and participate in a fun run for the Children’s Tumor Foundation — if your goal is to appeal to high-end baby boomer donors.

Likewise, if you’re a small, startup charity that is looking to create a buzz about its cause, you might want to try a more extreme event than a walk, since something more edgy could help you get more attention on social media and in your community.

Know what you want to accomplish — and build your program around that goal.

Get more advice about starting a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign by downloading The Essential Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising. This free e-book distills a decade’s worth of lessons and insights from the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum,
the field’s preeminent source of information about and for peer-to-peer fundraising.