The term social fundraising or peer-to-peer fundraising describes a style of fundraising where a nonprofit organization recruits volunteers to solicit donations from their friends and family on behalf of that nonprofit.

While the most common form of social fundraising is associated with a fundraising event like a walk or bike tour, I am seeing an charitable sector trend toward expanding social fundraising beyond the paradigm of event fundraising. Many nonprofits are managing these fundraising programs exclusively online, while others are expanding their existing third-party fundraising programs with online fundraising tools.

Some examples of these expanded online social fundraising campaigns include: P2P-style Memorial/Tribute Campaigns, “Donate Your Special Day” Campaigns, Virtual Food Drives, Marathon Fundraising, and DIY Fundraising Campaigns

Primary drivers behind the popularity of expanded social fundraising:

  1. Need for Fundraising Diversification – As the event fundraising world becomes more competitive and nonprofits are experiencing less growth from these events, fundraisers are being forced to look for creative ways to increase revenue without significantly increasing cost.
  2. Demand from Fundraisers – Today’s modern supporter wants to fundraise for their favorite cause on their own terms using their preferred communication channels. These supporters want to be able to fundraise with same online fundraising and social fundraising tools available to event fundraisers.

This trend is important because it points to the need for all nonprofits to adopt some form of social fundraising strategy independent of whether they are producing traditional walking or running events. If you are not incorporating a social fundraising campaign into your overall strategy, then you are probably leaving money on the table.

Interested in learning more about social fundraising and how it can help your org raise more money? Sign up today for our webinar on May 8 on P2P fundraising.

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