Peer to Peer Fundraising: A Nonprofit Guide to Fundraiser Communication

Brooke Battle
Written by :

Brooke Battle

Categories: Peer to Peer

Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. This strategy involves empowering your peer fundraisers (aka champions): those passionate supporters who rally others around your fundraising campaign. Here's a comprehensive guide, based on thousands of campaigns, to best practices for communicating with peer-to-peer fundraisers.

Step 1: Select the Right Campaign Champions

The best communication tactics in the world will not work if you don't have the right people involved in the campaign. So, your first step is to pro-actively recruit a group of fundraisers who exemplify the characteristics of an effective fundraisers. Your champions are the heart of your campaign.

Characteristics of a Successful Peer Fundraiser

  • Positive: You'll rarely hear this person complain. Rather, they are happy to be there, happy to be part of the team and say positive things about the effort.

  • Passionate: They genuinely care about about you, your cause, and the community. Most importantly, they are willing to SHOW their passion and share it with their social networks.

  • Perseverance: They can push through challenges and remain committed. Life gets busy and successful fundraisers are often overcommitted. Your best get it done.

  • Popular in Their Social Networks: They have influence within their circles, even if they aren't widely known. Social networks isn't necessarily an online network. It can be their neighborhood, company, church or anything.

Your peer fundraising campaign must have a few of these outstanding champions can to boost your campaign's success.

Step 2: Equip Your Champions

What is a fundraising toolkit?

A Fundraising Toolkit is an online and printed document that includes the following:

  • Campaign Timeline

  • Sample social media posts

  • Email templates

  • Fundraising resources: Logos, graphics, and videos that champions can use toA comprehensive guide to best practices for communicating with peertopeer fundraisers enhance their fundraising efforts

  • Fundraising Ideas: Include storytelling techniques, highlighting the impact of the cause, and emphasizing the urgency of the campaign

  • Fundraising goals and incentives: It's nice to provide guidance about fundraising goals so that your champions are confident that they are meeting expectations.

  • Information about the peer fundraising platform: (1) How to register and setup a fundraising page? (2) How will they be notified when a friend gives?  Discover why Swell's Fundraising platform is EASY for your fundraisers to use. 

  • Provide information about your organization and a point of contact for programming: It is important that your fundraisers know who to contact if someone asks about the mission and programming.

A fundraising toolkit ensures your champions have all the necessary resources to succeed.  Link to this toolkit at the bottom of all of your emails to your champions so that it's always easy for them to find.

Step 3: Create a Positive Fundraising Experience

How to create a positive experience for your peer-to-peer fundraisers?

  • Foster Personal Connections: Encourage interaction among your champions. Highlight their common interests or past connections to build a supportive community.

  • Ongoing Support and Motivation: Regularly send example posts, reminders, and tips to keep your champions engaged. Celebrate their milestones publicly and privately to keep morale high.

  • Use Team Fundraising features:   Individuals that might be intimidated to raise funds alone are often the most successful on a team.   Raise funds as a company, a department, or participate in a Dancing with the Stars event or Lip Sync Challenge.   

  • Reward Participants:

Public Recognition: Profile your champions on your social media and website. Highlight their achievements in newsletters and annual reports.

Personal Thanks: Never underestimate the power of a personal thank-you message. Acknowledge their contributions directly and sincerely.

Rewards: While not always necessary, rewards can add excitement. Consider fun and creative incentives, especially for younger participants who may appreciate tangible rewards

Step 4: Focus on Raising Funds and Awareness for your Nonprofit Organization

Ideas to reach your fundraising goals

  • Highlight Success: You can do this through internal communication (email or text) every few days or weekly depending upon the duration of your campaign. Provide an update about the campaign progress, new donors reached, awareness milestones (new followers, reach or traffic)

  • Leverage Media: Use in-kind PR opportunities, like local TV spots or newspaper articles, to boost your nonprofit organization's visibility. Share these with your champions so they can disseminate the news throughout their social networks.

  • Use your Donor Database: Consider providing a list of lapsed donors to a few fundraising champions (especially if you know of a connection) to prompt an outreach

  • Use Mobile Giving Technology: You should provide QR codes that link directly to the donation page for each champion. This can be a business card they carry in their purse/wallet for convenience or a button/sticker at an event. This makes it easy for anyone to donated.

  • Host a kickoff meeting: Kickoff meetings are an ideal way to deliver the fundraising toolkit and the jumpstart giving by using a fundraising display. During the kickoff, your champions can register and share their links online. Then, while you're working through the information if donations come in they'll pop on on the screen in real time.

  • Support your champions with small gatherings: Your champions may choose to host a small gathering at their home or office, guest bartending with tips going to the cause and other ideas. Provide them with a link to the fundraising display and a QR code to promote giving.



Don't forget: The Five Key Psychological Elements for a Successful Fundraising Event or Campaign

Reciprocity: Encourage champions to ask their friends that may feel inclined to reciprocate their past support.

Social Proof: Highlight the names of donors to create a sense of community and encourage others to join in.

Scarcity: Create a sense of urgency by emphasizing the limited time frame of the campaign.

Commitment and Consistency: Acknowledge repeat donors and encourage them to maintain their support.

Authority: Utilize endorsements from respected figures or compelling testimonials from those directly impacted by your cause.



Peer-to-peer fundraising thrives on effective communication with your champions. It's essential to equip, motivate, and appreciate your fundraisers throughout the campaign. By fostering a supportive and engaging environment, you empower your champions to raise funds and spread awareness with enthusiasm. When you genuinely show appreciation and create a fun atmosphere, your participants will reflect that energy and dedication, leading to even greater success.