By Shay Lessman, Content Writer and Editor for Qgiv — an online fundraising platform empowering 20,000+ nonprofit fundraisers to raise money for their causes while keeping costs low.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to engage your existing supporters and get them to fundraise on your behalf. But did you know it’s also a great way to acquire new donors for your nonprofit? That’s right! You can easily acquire new donors using peer-to-peer fundraising. In fact, according to data shared by Peer-to-Peer Forum, peer-to-peer fundraising is the number one tactic that inspires donors to give to charity and 39% of Americans who’ve donated to charity have done so because a friend or family member asked them to.

Are you ready to expand your donor base? If yes, keep reading to learn four ways that you can acquire new donors with your next peer-to-peer fundraiser!

1) Market your peer-to-peer fundraisers

The first step to acquire new donors with your peer-to-peer fundraising event is to make sure people know the event is happening in the first place! That’s why it’s key to market your peer-to-peer fundraisers in your community. You’ve likely seen flyers in store windows advertising a fundraising event before. This simple method of getting the word out works so long as you can secure highly visible places to hang your flyers. We suggest asking your event sponsors and vendors to display your flyers in their establishments.

Additionally, you should employ a multi-channel marketing strategy to promote your event. Get online and make sure your event is featured on your website. Be sure to talk about your event on social media and ask your peer-to-peer participants and supporters to share your event promotion posts on their social networks too. This way, your posts are seen by people beyond your immediate community. The average Facebook user has 338 friends, so if just one of your supporters shares information about your event you can increase awareness of your event significantly.

Want to go the extra mile? Develop ads for social and Google that you can target toward people in your community. Keep text brief but informative. Viewers will need to know it’s an event and when it’s taking place. Pair your text with an image from a previous year’s event or include an image of those you serve to get people inspired to take part.

Screenshot of a Facebook Fundraising Ad featured by Qgiv

2) Develop a peer-to-peer fundraising toolkit

The key to getting people to fundraise on your behalf is to make it easy. Remember that not everyone is a professional fundraiser like you and your team. The idea of asking friends and family for money, even to support a cause that means the world to you, can be a scary proposition for your participants. Why? Because most people have no clue how to make an effective ask. The thought of being asked a question we don’t know the answer to might even make some of us feel embarrassed. That’s why it’s important to develop tools that will assist those who are willing to fundraise on your behalf.

Make it easy to make an informed and convincing ask. Put together documents that discuss your organization’s purpose, goals, and history. Then, include tip sheets for how to best raise funds for your mission. This can be directly asking friends and family or even finding ways to host small-scale events like a happy hour at a local bar where you can ask the community to support you. The possibilities for how to fundraise are up to your supporters and can be as varied as those who agree to raise funds for you!

Screenshot of a Qgiv fundraising website for a walk marathon

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation created a very robust FAQ page for event participants. In addition to traditional questions and answers, they embedded instructional videos and provided a participant resource library.

The key is to support your peer-to-peer participants with the tools they need to successfully fundraise. To help them fundraise you can share sample email copy, social media posts, and other copy or images they can re-purpose to make their own fundraising asks. When your fundraising participants feel comfortable actually raising funds for you, they’ll acquire new donors on your behalf by acting as your advocates. If you need a head start creating templates for your peer-to-peer participants, download our 18 social and email templates.

Social Media and Email templates for fundraising by Qgiv

3) Incentivize fundraising participants

You can give your fundraising participants the tools they need to succeed, but not everyone will have the same level of enthusiasm for fundraising right out of the gate. Some will take to fundraising like ducks to water, but others may be shy and in need of a little push before they can effectively fundraise. That’s why it’s important to incentivize people fundraising on your behalf. You can coax shy fundraisers to raise funds if you offer the right incentives. For instance, if someone wants free admission to your event, ask them to raise the ticket price plus a little extra. This can incentivize people to work hard at asking others for support so that they get something out of it.

Making a game out of encouraging participants to fundraise is a strategy that appeals to a wide audience and this can motivate your more competitive event participants. A phenomenal example is the game board developed by Crossroads School for their Crossroads 5K and Family Fun Day event. This game board, pictured below, pushes reluctant fundraisers out of their comfort zone by making it a fun game instead of a chore. This type of fundraising appeal puts the FUN in fundraising!

Virtual 5K race fundraiser for nonprofits

You can also offer fundraising prizes like exclusive event swag to those fundraising on your behalf. The more they raise, the more cool stuff they can choose from. This can get people motivated to ask friends and family for their support, and as they ask more people for support, you’ll have even more new donors you can add to your database.

4) Host a community-wide kickoff party

Our last tip is for nonprofits who want a way to accept donations ahead of their peer-to-peer fundraiser. A community-wide kickoff party can do just that. Before your main event, host a community event where you can share information about your peer-to-peer fundraiser and encourage the community to take part. You’ll want to host your party somewhere that gets a lot of foot traffic so you can attract a lot of members of your community to your staff for information. We suggest setting up shop in libraries, the mall, community centers, and anywhere else people visit.

Not only does a kickoff party give you the opportunity to get people pumped about your fundraiser, you can also accept donations during the event. If you can inspire new donors to take part they’ll fundraise on your behalf. And even if they aren’t interested in the event, they can still support you at your public pop-up event ahead of the fundraiser. Either way, you’ll make progress toward acquiring new donors through your peer-to-peer fundraiser.

How do the above steps translate to newly acquired donors?

As your peer-to-peer fundraising participants reach out to their social networks, their friends and family will support your nonprofit organization. The more people you get to fundraise for you, the wider the overall net that’s cast and the more first-time donors you’ll find. You’ll need to make sure you capture that donor data using your online fundraising tools. Then, add those new donors to your existing donor database, probably through the use of an integration, so that you can take your new donors’ data and enroll them into new donor onboarding communications.


Through marketing your peer-to-peer fundraiser to your community, empowering fundraisers with a peer-to-peer fundraising toolkit, incentivizing your peer-to-peer participants, and hosting a community-wide kickoff party to jumpstart your peer-to-peer fundraiser, you’ll be able to acquire new donors through your next peer-to-peer fundraising event.

Inspire your peer-to-peer fundraisers to raise more for your nonprofit with these great templates! Peer-to-peer fundraisers aren’t professional fundraisers like the staff at your nonprofit. Some still find huge success with minimal input from you, while others need a little encouragement. Whether your supporters are fundraising superstars or are a little shy about making an ask, these templates simplify peer-to-peer fundraising to make them more successful.

Social Media and Email templates for fundraising by Qgiv