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Need new ways to keep your donors engaged? Running out of fresh, creative ideas for your next event? Get your supporters on their feet and out exploring with a peer-to-peer scavenger hunt fundraiser!

What is peer-to-peer fundraising?

Peer-to-peer fundraisers are a great, flexible fundraising option that gets your donors involved with your organization’s mission and helps your organization expand its reach. With a peer-to-peer fundraiser, rather than putting the responsibility of fundraising completely on your organization’s staff and volunteers, your supporters will help you spread the word and raise money on your behalf. 

While this might sound similar to crowdfunding, there are several key differences that set peer-to-peer fundraising apart. With crowdfunding, you’ll only need one webpage to direct people to for donations. The key to a successful crowdfunding campaign is promotion, so you’ll need to spend lots of time helping your crowdfunding page gain visibility through online sharing. 

Peer-to-peer fundraisers are a little more complicated in that multiple participants will have their own fundraising pages so they can raise money for you. Fundraisers will reach out to their networks and actively pursue donations for your organization with their own fundraising pages. Deciding which format works best for you will depend on how many resources you have and what your goals are.

How does peer-to-peer fundraising work?

When you plan a peer-to-peer fundraiser, you need to recruit volunteer fundraisers. In addition to your primary peer-to-peer campaign website, your fundraisers will each make their own webpages where they’ll collect donations from their family and friends. Your fundraisers will make donation asks across social media platforms, through email and text, and any other channel of communication they use. Your organization will support fundraisers throughout the campaign and track progress on individual fundraising pages and the general campaign website.

Planning any peer-to-peer fundraiser is a huge undertaking and relies upon how engaged your fundraisers are. Make your fundraiser more engaging with gamification elements like team competitions and a live fundraising leaderboard.

Plan your peer-to-peer fundraiser

The first step of the planning process for your peer-to-peer campaign should be setting goals for your fundraiser.

  • How much do you want to raise?
  • Is this a rolling or time-based campaign?
  • Who is your audience and what is the best way to reach them?

Try to make sure your goals are SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. If you’re having trouble with making your goals, use data from past fundraisers to determine what you can expect for the fundraiser you’re currently planning.

When you’re planning a peer-to-peer scavenger hunt, it’s also important to consider goals specific to your scavenger hunt. Will your scavenger hunt be an educational experience? Do you want to make it location-specific? Are there social aspects to the scavenger hunt, and will participants be in teams? The format of your scavenger hunt can also inform the format of your peer-to-peer campaign, so make sure you plan out the basics of your scavenger hunt before you start fundraising.

If you’re planning on setting up your scavenger hunt in your local community, plan to reach out to local fixtures in your community and businesses to see if they would be okay with being a part of the hunt. Their participation might be as small as hanging a QR code in a storefront window or interacting with your participants in person. Just make sure you have the proper permissions before sending your hunters off to seek out clues.

Find the right software

Planning a peer-to-peer fundraiser is time-consuming, so you’ll need all the help you can get. With the right software, designing a campaign website and helping your fundraisers design their individual fundraising pages doesn’t have to take up a lot of space on your plate. To make sure that you give your supporters the best experience possible, start by picking the right fundraising software for your campaign. Choose a peer-to-peer fundraising software that empowers you and your fundraisers to easily build fundraising websites with drag-and-drop elements and engaging features like a campaign thermometer.

Now that you’ve decided on the right fundraising software, it’s time to find a platform for your actual scavenger hunt event. For a peer-to-peer scavenger hunt, you’ll need event-specific software that makes it easy to build out a scavenger hunt event. Whether you want a pre-built and ready-to-go scavenger hunt or a hunt that you can customize, your software should be flexible and include features that keep your participants connected.

Qgiv partner, Eventzee, provides a custom mobile scavenger hunt platform, which is a great option for all different kinds of fundraisers. Whether it’s for 200 people or 2,000, Eventzee’s feature-filled and user-friendly smartphone app will get your fundraiser going in no time.

The Eventzee app is easily accessible via smartphone, and the Eventzee administrative tools make running a scavenger hunt easier than ever. Create challenges for your scavenger hunt, message players, approve submissions, and more, all from your computer or mobile device.

Market your scavenger hunt fundraiser

The success of any fundraiser is highly dependent on how well you market it, and for peer-to-peer fundraisers, this could not be truer. With multi-channel marketing, you can reach a wide audience to drive sign-ups for your fundraiser. Use email, social media, direct mail, and more to recruit fundraisers and raise awareness of your peer-to-peer campaign.

Your peer-to-peer fundraising website will also be a helpful marketing tool for your peer-to-peer fundraiser, so make sure it’s informative and includes pictures and impact statements to encourage registrations and donations. This will be the main resource for your fundraisers and donors, so it’s important to design it to be easily navigated and as useful as possible.

Provide fundraising guidance

Your supporters probably aren’t seasoned fundraisers, so they’ll need a little support to meet their fundraising goals. Create and compile a treasure trove of resources for your volunteer fundraisers so they don’t have to stress about how to solicit donations from their networks. Email and social media templates, a comprehensive collection of fundraising tips, and social sharing buttons will help fundraisers old and new meet their individual goals.

Stay in touch

Keep your supporters motivated and engaged by providing them with updates throughout your campaign. Send out emails to mark major fundraising milestones and let your fundraisers know how much money they’ve raised. When you have hesitant fundraisers, send them words of encouragement and let them know what their support means to your organization. Motivate them with impact statements, and make sure they have all the resources they need to be successful fundraisers.

Collect data

To improve your fundraising strategy and increase your impact, collect data throughout your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Keep your CRM database updated with your donors’ giving histories and how they’ve engaged with your organization. 

Manually updating your database throughout your campaign can take time and effort. Instead, try to find peer-to-peer software that can integrate with your CRM software. That way, whenever someone interacts with your organization by making a donation or filling out a volunteer form, you can collect that information and keep your database automatically up-to-date with donations, email addresses, phone numbers, and more.

Thank your donors

Each time you receive a donation, make sure you show your gratitude to your donors. Send out thank-you emails and add personalization tokens to make your emails more personal to your donors. Make sure you add impact statements to let your donors know how their gift will be used and help your mission. 

For an added bonus, give your fundraisers thank-you email templates so they can also send out their own messages of gratitude to their generous supporters. Sending out thank-you emails will leave your donors with a good impression of your organization. It’s one of the first steps to increasing your retention rates and building your donor base.

Final thoughts

With a peer-to-peer scavenger hunt fundraiser, you’ll keep your supporters engaged with a unique, one-of-a-kind fundraising event they’re sure to remember. For more resources on creating a successful peer-to-peer fundraiser, check out these links:

Looking for the right peer-to-peer fundraising software for your next event? Request a demo to get a personalized tour of Qgiv’s peer-to-peer fundraising features and tools!

Tiara is a Content Marketing Specialist at Qgiv, a company that’s dedicated to building powerful fundraising tools that empower nonprofits to achieve their mission. She’s a writer by trade and a passionate supporter of nonprofits by nature. When she’s not typing away at her keyboard for hours, you can find her dancing (if you can call it that) at concerts, drinking copious amounts of English Breakfast Tea, and daydreaming about traveling the world.