Peer-to-peer fundraising events, including runs, walk-a-thons, and bike-a-thons, share some common qualities: they encourage friendly competition, are interactive and fun, and are easily shared by participants to their wider networks.
While getting started in peer-to-peer fundraising (P2P) can sound daunting, it doesn’t have to be! With the right tools and resources, including a comprehensive peer-to-peer fundraising platform, you can successfully pair your campaign with an event and bring in even more donation revenue. Taking your peer-to-peer event online will also boost fundraising potential and make it easy for supporters to share their campaigns. It’ll also make the event simpler for you to organize.
We’ll cover some of our favorite event ideas to use with your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns in this article. These include:
- Dance marathons
- Golf tournaments
- Charity concerts
While these are some of our favorites, a peer-to-peer fundraiser can really work with any type of event! Grab some inspiration from these top choices and see what excites us about them. Let’s get started.
Walk-a-thons are a tried-and-true event idea to pair with your peer-to-peer fundraiser. Any sort of athletic event is great because it naturally encourages the same friendly competition and teamwork that you need for a successful peer-to-peer campaign while also inspiring people to give.
As you plan your walk-a-thon, you’ll want to make sure your chosen fundraising platform is equipped to handle all the planning, organizing, and, of course, fundraising. For that reason, make sure you’re using a platform that:
- Is participant-friendly. Donors should easily be able to register, raise money, post to social media, and invite other participants to take part in the event through your peer-to-peer fundraising platform
- Allows participants to easily sign up. Participants should be able to sign up as a group or individual charity, depending on how big your event is, and easily add new walkers to their team.
- Supports custom needs. Your platform should also support custom registration needs and order changes, as these can be common during walk-a-thons.
- Tracks offline donations. There should also be a way to add offline donations to a participant’s total via your peer-to-peer fundraising platform in case you don’t have internet access at the event itself.
- Is easy to set up. Your platform should be easily set up, customizable, and allow you to track any matching gifts.
- Looks great on mobile. Your platform should be mobile responsive, meaning that the campaign pages adjust to any screen size. This will allow for easy sharing, engagement, and donations from anyone’s mobile device.
If your platform is up to the challenge, your participants will be, too. Your peer-to-peer platform will help keep participants engaged, fundraise, and enable your team to focus on campaign success.
Bike-a-thons are another athletic event that do wonders when paired with a peer-to-peer fundraiser. But you want to make sure you plan it using the right approach! Follow these tips to put on a successful event and raise the funds you need:
- Launch your site early. Aim to launch your event site about 3 to 6 months in advance of your event.
- Feature all of your information. Your peer-to-peer fundraising site should feature information about both your charity and your bike-a-thon, as well as all details about the event and a registration page that’s mobile friendly.
- Use a “donate” button. Include a “donate” button on your site that allows donors to give even if they choose not to participate in the ride. This will help boost your donation revenue.
- Display a leaderboard. Use an online leaderboard so participants can see how the other riders stack up in their fundraising. Take it a step further and make sure you have a way to recognize the leaders at the event. You can award them with badges, branded custom shirts, or other prizes.
- Keep it on the platform. Be sure to use a peer-to-peer fundraising platform to keep your registration, donation, and informational pages all on one site, which will make it easy for your attendees to find exactly what they need.
Hosting a bike-a-thon is an exciting way to engage your supporters, let them have some fun, and boost your donation revenue. Stick to your plan (and check out this comprehensive guide by OneCause!) to ensure you get the best results.
3. Dance Marathon
Dance marathons have become an increasingly popular method to fundraise. Participants, called dancers, raise money before, during, and after the event by leveraging traditional and peer-to-peer fundraising methods. In return, donors pledge to donate or sponsor the dancers’ time and energy spent dancing for a cause.
Here are some tips to consider as you plan out your event:
- Choose the right platform. As with the other events, make sure you find the right platform that is user-friendly and will be easy for your participants to use. This is especially important because its usability affects how much they have the potential to raise.
- Share video of the event. Many dance marathons will live stream their events online so supporters can watch the events as they occur.
- Provide resources. Give your peer-to-peer participants resources like templates for emails, fundraising strategies, and examples of social media posts they can use to promote the campaign and event. Then, check in with them on a regular basis and work with your participants as needed.
- Collect mobile donations. Text-based donations work really well with dance marathons! Try incorporating this into your strategy.
When you look at how social fundraising works, you may notice that individuals who see other individuals donate are more likely to give to the same cause themselves. Apply this concept to your peer-to-peer fundraising event! Be sure your participants encourage others to participate, give, and have fun.
4. Golf Tournament
As mentioned before, a peer-to-peer fundraiser is pretty versatile and can work with any type of event! So, if you want to host an even larger event, a golf tournament is at the top of our list. Bring together some of your top supporters and encourage your participants to fundraise for the tournament and spread the word.
Here are a few ways you can run your peer-to-peer golf tournament:
- Your organization can offer participants the option to fundraise with or without buying a ticket to the tournament.
- Participants can choose their own fundraising goal and your organization can add incentives (like a free ticket once a milestone is passed) to motivate your participants.
- You can accept in-kind donations as tournament prizes or raffle prizes to add a level of engagement and excitement to the event.
A golf tournament can bring in a lot of revenue, and it’s also a great excuse to get outside and enjoy a game with your supporters. If you think this might be the choice for you, make sure you work through the right checklist to get started!
5. Charity Concert
Holding a charity concert is a great way to reach new audiences, but you’ll need to market it effectively. Marketing should go beyond your existing donor base and reach out to local music-lovers who might want to attend. That’s where peer-to-peer fundraising comes in!
You can hold your peer-to-peer fundraiser as a lead-up to the concert, which will serve as marketing while also helping to pay for expenses related to the event.
Follow these steps to start planning:
- Choose the kind of show you want to put on. Determine the size of the event you think you can host and how many people you want to attend. Then, think about the type of music you want performed.
- Choose your venue. If you know where your event will take place, it’ll be easier to find performers and promote the event.
- Choose your lineup. The musicians you partner with will also be an important part of your marketing and fundraising. You can even ask them to set up team pages and fundraise as part of your peer-to-peer campaign leading up to the show.
- Promote the concert. There may be a portion of your audience that comes for the performers rather than for your organization, but you’ll still have a great opportunity to gain exposure for your nonprofit and get them involved.
- Sell tickets and accept donations. Make tickets available online beforehand so it’s easy for people to make a commitment to attend. Offer the audience a chance to make mobile donations at the event, too.
Your charity concert can be a huge hit if you take the time to carefully plan, incorporate your peer-to-peer fundraiser, and get everyone involved?—including the performers! Self promotion is an important part of running a nonprofit (and not promoting is a mistake made by many nonprofits), so be proud of your event and your cause.
There are many events you can tie into your peer-to-peer fundraiser, and hopefully this list gives you some inspiration! Beyond hosting these events, be sure to thank your donors and your participants for all the effort and support they’ve given you.
Part of running a successful event means investing in the right peer-to-peer fundraising platform. If you’re looking to upgrade your current process but aren’t sure where to start, check out this list of the top peer-to-peer fundraising tools. Good luck!
Joshua Meyer brings over 14 years of fundraising, volunteer management, and marketing experience to his current role as the Director of Marketing for OneCause. Currently, as a member of the OneCause sales and marketing team, Josh manages all of the firm’s marketing efforts. He has a passion for helping to create positive change and loves that his current role allows him to help nonprofits engage new donors and achieve their fundraising goals.