Turning Volunteers into P2P Participants

It is true that peer-to-peer fundraising allows non-profits to leverage their supporters to fundraise on their behalf, but reaching out to a whole new audience can seem like a big challenge when the online world is inundated with information on a constant basis. What many non-profits forget is that they have a base to get them started. That base is, volunteers.

Big or small, most non-profits have volunteers who are already involved in their organization in some way. If your non-profit is new to p2p then you can consider approaching a few of your volunteers to become personal fundraisers. You can easily talk to them face-to-face or contact them via personalized emails. Providing clear instructions on how to participate in peer-to-peer campaigns or providing a link to your p2p platform can make the process seamless.

Some organizations use peer to peer fundraising as a volunteer event. Back in 2016, Women Build Weekend was a peer to peer campaign created by Habitat for Humanity in New York State’s Tompkins and Cortland Counties. It allowed volunteers to encourage other women to help build affordable housing. The volunteers held a friendly competition while building in order to raise funds for Habitat. They had groups with team fundraising pages and a collective goal. As well, they had individual fundraising pages that people could donate towards.

When events are fun like Women Build Weekend, you not only raise funds for your non-profit but also increase brand awareness and more p2p campaign participation.

Another good example of turning volunteer opportunities into p2p fundraising is the Over The Edge campaign. Over The Edge offers organizations the opportunity to entice people to raise money by rappelling over the edge of a skyscraper. These events are conducted under the supervision of professional climbers and rappelling experts. Over The Edge requires volunteers to assist with roping duties. At times that volunteer base is close to 7 thousand people. Over The Edge confirms that it is not unusual for these volunteers to be struck by a cause and decide to become fundraisers themselves.

Here are a few ways you can entice volunteers to become peer-to-peer participants:

  • Give a tour – you can give your volunteers an up close look into how the organization works by giving them a tour of the office. You can invite them to bring a friend or family member with them who could also be intrigued enough to become a p2p fundraiser.
  • Ask for input – volunteers give a lot to organizations and deserve recognition but often times they simply want to know that they are valued. One way to do this is to ask them for their opinion. This shows them that you care about their thoughts, feelings and ideas.
  • Personalize the relationship – sending out a mass communication asking volunteers to consider p2p participation is impersonal. The better approach is to get to know your volunteers by name then contact them directly and explain why you think they would make a great p2p fundraiser.
  • We all know how hard non-profit volunteers work and are by no means suggesting that you take advantage of their generosity by pressuring them to become p2p participants, but a gentle invitation can’t hurt. You just might be surprised at how many are happy to make the leap from pitching in here and there to raising funds through their own network of contacts.

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