ake sure you put the fun in your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns so your event is fun for everyone. That is the key to success. The more fun the merrier. It’s the best way to ensure that all of the time and effort spent on recruiting participants pays off next year. They’ll all come back and bring their friends! What a terrific way to leverage volunteers of all stripes for your cause! Here are three easy fundraising ideas that we’ve found that boost your chances of success and make sure you are a wildly successful fundraiser.

This is How To Put the Fun in Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns!

1. The Game is On!

These three types of events all work great for peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. It doesn’t have to be all athletic competitions all the time, although they work REALLY well.

Competitive Event

This is what is the norm today for peer-to-peer fundraisers — triathlons, marathons, bicycle races, and sports tournaments of every stripe. We wrote about a dance marathon here. They’re all great, but don’t let that be the end of the road for your ideas. When you think about it, almost anything can be turned into a competition. Get your gamification hat on and see where your imagination goes. Remember Movember? How about eating contests? Board games, jump rope, pet show, Frisbee golf, watermelon or pumpkin growing, or barbeque (yes, barbeque is a competitive thing, seriously)?

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns

Personal Challenge or Event

This is a fun way to get your current donors, volunteers, and staff involved in fundraising. It also gives them a chance to tell everyone they know (their PEERS, get it?) about your cause and your organization. Beyond an initial gift, you also want to get names, addresses, and email addresses from all of the donors. Personal challenges are great list builders. If you are using a peer-to-peer fundraising platform (yes, tell me you are?) you can direct all of the donors to a landing page to donate and track progress toward your goal. It also collects all of that juicy list building goodness for you. Challenges and events come in a wide variety of flavors, just like competitions. Almost anything athletic fits — bike ride across the _____, climb mount ____, walk the _____, horse ride to ____, swim to ____. You get the idea, it’s a personal competition with yourself. But it doesn’t have to be athletic either. A personal event like a birthday or anniversary can work. It doesn’t have to be a wedding anniversary either. It could be tied to a holiday, specific month, or season. Keep an open mind.

Group Activity

Group activities are awesome because they can transcend age and ability barriers. It’s just a way to get everyone together doing something fun for a cause and raising some money in the process. Think walks, chalk drawing, cakewalk, fun ride, museum tour, a day at ____, pet walks, line the street for ____, build a ____, knit a bunch of ___, paint a mural for ___, or gourmet dinner at your place for ___. The idea is to have fun. Have participants donate. Have participants raise funds if it makes sense. Remember that a group activity can be the gateway drug for developing committed volunteers and donors. It’s that all important opportunity to GET TO TRY your organization and cause! Make sure they have a REMARKABLE time! Then they will remark to their friends and next year will be even better.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns

2. But Wait, There’s More!

Once you’ve settled on the type of peer-to-peer fundraising campaign event you’re going use, there are some things you can do to make it wildly successful. What’s better than winning a prize? Winning lots of prizes! Give awards throughout the campaign/event to build momentum. What’s better than lots of prizes? Surprise prizes! We’ve found it’s a super incentive to fundraising participants to find out they’ve won a prize they didn’t know about. Hold back a few of your prizes from your initial promotions and use them as surprise prizes. You’ll be surprised how surprised everyone is and how remarkable it makes your cause look. Branded merchandise is widely available and fairly cost effective. It works great for all of the prizes you need to be giving away for hitting milestones. This is a good time to solicit donated coupons and gift cards from sponsors. They make good prizes too.

3. You Look Marvelous!

Hats, shirts, and costumes are great ways to have fun and be seen. They don’t have to be expensive, but if they are cool, you can get a LOT of people involved. This is a time to lean on your designer friends. Teams in particular appreciate looking uniform. T-shirts and hats make that possible. If they are cool, they get worn all over the world after your event. Mobile outdoor advertising for next year! If the design is cool AND different every year, it becomes a collectible. Even more incentive to come back next year! Costumes are a great way to have fun! It also lets you get away with not being the fastest team in the race — you’re the team dressed like rubber ducks! We’ve seen this kind of thing really take off and sometimes have a life of its own. If you can come across or make costumes that are remarkable, again, everyone will remark. You’ll even get press coverage. Who knows, you may be the next big Internet meme? If your costumes take off, consider expanding your view of the brand you’ve created. If you’re dressed as rubber ducks for the bike race, next year you can get a fast team involved with rubber duck inspired bike racing togs. If it works in your town, maybe you could take it on the road? That’s how you put the fun in peer-to-peer fundraising. Now you’re having fun!

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