How Peer-to-Peer Campaigns Spread Awareness for Your Cause

As a nonprofit professional, one of your main goals is to spread awareness of your mission. You can accomplish this in several ways, including organizing a peer-to-peer campaign. These campaigns spread awareness by recruiting your nonprofit’s supporters to reach out to their friends and family, have conversations about your cause, and fundraise on your behalf.


Peer-to-peer campaigns can take many forms. For example, you might ask supporters to host a social media fundraising campaign on your behalf for their birthday. Or, you can host a pledge fundraising event like a swimathon, where friends and family who promised to donate can gather and cheer their loved ones on. 


To inspire your nonprofit, we’ll explore the benefits of peer-to-peer campaigns before diving into strategies for success.

3 ways peer-to-peer campaigns increase awareness

During a peer-to-peer campaign, participants share their donation pages with their friends and family to garner donations for your nonprofit. By having supporters get in touch with their personal networks on your nonprofit’s behalf, these campaigns can help your nonprofit increase awareness in the following ways:


  1. Greater outreach. By tapping into your supporters’ networks, you’ll be able to reach a large number of potential donors your nonprofit might not otherwise have access to. 
  2. Social proof. When a supporter shares information about your peer-to-peer campaign with their network, it generates social proof for your nonprofit because the information is coming from a trusted source rather than through cold outreach. This helps to recruit new supporters for your campaign.
  3. Increased engagement. Peer-to-peer campaigns give your supporters a more hands-on way to engage with your nonprofit. Through their participation, supporters can help build a community around your nonprofit, resulting in grassroots action on behalf of your cause. Grassroots Unwired’s guide to community advocacy emphasizes that forging these connections is one of the first steps for eventually advocating change to policymakers.


Aside from increasing awareness of your nonprofit’s cause, peer-to-peer campaigns are cost-effective, easily scaled to your nonprofit’s unique needs, and provide valuable data about your supporters. This makes them an ideal campaign type to add to your fundraising plan.

3 strategies for hosting a great peer-to-peer campaign

Whether you’re hosting a purely online campaign or a pledge fundraising campaign, apply the following strategies to create a great peer-to-peer campaign.

1. Empower your participants.

Both the fundraising and outreach success of your peer-to-peer campaign depends on your participants. Give them the support they need by following these steps:


  • Create an onboarding program: While your supporters may be passionate about your cause, they may not have any previous fundraising experience. Create a comprehensive onboarding program that trains your supporters on how to talk about your cause, set up their peer-to-peer campaign pages, and ask for donations.
  • Readily provide resources and support: After onboarding, provide participants with resources that they can refer back to, such as templates for email donation appeals or instructions for creating their giving page. Set up a group chat through a messaging platform such as Slack, and lend your continued support by answering questions and encouraging participants to help one another when you’re not readily available.
  • Set clear and attainable goals: Establish a clear goal for your overall peer-to-peer campaign, and encourage participants to set their own personal fundraising goals. Base your goal on past fundraising metrics to ensure that it is attainable but challenging to push participants to excel.
  • Foster a collaborative environment: All of your fundraising participants are working towards a common goal: helping your nonprofit. To this end, encourage them to collaborate and share strategies or tips they come up with to improve fundraising.
  • Celebrate wins: To show your appreciation for the work participants do on behalf of your nonprofit, celebrate wins with them. Recognize when participants receive their first donation, meet their personal fundraising goals, or accomplish anything else significant to motivate them. At the campaign’s end, host an event specifically for appreciating your participants.


Aside from empowering your existing peer-to-peer fundraising participants, you’ll also want to attract new ones. Promote the opportunity to engage with your campaign through multiple marketing channels such as your website and email list to ensure that you reach all of your most dedicated supporters.

2. Use social media.

When used correctly, social media is a powerful tool for greatly increasing your nonprofit’s reach. The same applies to your peer-to-peer fundraising participants, who can garner donations by sharing their giving pages with their social media networks. Consider asking them to promote your campaign on the following platforms:

  • Facebook. Supporters can easily share posts your nonprofit’s Facebook posts and conveniently create posts promoting your overall campaign and their specific giving pages.
    • Instagram. This social media platform relies on image posts, making it ideal for sharing well-designed graphics and images relating to your campaign. Design a set of images that your participants can add to their Instagram posts.
  • TikTok. If participants are from younger generations such as Gen Z or if you’d like to reach a younger audience, short and engaging video content on TikTok can be an effective method for recruiting participants and soliciting donations.


Encourage supporters to create promotional material for social media platforms that their networks and your other supporters frequent. NPOInfo suggests investing in a social media append to gain information about your existing supporters’ data and determine which social media platforms they use.

3. Invest in peer-to-peer fundraising software.

To support your campaign, choose an easy-to-use peer-to-peer fundraising software solution. These tools allow your campaign’s participants to create their individual giving pages and integrate buttons for easy email and social media sharing to support your promotional efforts. They also equip your nonprofit with the ability to track your participants’ progress and create communication channels that participants can use when they need help.


While it’s possible to host a peer-to-peer campaign without using peer-to-peer fundraising software, having such a solution will help you streamline your nonprofit’s campaign operations. Furthermore, if participants have an easy time creating and promoting their pages, they’ll have a more positive experience during your campaign and will be able to reach a greater number of potential donors.


Peer-to-peer campaigns can benefit your nonprofit in multiple ways, including helping you spread awareness of your cause. Although much of the responsibility is on your participants, ensure that your team is doing all they can to create a successful campaign. Create a well-designed webpage with key information about your campaign, establish a thorough marketing and promotion strategy, and recruit passionate volunteers who are happy to help.