Supporting your favorite cause or nonprofit organization is easy to do. You can position yourself as an advocate by donating money, volunteering your time, making an in-kind donation, or in the case of New York Blood Center, donate blood — the possibilities are endless. Starting a peer-to-peer giving campaign, for example, is a unique way to advocate, volunteer, and financially support a cause.
First, What Is Peer-to-Peer Giving?
A peer-to-peer giving campaign is a form of crowdfunding where you are personally promoting a cause or nonprofit organization of your choice to your friends, family, colleagues, and other acquaintances.
Individuals can ask for donations from their personal and professional networks in various ways. Many individuals often create personalized campaign pages, which mimic larger crowdfunding pages in some aspects but are more targeted towards a specific supporter and their immediate social network. Custom campaign pages also allow organizers and supporters to see the total funds raised along with the fundraising goal, which can help motivate and inspire.
Peer-to-peer giving significantly benefits the causes they support. New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe), for example, relies on such financial campaigns to assist in saving thousands of lives every year. Financial gifts coming from peer-to-peer donations support the organization in being able to increase blood donations, which has and still is, a substantial challenge for NYBCe. Charitable gifts can also help us continue conducting lifesaving research and to collect and distribute blood products throughout the country.
These financial gifts make a difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors — lives like Katherine Bredemeier, who was 38 weeks pregnant when her liver ruptured; she was rushed into surgery and needed an emergency blood transfusion to save her life and that of her son, William. Katherine’s family is thankful for blood donation and financial support of New York Blood Blood Center so she can live a healthy life with her family.
How to Start Your Own Peer-to-Peer Giving Campaign
First, set a fundraising goal. Having a milestone in mind is both motivating and inspiring.
This step can be tricky if you don’t have a benchmark of what a successful campaign looks like — especially if it’s your first one. Likewise, some supporters become overwhelmed when trying to figure out how they are going to reach their goal right at the beginning.
Talk to the organization you’re supporting and see if they can help you set a goal based on the size of your network. Or simply dream big and see what the outcome is!
Next, talk with a staffer or board member at your favorite nonprofit for ideas, tips, and insights. Someone from the nonprofit’s fundraising team should have guidelines and a template to discuss branding and how to best present the organization.
You may also learn the most convenient and secure ways to collect donations. For example, NYBCe offers a “Text to Give” option, which may be an excellent way for your friends to make quick, easy, and secure donations. There may be a specific platform that works well that the team at your nonprofit can recommend.
Then, set up your landing page. Like other crowdfunding campaigns, a peer-to-peer giving campaign often involves a landing page that you tailor to your friend’s interests. NYBCe’s Fund Development team will help you develop a personalized landing page to assist in the success of your campaign. We can help you create:
- A short story or anecdote showing the reader why you chose this nonprofit or cause and how it relates to you personally.
- You can include various media, including a photos or a short video. A picture says 1,000 words; since you are reaching out to a network of people who may also share your peer-to-peer campaign with people you may not know, those individuals will be interested in seeing and reading about your connection to the cause.
- Some compelling but easy-to-understand statistics or other information highlighting the needs. What does this organization do? What do they accomplish? An easy and secure way to make a gift. Additional information or resources for people who want to learn more or volunteer.
During your campaign, remember to post frequently on your social media channels. Sometimes people worry about spamming their friends and colleagues. One way to get around that is to create a few bite-sized posts highlighting a different aspect of the organization. This way, you don’t repost the same thing over and over. Some ideas:
- A short selfie video telling your friends about your experience with the organization and why you chose it.
- A photo or brief video interview with a staffer who can speak to the impact the donations will have.
- A photo or collection of images featuring the organization.
- A graphics or quote meme with an interesting statistic or fact to raise awareness.
- Highlight other ways people can get involved, like volunteering, attending an event, signing a petition, or donating blood during a blood drive.
- Anything else you can think of!
Be sure to tag the nonprofit whenever you mention them in a post to amplify its online presence further so your friends can vet the organization before they give. Finally, remember to respect your friend’s boundaries. Most people appreciate it when someone they know introduces them to a worthy cause or organization, making an impact.
Benefits of Running a Peer-to-Peer Giving Campaign
Peer-to-peer giving campaigns make a difference. Some of the benefits include:
- You raise much-needed funds
- In the process, you also raise awareness which has value even if no one makes a donation
- You develop your skills in fundraising, advocacy, marketing, and social media content creation
- Some of your friends or colleagues may choose to volunteer or donate blood
- You will learn more about the cause and organization
- The nonprofit’s social media following may grow as a result of your amplification
Running a peer-to-peer giving campaign is deeply rewarding since it benefits you, the nonprofit, your friends, and the community. Many enjoy promoting something they feel passionate about while connecting with friends, family, and colleagues.
If you’re interested in making a financial gift to NYBCe, we accept online donations in just about any amount ranging from $10 to $1M. The process is as simple as filling out the online giving form or contacting the Fund Development Team to coordinate a significant or legacy gift. For more information, visit our Ways to Give page to learn how NYBCe accepts financial donations, including peer-to-peer giving.