peer to peer holiday fundraising

During the final months of the year, fundraising teams start to get really creative in finding ways to reach annual fundraising goals. And given that 30% of all nonprofit donations occur in December alone, the extra creativity is certainly worth the effort! So if you’re brainstorming ways to maximize year-end giving, consider weaving peer to peer (P2P) fundraising campaigns into the mix. Between #GivingTuesday, donating in lieu of holiday presents, and New Years Eve festivities, there are many opportunities to spread your mission through peer to peer giving. Here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing.

The #GivingTuesday Amazing Race

Add some fun to #GivingTuesday with friendly competition. Gamify the global day of giving by creating a peer to peer fundraising challenge that everyone wants in on. Encourage your supporters to create a #GivingTuesday Team and launch their own 24-hour giving marathon— how much money can each team raise in 24 hours?

This is a perfect challenge for corporate teams, community groups, or friends and family to spread a wave of giving.

And what do the “winners” always receive at the end of a race? An award, of course! Honor the three Teams who raise the most money, and shoutout your most spirited, passionate, and creative Teams, too. If you want to go a step further, you can even make the race into a mini virtual event by hosting a live kick-off, engaging your social network throughout the day, and celebrating the day’s success with a virtual award happy hour.

Wish List for a Better World

Encourage your supporters to create personal wish lists they can share with their networks. If your organization offers a holiday fundraising catalog, start there to gather wish list items. Otherwise, come up with a list of specific causes that your organization supports. For instance, a child sponsorship organization could offer the following wish list items:

  • A hot meal for a child ~ $10
  • A new pair of shoes ~ $50
  • Laptop for a student ~ $150
  • 1 year of education ~ $500

Supporters can choose one (or more!) item(s) from your gift list and ask for help funding those gifts or causes. Then, in just a few clicks, they’ll be gathering donations while raising awareness for your mission.

Instead of Gifts

Why spend hours online shopping for holiday gifts when you can make a thoughtful donation on someone’s behalf? This is a great sentiment to encourage this holiday season. Create an “Instead of Gifts” holiday P2P campaign in which supporters can create their own personal fundraising pages. Encourage them to collect donations for your organization in lieu of holiday gifts.

This reduces the stress of holiday gift giving and all that it entails (purchasing, shipping, thanking, etc.) and also creates a lasting change that donors will feel long after the holiday decorations are packed away for another year.

Give the Gift of ___ This Holiday Season

We know your mission is life changing. But can you quantify specifically how funds impact the community? If so, consider creating a P2P campaign around giving the gift of action this holiday season.

Do you know that a $30 donation gives clean water to someone for a lifetime? Or that $50 feeds a family for a week? These statistics become your rally cry, and you can urge supporters to raise enough money to help a certain number of people in need. Rather than tracking the amount raised, track success by the number of people funded. By doing this, the impact of the P2P fundraiser will be cherished and celebrated by both the fundraiser and their donor community.

New Year’s Eve

Ringing in 2021 will likely be different than ever before, which is a great opportunity for fun and creativity during the last few days of the year. Why not consider hosting a virtual NYE Countdown Party for your supporters and their friends? Communities, families, and friend groups can host small gatherings in their homes while tuning into a live countdown to 2021. All while celebrating with donations toward a great cause!

Just like the rest of 2020, year-end fundraising will require creativity and courage. So give yourself permission to try something new! Peer to peer fundraising is a great strategy to experiment with and an excellent way to maximize your campaign efforts. Energize your key supporters, provide them with a path to share your message, and let the holiday fundraising magic begin!


Carly is a Digital Fundraising Strategist with decades of experience creating vibrant, engaging online fundraising campaigns. Carly excels in revenue generation, fundraiser stewardship, virtual events, and donor retention. 

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