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May 7, 2020

How to make a successful peer-to-peer fundraiser

As we navigate this unprecedented time together, nonprofits like Reading Partners (and the communities we serve) need support more than ever. While making a donation to support students is incredibly impactful, another way to support Reading Partners and other nonprofits is by starting a peer-to-peer fundraiser. 

Peer-to-peer fundraising allows supporters of a nonprofit to become fundraisers—creating fundraising pages and leveraging social media to raise funds on behalf of the organization. One of the more popular methods of peer-to-peer fundraising is through birthday fundraisers on Facebook. Classy is another popular platform for peer-to-peer fundraising. 

Looking to start your own fundraiser but not sure how? Here are some tips and tricks to get your fundraiser started.

peer-to-peer fundraiserraisdata Flickr via Compfight cc

Get the ball rolling

By making the first contribution to your page, you can help build momentum and motivate people to join in. And it takes the pressure off someone else being the first to give. Another great idea to boost your fundraiser is to offer to match all donations up to a certain level.

Add your WHY

The most important thing you can do in this process is to let people know why you are fundraising in the first place. Tell your friends and family why Reading Partners matters to you and the communities involved. 

Start with your close contacts

It’s always best to start by emailing your closest contacts since they are the most likely to donate. Try sending some quick personal messages to your inner circle to build up some momentum. 

Reading Partners volunteer, Beth, raised over $52,000 during a year that marked both her 20 years of health after a bad year of cancer and Reading Partners 20th anniversary. Beth describes how fundraising can be both an inspiring and vulnerable effort. In Beth’s case, she rallied her closest friends and family to help her create and support the fundraiser. 

“My business partner brainstormed copy and headlines for the letters I’d send. My sister, the professor, edited. My niece, a professional fundraiser, gave me “do’s and don’ts” and a lot of encouragement to make my ask. My husband sent notes to his friends and a few colleagues. Reading Partners created a personalized fundraising page. My daughter corrected my Excel sheets. My real estate agent taught me how to use Mail Chimp.”

peer-to-peer fundraiser

Promote on social media

Once you’ve sent your first batch of emails, it’s time to turn to social media. One of the best strategies to use on Facebook and Twitter is tagging and thanking people that have already donated while you ask for new donations. This spreads your message further and lets people know that others are already getting behind you. 

It’s always best to share your fundraiser on the social media platforms that you use the most and are most comfortable with. If you use Facebook but not Twitter, then share through Facebook. If Instagram is your favorite form of social media, then add the link to your bio and share fundraising updates along the way through your stories and feed.

Re-engage with email

Don’t hesitate to send a few follow-up emails. Emails are easy to overlook, with most people often opening them up quickly and forgetting about them. Use email to keep people up to date with your progress as you hit different milestones (50% raised, 75% raised, etc.) and ask supporters to help you reach the next milestone. 

Continue thanking people and updating social media

As more people in your network get behind you, keep thanking them on social media and sharing your progress towards your ultimate goal. 

Get creative, be persistent, and have fun! As a fundraiser and Reading Partners advocate, you’re making a big difference in students’ lives by raising crucial support and building awareness of our work. Thanks to your efforts, more children in under-resourced communities will have the support they need to become confident readers.

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