Note: the following is a guest post by our friends at QGiv.
With the rise of social media, it seems like everyone is messaging, posting, tweeting, or facetiming these days. Employees are becoming more and more connected, and it’s important that employers take the time to understand how social networking can affect engagement. For one, nonprofits have capitalized on extended donor networks through peer-to-peer fundraising, a strategy that takes advantage of these socially-inclined trends.
Likewise, corporations need to consider how peer-to-peer fundraising can be used to boost their brands, fuel corporate social responsibility (CSR), and ultimately, lead to positive social impact.
Let’s break down the basics of peer-to-peer fundraising and how your company can get involved.
What is peer-to-peer fundraising?
Before you can understand how peer-to-peer fundraising is relevant to your company, it’s important to learn what exactly it means.
Peer-to-peer fundraising, or P2P fundraising, is a nonprofit fundraising strategy where donors create individual donation pages in support of a nonprofit’s campaign. P2P fundraising is often paired with active events, like walkathons, where supporters meet a certain fundraising goal in advance of the event day.
Donors solicit donations directly from their personal pages, and the donations they receive are automatically transferred to the nonprofit.
Think of P2P fundraising like a hydra; each head operates independently, but it’s still connected to a larger body. Like this mythical metaphor, individual fundraisers reach out to their personal and professional networks in any way they see fit, even though the campaign is organized and governed by the nonprofit.
How does peer-to-peer fundraising work?
Nonprofits generally purchase peer-to-peer software to run their campaigns. This software allows individual supporters to create custom donation pages based upon a nonprofit’s branded templates. In most platforms, supporters can upload their own images or videos and write custom appeals.
These personalization features let donors tell their stories and explain their connections to a nonprofit or a larger cause.
Additionally, peer-to-peer software usually offers social media features, so that individual fundraisers can easily share their page on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
What are the benefits?
Peer-to-peer fundraising is one of the most effective fundraising strategies because it builds off of established relationships. These relationships are the cornerstone of organic fundraising.
After all, which of these two scenarios seems more effective?
- A nonprofit sends an appeal en masse for donations to fund cancer research.
- A cancer survivor explains how the nonprofit spearheaded her treatment. She asks her friends, family members, and coworkers to give in support of her personal journey.
From a nonprofit perspective, the benefits are clear.
For corporations, a P2P strategy can help employers learn more about their employees and generate engagement. Plus, P2P fundraising provides an opportunity for corporations to make an actionable statement about their core values.
Supporting a P2P campaign can provide several corporate benefits:
- Brand value. Because peer-to-peer fundraising is inherently social, corporations have the opportunity to reach a large audience consisting of their employees’ extended networks. Supporting a P2P campaign can generate brand value, both to your employees and their social connections.
- Employee engagement. Supporting an employee’s personal fundraising campaign shows that your corporation cares about your employees’ leadership and philanthropy in their personal lives. This kind of statement can engage employees by demonstrating how much your company values them.
- Modern CSR. To create a strong CSR program, your company needs to stay up-to-date with the latest fundraising trends. Your employees are online, networking socially. P2P fundraising is a means of modernizing your program so that it reaches employees where they already are and attracts a younger generation of future workers.
CSR is vital to maintaining a positive company culture and building a thriving workforce. P2P fundraising is a strategy that corporations must understand if they wish to involve themselves in the future of nonprofit fundraising.
Now, let’s break down the logistics of how your company can get support a P2P campaign.
How can corporations get involved with P2P fundraising?
Corporations can support P2P fundraising through several different programs.
The following choices are some of the most intuitive for these socially-inclined campaigns:
- Fundraising Matches. Fundraising matches occur when a company donates a matching gift based upon how much money an employee has raised. That means that companies give both what the individual fundraiser has donated plus any additional funds the individual has raised from family and friends. Fundraising matches allow corporations to support their employees’ personal philanthropic efforts.
- In-kind Donations. In-kind donations can be extremely valuable to peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. For one, they can be used to support P2P events by providing a venue, catering, or equipment. Plus, in-kind donations can serve as prizes and incentives for the top P2P fundraisers, which can encourage everyone to raise funds beyond their original goals.
In either of these instances, your company can get involved with your employees’ philanthropic interests and drive business growth, especially given that CSR is an increasingly important factor that consumers consider when they decide where they want to take their business.
Corporate philanthropy is an important partnership for both nonprofits and companies.
Working together can increase fundraising dollars, inspire positive company culture, and bond employers and employees over a common goal and mission.
Corporations that want to support a P2P campaign can either support individual employees who are participating in a nonprofit’s campaign, or they can partner with a nonprofit to support the campaign itself.