How to use Peer-to-Peer Networks to Your Advantage

When leading fundraising efforts, it’s important to focus on the individual donor. Targeting messages to spark interest and effective communication are all vital. Gaining donors’ trust and support is something that all non-profits should be spending time and effort on.

However, fundraising expert Derek Feldman, gives advice on how to look beyond the donation of money or time, when building relationships with donors. By looking at things other than giving amounts, organizations can build a strong relationship. These existing donors can then become a valuable resource to spread the word about your organization, through many available platforms and networks.

Social networking and peer-to-peer models have changed how fundraising is done in modern times. Although online giving is popular and deserves a ton of deserved credit, it is all thanks to peer-to-peer relationships, according to Feldman.

Today, donors have many platforms to give on, whether it be social media or a website. These multiple platforms allow peer-to-peer relationships and communication to be more effective, and outreach is even stronger than before. In the past, fundraising took extensive efforts in finding people who were connected on a personal level, in order to reach more givers.

However, modern peer-to-peer fundraising has now made its way to the core of many organizational fundraising efforts. For example, organizations like charity:water utilize digital platforms to focus on donors’ birthdays as an annual call to action. This call to action can then be shared via social networks and the web, in order to reach out to others.

This isn’t to say your nonprofit should put all of its attention and efforts into social networks and media platforms. However, it is vital that fundraisers be good at 1.) creating and maintaining relationships with supporters; and 2.) developing and managing peer-to-peer networks.

For example, universities should focus on engaging alumni through things like support groups, visiting with them when they are on campus, and providing updates on what is new within their Alma mater.

Taking the time to get to know your donors is important in the nonprofit world; maintaining a relationship is even more important. Peer-to-peer networks are also crucial to engagement of donors and spreading your horizons to new supporters. Cultivating lasting support works best when showing your donors you really care, beyond the time and money they are willing to give.

About the Author: Hannah is an undergraduate at The University of Iowa, studying Communication Studies and Journalism. She hopes to one day work in Fashion Public Relations.


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