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30 Great Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Ideas: A Complete Guide (2021)

Looking to run a fundraiser? Stuck for ideas? We have a few ideas to get you started.

March 15, 2021

Peer to Peer Fundraising (or P2P for those in the know!) is a fundraising strategy in which supporters ask friends and family to donate to a cause close to their heart. Anyone can do anything to raise funds, the only limit is your imagination!

This type of fundraising can be done either as an individual or through mobilising other supporters, who then reach out to friends, family and other community members by sharing their page on social media. Members of their networks donate through a fundraising page.

It could even be as simple as turning an event that may already be happening in your life into an act that can make the world a better place.

Below are a few ideas to help you get started.

During COVID-19 it’s easy enough to turn many of these ideas into virtual fundraising events, while some, such as 5ks and scavenger hunts, can be safe with staggered start times, ensuring social distancing.

1. Hold a Bake Sale

A good old-fashioned bake sale in aid of a worthy non-profit organisation, such as the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, is always going to go down a treat! Pick a favourite recipe and bake some biscuits or cakes for a cause. Exchange treats for donations in a public place, for example,at schools or churches, or take orders online.

2. Do a Fun Run (or Walk or Cycle)

Either organise a fun run, rallying your networks to participate, or use your next running event to encourage your friends and family to give to a project you love. Get creative and set your fundraising goal to match how many kilometres you are running, for example, aim to raise $5k for your 5km run. This could also work for a cycling or walking event.These can all be done as virtual events, with everyone participating separately at a time of their choosing, rather than together in the more traditional way.

3. Do a “Thon”-Style Event

Collect pledges, and then do the designated activity for as long as possible, for example, for walkathons, pledged donations are collected for each kilometre walked. The further you go, the more money you raise. Once the event wraps up, donors pay their pledged amount. In addition to a walkathon, the options are endless - bowl-a-thon, read-a-thon (works well for children), swim-a-thon, dance-a-thon.

4. Donate Your Birthday

Do you really need another gadget? Why not donate your birthday to a cause by asking friends and family to give to your peer-to-peer fundraiser instead of buying gifts this year?

5. Instagram Challenge

Create a challenge that people can participate in on Instagram stories, such as sharing a different picture, memory or song every day. It could be themed to your charity, so if you are raising funds for the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, people could share their favourite wildlife images, and encourage them to tag you in every day’s entry. Include a fundraising element by asking people to pay for a share on your page. The more shares they receive, the more likely they are to win a prize.

6. Craft Fairs

Encourage local artists to create unique pieces to be sold at your craft fair. Many supporters will jump at the opportunity to buy quality products made in their own community and local artisans will enjoy showing off their handiwork for a good cause. From jewellery to pottery, the possibilities are endless! Encouraging your vendors to raise the most fund by selling their wares ( with part-proceeds going to the charity) and also accepting donations. Offer the top fundraisers prizes.

7. Host a game night

Gamble for good! Host an event such as a poker evening and place bets. Instead of the winner taking the money for themselves, they get to donate it to their favourite charity. How’s that for a “win-win”?

8. Set a personal challenge

Take a polar plunge or grow a beard - it doesn’t matter what whacky and wild thing you do as long as your friends would pay good money to see it happen. Post your progress on social media to get people amped!

9. Donations instead of wedding gifts

Make the world a part of your happily ever! Let your guests support the charity close to your heart instead of buying you things that may just gather dust.

10. Organise a pub crawl

Have fun and do good at the same time! Get your mates together for a pub/coffee/dessert/anything crawl around town. Grab a small donation from them before you hit the streets. Ask businesses ahead of time if they can offer any discounts for your event. Adding a theme and wearing costumes will make it even more festive!

11. Give-It-Up Challenge

Select your favourite food or drink, which you consume regularly, for example coffee, alcohol or sweets, and, each time you go to buy it, donate the money to your non-profit organisation instead. Friends and family may pledge their support, so set a time frame, for example, a month, so everyone knows what they’re up against. Kick bad habits and raise money for good at the same time!

12. Fear Factor Challenge

Face your wildest fears with a fear factor challenge, and you can get very creative here, for example, if you are agoraphobic, climb a rock wall, or eat your most outrageous and detested foods. Your network can donate for each activity completed.

13. 10,000 Steps Challenge

Make a positive and healthy change with a 10,000 steps challenge. Choose a time frame, such as one month, and each day attempt to walk at least 10,000 steps, which can be measured by using a smartwatch or downloading a free pedometer app. Supporters can donate for each day thechallenge is completed. This promotes a healthy lifestyle and raises money for a good cause at the same time.

14. Head Shaving Challenge

If you are brave, you could promise to shave your head in exchange for donations. Build momentum around the fundraiser by setting a deadline. Once that deadline hits, shave your head and share it on your social media pages.

