Tips to make your charitable fundraiser stand out, get donations, and make a big impact for the causes you care about!
Most of us want to support nonprofit organizations doing important work in our communities and beyond, but what can you do if you’re not in a position to whip out your checkbook to make a big donation? Try peer-to-peer fundraising on Mightycause! Starting a charitable fundraiser is a fun, meaningful way to make a big impact and further causes that are close to your heart. You don’t need a lot of time or money to run a successful peer-to-peer fundraiser — all you need is friends, family, a social network, passion for the cause and to follow these peer-to-peer fundraising tips!
Believe it or not, starting a peer-to-peer fundraiser can be even better for nonprofit organizations than just writing them a big check. The reason is that you’re helping to spread the word about their work in your community and getting people engaged in their work. You’re helping their message reach new audiences and giving them new donors. Those new donors are worth more than their weight in gold to nonprofits.
So, how does peer-to-peer fundraising work, exactly? It’s pretty simple: You sign up for a Mightycause account, and start a fundraiser for a nonprofit of your choice. You create a page for your fundraiser, where you can add images and videos, tell your story and explain your connection to the cause. Once your page is ready, you can share the link with people you know to collect donations. (That’s the “peer-to-peer” part — you’ll be asking for donations from people you know.) On Razoo, the money you raise goes directly to the nonprofit you’ve chosen to support, so you don’t need to worry about handing over or releasing the funds. We’ll send the money you raise to the nonprofit, so you can concentrate on rallying support and they can use the money you raise to continue their important work.
If you’d like to start a peer-to-peer fundraiser for a nonprofit you care about, or are in the midst of one, we’ve compiled some tips to help your peer-to-peer fundraiser raise money, get your friends involved and make a difference!
1. Make it personal
It’s all well and good to promote your fundraiser for a nonprofit by sharing information about their work, but what will really motivate your friends and family to support your fundraiser is talking about your connection to this cause. Why do you care? What drew you to this cause and this nonprofit? Have you benefited from their services? Do you volunteer for them, or did you have a personal experience with this nonprofit that makes them so important to you? This is the kind of testimonial the nonprofit can’t manufacture and a big part of why peer-to-peer fundraisers can be so powerful.
Even if the people in your life don’t have the same level of interest in this cause as you, they care about you. So, it’s important to present some basic information about the work the nonprofit you’re fundraising for does, but it’s much more important to hear from you about why this cause moves you. Talk frankly about why this cause is so important to you in the story on your Mightycause page, and when promoting it on and offline. Friends and family want to be there for you, and if that means donating to your fundraiser for a cause that’s personal and meaningful to you, they will most likely make a donation to show their support!
2. Think beyond Facebook
Social media fuels peer-to-peer fundraising, but it’s not the only place you should be promoting your fundraiser. Crowdfunding has saturated social media — many of us log onto our social media accounts and scroll past dozens of fundraisers, pleas for help, and requests to donate to charity every single day. It can be exhausting. And, worse, you can spend lots of time crafting the perfect social media post asking your friends and family to support you by donating to your fundraiser, only to have them not even see it because Facebook’s algorithm knocked your post off their newsfeeds, or they didn’t check Twitter close enough to the time you posted your tweet to see it and it got pushed off their feed by more recent tweets, etc.
You can combat fundraiser fatigue and missed posts by conducting personal outreach. Send a personal email to people you want to support your fundraiser and explain why you’d like them to donate; send a direct Facebook message; call your friends up on the phone and let them know what you’re doing and why; you could even send letters or cards with handwritten messages in the mail; you could have a dinner party and ask all of your guests to make a donation to your fundraiser. This kind of outreach with personal touches ensures that your request is seen and heard, and because you’re engaging people one-on-one, you’re more likely to get donations than a blanket request for donations on social media to everyone you know.
3. Use social media wisely
Even though you shouldn’t limit your outreach efforts to social media, it’s still a key part of running a successful peer-to-peer fundraiser. The reason social media is so important is because you’ve got friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, etc. all gathered in one place and it’s easiest to talk to them and post direct links to your fundraiser on social media. Social media also makes it easy for people to share your fundraiser with their social network. But successful peer-to-peer fundraisers don’t just post on social media — they get creative on social media to get people engaged in their cause and utilize social media to motivate people to act.
People on social media are constantly bombarded with content. Photos, links, videos, memes, information, rants, statistics, random snippets of other people’s lives — social media is a very noisy place to be! So how do you rise above the din and make your fundraiser stand out among the countless other things your friends will see in a day?
What works is specific to each fundraiser and each person, but here are some general guidelines you can use to make your posts stand out:
- Use images and videos — people are more likely to stop scrolling and pay attention to a strong visual component
- Mix it up and make each post different — don’t repeat yourself!
- Play to your strengths — think about your talents and skills and what you enjoy sharing on social media. Are you an awesome artist? An amateur photographer or a whiz in Photoshop? Do you love doing Facebook live videos, or enjoy sharing videos of yourself playing the song you just learned on your ukulele? Then use that to grab people’s attention and stand out! (Just tie it into your fundraiser and include a link, of course.)
- Brand your fundraiser — create a hashtag for your fundraiser, create a logo in Photoshop or a free image editing program like Canva, give it a clever title, even develop a slogan to help make your fundraiser stand out on social media.
- Interact — tag people, thank people for donating, get involved in comment threads, and talk to your audience instead of talking at them.
When you make an effort to post creative content and be engaging on social media, you’ll see that you get more of a response and get more donations.
4. Scale your goal to the size of your social network
We know you want to raise as much money as possible for charity, but make sure you don’t set yourself up for disappointment by setting an unreasonably large fundraising goal. Your goal can be changed at any time on Mightycause, so start with a fundraising goal that feels achievable and then raise it later if you reach your goal. Think about who you can ask to donate, how many friends you have on social media, and set a fundraising goal to an amount that’s realistic for the size of your network.
5. Ask for specific donation amounts
It may be seem like asking people to donate is enough of a call to action, but we’ve found that people are more likely to respond when they are asked to donate specific amounts. Some people may feel pressure to donate a large amount or nothing at all, or be paralyzed by not knowing what amount they should donate, so asking for a specific amount takes the guesswork out for your donor. Asking for donations of $15, $25, and so on is more effective than just asking people to donate whatever they want — you’re giving them something specific to do, and it can help push someone who wanted to donate $5 to give a larger amount. You can even choose a donation amount that connects back to your campaign (for instance, asking for $30 donations for your 30th birthday fundraiser).
6. Have your fundraiser tie into an event
You can totally start a peer-to-peer fundraiser just because, but we’ve seen that peer-to-peer fundraisers who tie their fundraiser to a life event, milestone, holiday, or current event are more successful because they help give the fundraiser a context. Birthday fundraisers, wedding fundraisers (where you encourage people to donate to a charity instead of giving gifts), and fundraisers that use a life event to tell their story tend raise more money. It doesn’t have to be something big like a wedding; you could start a fundraiser for the rescue where you adopted your dog on the anniversary of the date you took him home, or raise money for a breast cancer charity during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or even tie your fundraiser to a current event that’s in the news.
Tying your fundraiser into an event of some kind helps anchor it and give it context. It helps your fundraiser make sense to your peers, which in turn will encourage them to donate.
7. Communicate with the charity
While peer-to-peer fundraising means taking on the responsibility of running a fundraiser on your own, it’s a good idea to give the charity you’re fundraising for a heads-up and talk to them about your plans. They may be able to share photos, videos, statistics, and information that will help you talk about their work and present their cause to your social network — and they may want to help you out by sharing your fundraiser with their own audience!
8. Optimize your Mightycause page
You don’t need to be a web designer or even very internet-savvy to create a cool, customized Mightycause page — we’ve designed our platform so that anyone can create a sleek, creative fundraiser. If you can put together a Facebook profile, you can create a fundraiser on Razoo!
While only certain items are required to be completed before you publish your page, you can increase your fundraiser’s impact by utilizing all of the tools we’ve designed to enhance your fundraising efforts. Here’s a quick checklist of tools you’ll want to make sure to use:
- Link your social media — not only does this make social media sharing easier, it helps people verify that you’re you. Many people can be wary of donating online, so linking your social media accounts will help them feel confident about making a donation. And linking your Instagram feed on your Mightycause page makes your page more interesting!
- Choose a strong cover photo or video — this will be the “face” of your fundraiser throughout our platform and on social media, so make a good impression!
- Add photos and videos to your story — we’ve got a simple inline editor that allows you add photos and videos right into your story. We know that people are more likely to keep reading if you’ve got photos or a video to watch embedded in your story, so keep your page interesting by adding media to help you tell your story.
- Post updates — this is an awesome tool that helps keep your page fresh and your donors engaged. When you post an update, it posts to your page and also sends an email to everyone who has donated to your page or shared it on social media. Send an update to thank everyone for helping you reach a fundraising milestone, share news about your cause or your fundraiser, and to ask for help getting to your next funding goal!
- Add your short story — your short story is important because the 100-character field will be the description on Facebook link previews. Customize it to make sure it represents your fundraiser well!
- Check out our guide article, How to Make Your Charitable Fundraising Page Awesome, to get the scoop on making the most of your Mightycause page.
By taking the time to utilize the fundraising tools on your Mightycause page, people will be able to tell that you put time and thought into your fundraiser. It shows how important your cause is to you, and when people can see how much you care, the more likely they are to make a donation.
9. “Seed” your fundraiser
One of the most challenging stages of a fundraiser is breaking the ice and getting your first donations. It’s a fact of human psychology that people are more likely to do something when they see that others are doing it, so when your fundraiser has raised $0, many people will hesitate to be the first to donate. You can “seed” your fundraiser by donating to your own fundraiser (no, it’s not weird!), and asking a few close friends and family members to make small donations to get the ball rolling. (We call these “seed” donations because they help your fundraiser grow.)
10. Have fun
Raising money for charity shouldn’t be stressful — you’re doing an incredible, generous thing and should enjoy the process! Make it personal, express yourself and your creativity, and rally your friends and family to support a cause that’s meaningful to you. Your enthusiasm will be infectious … the more excited you are about your fundraiser, the more likely people are to respond positively! So relax, keep it light, and do your best.
Now that you’ve read our peer-to-peer fundraising tips, you’re ready to start fundraising for the causes you care about? Start your fundraiser on Mightycause today!