Social media is no longer a “new and shiny” tool. Rather, organizations are setting goals and creating strategy for its use. The following statistics from the 2012 Nonprofit Social Benchmark Report are noteworthy and demonstrate continued growth in social media channels:

· 98 Percent of respondents have a presence on Facebook;

· The average respondent’s Facebook & Twitter communities grew by 30 and 81 percent respectively;

· Budgets and staffing for commercial social networks continue to climb and 28 percent of respondents “created a new social media position” to focus on their program.

The growth of social media impacts the success of peer-to-peer fundraising because event participants use social media to promote their own efforts. Participants “crowd source” funds through social media by telling friends and family why they’re raising money for a cause. An established nonprofit presence in social media will serve to strengthen such peer-to-peer efforts.

Run walk ride The use of peer-to-peer platforms to raise money also continues to gain traction. According to the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council, the top thirty “thon” fundraising programs raised $1.68 billion in 2012. Yet there remains plenty of room for expansion. Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council President David Hessekiel explains: “Double-digit growth by programs in the middle and lower reaches of the Run Walk Ride Thirty Survey show that there is still substantial room for growth in this field.”

How might you join the growth in peer-to-peer fundraising? To start, make sure you have the basics in place.

Choose your platform. Explore in-house options available through your CRM or consider a standalone platform such as Avectra’s crowd-contributing Idea Starter™.

Rob Wu of Causevox recommends asking the following questions when choosing your platform:

· Can you customize the platform for branding?

· Is the platform easy to use?

· Are there content creation tools to help you optimize your search engine optimization (SEO)?

Create a tangible fundraising message that is consistent with your brand and packed with emotional punch! What’s compelling about your cause? An irresistible message is the only way people will notice your campaign.

Prioritize reach. Robert Wolfe, Co-founder of Crowdrise reminds us: “No one will attain reach without participants having an audience for their broadcast…While it’s important to know how to tell your story, as noted above, it’s essential to tell your story to as many people as possible.”

Use social media to broaden your nonprofit’s reach and broadcast individual peer-to-peer fundraisers’ stories. Develop a plan to support your peer-to-peer fundraising efforts including:

· Schedule recurring blogs about your “Team’s” campaign and progress toward its goals, key messages, use of funds, and emotional stories from your participants.

· Recognize individual efforts, especially the “champions”, who are building a team and wide constituent network on social media platforms.

· Not all participants will understand how to tell their story via social media. Offer suggestions and tips to help them reach their friends and potential supporters.

· Use your Social CRM to monitor the feedback and comments received from nonprofit posts about the campaign and on participants’ fundraising pages. Who are these new supporters? Integrate this information into your donor database.

Peer-to-Peer fundraising is about creating a platform for your most involved supporters to share their passion and generate awareness of your nonprofit. Through social media, participants create a community that offers their friends a way to become part of the solution. Although the “cat is already out of the bag” with many nonprofits already successfully using peer-to-peer fundraising events (see list below), there’s still plenty of opportunity to activate your own peer-to peer network using social media.. Join in!


The top ten programs by total gross revenue in 2012 were: 

  1. $407.5 million – Relay for Life, American Cancer Society
  2. $126. 8 million – Race for the Cure, Susan G Komen for the Cure
  3. $107.0 million – March for Babies, March of Dimes
  4. $97.8 million – Heart Walk, American Heart Association
  5. $82.3 million –  Bike MS, National MS Society
  6. $81.0 million – Walk to Cure Diabetes, JDRF
  7. $77.4 million – Team In Training, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  8. $68.0 million – Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, American Cancer Society
  9. $60.6 million – Jump Rope for Heart, American Heart Association
  10. $57.5 million – 3-Day for the Cure, Susan G. Komen for the Cure

 Published by the Run Walk Ride Council.

Top thirty list.