It’s strange to me that peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising hasn’t caught on more in the nonprofit world.
Even as I write that, it feels like a straw man argument. Who says it hasn’t caught on?
This job provides me with the unique opportunity to speak with lots of fundraisers at lots of different nonprofits all over the country, and peer fundraising is something that I’ve noticed ranks low on the priority list when it comes to development opportunities.
Most fundraisers are familiar with peer fundraising when it comes to boards. The “give/get” model is pervasive throughout the sector. But when it comes to just general supporters who might be interested in raising money on their behalf, a lot of nonprofits are hesitant.
One reason for this that I frequently hear is that the development officers just don’t know how to get started, and more importantly, how to ensure that their peer fundraisers will be successful.
This is a reasonable concern. Afterall, your peer fundraisers aren’t professional development officers. They lack the skills, training, and experience that your seasoned fundraisers have that help them make asks and close gifts (even small ones).
But peer fundraisers have a much more manageable task; they’re raising smaller amounts, and typically just through their own social circles.
There are a few things you can do, however, to set them up for success. Think of this like preventative maintenance you do on your car: it seems like a lot of work for nothing up front, but the end result is a much more reliable machine that will payoff in the long run.