15. Turn Your Baby Shower into a Selfless Act

Welcome a little person into this world with a selfless act by encouraging guests to donate to a cause rather than bringing a gift. Not a bad way to start life, knowing as you grow up that your birth helped others!

16. Throw a Meaningful Party

Throw a party with a theme depending on the time of the year, for example, Halloween or Christmas, and ask each guest to make a small donation at the door. There’s no better way to celebrate the season than with some generosity.

17. Make Giving Part of Your Anniversary

Celebrate an anniversary, whether it’s a wedding anniversary, the launch of a company or a family reunion, with a gesture of giving. There are a number of ways to incorporate philanthropy into your festivities. Ask supporters to donate $1 for every year you are observing!

18. Graduate For Good

Celebrate your university graduation or another educational achievement by starting a fundraiser.

19. Make Your Travel More Meaningful

Make your next adventure count. Start a fundraiser for a project in the country you are visiting. So if you are planning a trip to Africa, why not help conserve its wildlife and natural habitats by supporting the work of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation? It’s ticking two boxes in one hit.

20. Have a Grand Opening for Good

If you own a business, use your platform to help a community in need. Donate proceeds from a special sale or host a 50/50 raffle with your products to support your favourite cause.

21. Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt where people walk, bike or drive to pre-assigned locations in your area and answer questions at each site. At each place, there are questions related to a theme such as environmental, wildlife etc. Participants could form teams with each person making a donation to play. It could culminate in an outdoor party and prizegiving.

22. Online Cookalong

Teach a live cooking class on one of the many hosting platforms, such as Zoom or Facebook Live, that people can join from their kitchen. Either the ingredients or a shopping list could be sent out in advance. At the end, everyone can sit down and enjoy their meals together – virtually! To participate a donation or entrance fee could be paid to the chosen cause.

23. Giving Days

A sense of urgency can spark motivation and go a long way in peer-to-peer fundraising. Mark your calendar for existing giving days, such as #GivingTuesday, which are 24-hour campaigns that challenge donors to raise as much money as they can. Alternatively, you can create your own giving days. Either way, you’ll need to encourage your peer-to-peer fundraisers to participate in a social media blast where they share their personal campaign pages online.

24. Viral Social Media Campaign

Think of the Ice Bucket Challenge benefitting ALS which went everywhere on social media, starting with one person’s network and multiplying from there. Once you’ve decided on your challenge, enlist the help of your community to initiate it. Encourage them to create videos completing the challenge. Then, they'll post them on their social media platforms with a link to your donations page and nominate three friends to do the same. The cycle continues as they tag the next three challengers.

25. Teleparty Movie Night

Grab some popcorn! Movie nights are a tremendous way to raise money and enjoy a cosy night with a great flick. While you will have to secure the rights to the film of your choice, the rest of the planning for this fundraising event is relatively simple - use Netflix Party - send the link to your team or peersand link to your donation page. Ask your team to donate the price of a movie ticket to your page.

26. Car Wash

Car washes are low-cost, quick, and easy ways to bring in funding. You’ll just need to invest in soap, sponges, and promotion, as well as rallying a team of volunteers. You can add an element of fun by making it a team fundraising competition—who can wash the most cars? Between the event’s simplicity and everyone being outdoors, it’s hard to find a better fundraiser!

27. A Serve –a– Thon

A Serve-a-Thon raises money through performing a necessarycommunity service. Participants can accept pledges for the amount of litter they pick up. They can ask for donations from their families, friends, and networks, with pledges being made either per item or per kilogram of rubbish collected. So recruit volunteers, collect pledges, and start cleaning.

28. A Trivia Night

A trivia competition is always a lot of fun. Your triviaquestions could be framed around your cause so that your evening is both entertaining and educational. Anyone can compete in a trivia tournament, but also, almost anyone can plan one with next to no hassle.

29. Daily Exercise Challenge

Participate in a sponsored movement challenge, building on what was done the previous day. For example, for a push up challenge, on the first day of the month, five push ups were done, so increase this to 100 by the end of the month. Progress can be tracked on social media, and make sure the charity is tagged to receive the full benefit. It can be turned into a pledge fundraiser, where supporters promise to donate a certain amount for each day the challenger lasts. Other ideas are an everyday yoga challenge, a 30-day ab challenge.

30.  Golf Outings

Teams can work together to raise more money leading up to the tournament and recruit other people to participate.  Bring in sponsors to host prizes or recognition for achievements like “hole in ones” to add to the competition. Recruit volunteers to offer additional raffle items during the event. This can work exactly like traditional tournaments, but this time, participants collect pledges and donations online instead of in person.

You can start your own peer to peer fundraising campaign in two easy steps: