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Initial planning for a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign

There’s nothing like the peer-to-peer model for extending your fundraising reach. Whether it’s associated with a large event, such as a walk-a-thon, or it’s year-round, such as a tribute campaign, P2P fundraising is all about engaging supporters to raise funds from their networks on your nonprofit’s behalf. But, when you look at some of the complex P2P events and campaigns out there, planning your own nonprofit’s P2P campaigns may seem daunting. Not to worry! No matter the size of your organization or the type of campaign your organization takes on, some thoughtful preparation will help ensure your success. The following is taken from Cathexis Partners’ guide to help you plan your next peer-to-peer fundraising campaign:

Set non-financial goals

List your top supporters who you think would be likely to participate in your campaign. Multiply that amount by the number of participants you think they can recruit, and then multiply the resulting number by the number of participants those participants likely can recruit. This number will be your overall participant goal. Next, think through other goals such as number of new donors.

Set financial goals

If you plan to offer sponsorship opportunities, think about how many sponsors you likely can secure at various levels of support. Determine if you want to require a registration fee, and if so, how much. Then, use your number of estimated participants to calculate your estimated total registration revenue. Think about how much you think each of your participant groups will raise. Multiply that amount times the total participants to set a fundraising revenue goal.

Decide on a format

Your goals and budget should help drive your campaign format, and the format of your campaign may require you to adjust your goals and budget. Here are some campaign types to consider:

  • Proprietary physical events — nonprofit-hosted events, such as walks or rides, that take place on a certain date. Participants sometimes pay a fee to sign up and also raise additional funds once registered.
  • Challenge/endurance/destination events — events that are hosted by an entity other than a nonprofit (like the Chicago Marathon), and often have multiple beneficiaries. Participants can register to participate and fundraise on behalf of your nonprofit.
  • Virtual campaigns — campaigns organized by a nonprofit, without a physical event. With these campaigns, the organization provides an online environment for participants to set up their own fundraising page in support of a campaign created by the nonprofit.
  • Independent fundraising/DIY campaigns — allow participants to host their own events and invite friends and family to the events to raise funds for a specific campaign for your organization.

This post was written by Mark Becker, Founding Partner at Cathexis Partners.