Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Amid Social Distancing
Finding ways to give back while respecting social distancing guidelines can be a challenge. But with a little creativity and virtual know-how, you can engage your loyal supporters and their networks to raise funds, right from their own home.
By having them take action, your constituents become a part of the solution. Every dollar raised translates to a meaningful impact for the constituents you serve. Below are some helpful tips and tricks along with a step-by-step guide to help get your donors started.
Step 1 – Choose a fun activity that will appeal to your friends and loved ones.
PERSONAL FUNDRAISING: A positive bi-product of social distancing is that many of us have a lot more time on our hands – to catch up on must-see TV, movies we missed, and more. Here’s how your couch time can benefit a cause:
- Binge Watching: Make a list of your target programming and determine your pledge – for example, for every episode/film you watch, you will donate $X to your organization! Invite your friends to match your donation.
- Catch the Catchphrase: Watching a show with a well-known catchphrase? Add a $1 to a jar every time you hear the catchphrase while you’re watching. Catch Phrase examples: “That’s what she said!” or “Book ‘em Dano.” Remember the old Sting classic, “Roxanne”?
(DISTANT) SOCIAL FUNDRAISING: Staying in touch with loved ones during this period of isolation is especially important. With free and easy-to-use platforms like FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom you can take advantage of group video capabilities, encourage conversation, and consider adding a contribution to participate. You have the option to collect donations from your friends using Venmo or simply circulate the donation link for everyone to process directly.
- Have a Happy Hour: Invite your colleagues and friends to participate in a happy hour from the comfort of their own homes. Whether raising a glass of wine or a cup of tea, ask attendees to donate what they would be spending on the bar tab/tip, while spending quality time catching up!
- Donate a Dinner Party: Everyone brings their own meal (you can do brown bag or something fancier) to your Zoom dinner chat and then agrees to donate the equivalent cost of a meal – or what they would have spent on a dinner out at your favorite restaurant.
- Share Your Skills: Utilize your artistic, culinary, or musical skills by live-streaming lessons to your friends and family. Encourage participants to donate supply costs.
COMPETITIVE FUNDRAISERS: Who doesn’t enjoy a little friendly competition? Take advantage of the spring weather – it’s the perfect time to get moving outside!
- Display of Athleticism: Challenge your friends to a 25/50/100 Push-Up Challenge, Timed Wall-Sits, or a Virtual Bike/Run/Walk with a specific distance/time limit. For every push-up, wall-sit, or mile biked/run/walked each participant pledges to donate $2 to your organization.
- Host A Game Night: Gather friends virtually and play together. Request an entrance fee donation to join the virtual platform or have a 50/50 style pot with the winner taking home half and the other half being donated to your organization.
Step 2 – Plan and promote your fundraiser.
INVITE FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO SUPPORT THE CAUSE!
- Whether you are a design wiz or opt to use a time-saving Canva template, be sure to share all of the important details about your event – the who, what, when, where, and why.
- Create a personal campaign! Create a personal donation page or simply tag your organization to amplify your message with your organization’s followers.
- Post your Save the Date and/or Invitation on all of your social media accounts, with a plan to keep the communication going with regular reminders.
- Be sure to provide background about the cause, why it is meaningful to you and how all funds raised will make a difference.
SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
- “Hello, friends! During this time of social distancing, it is more necessary than ever to support non-profit organizations that are addressing the vital needs of our community. I am hosting an <Insert Fundraising Activity/Virtual Event Here> to benefit XYZ and I would like to invite each one of you to join me. XYZ provides on-the-ground programs and services with a commitment to XXXXX. All funds raised will be donated to XYZ to support their efforts in the wake of COVID-19.” <Insert Your Organization or Your Personal Donation Link>
- “For every episode of <Insert TV Show Title Here> that I watch, I will be donating $X to XYZ. I challenge you to do the same! #WatchForACause” <Insert Your Organization or Your Personal Donation Link>
- “Happy Hour/Dinner with the best colleagues around! Tonight, we’re donating the $$ that would normally go to our bill to XYZ.” Shared with a photo of all your friends enjoying their drink or dinner of choice! <Insert Your Organization or Your Personal Donation Link>
- “Hi everyone! Please consider joining my fundraiser to help XYZ continue their amazing services during this uncertain time. I would like to challenge you to bike/run/walk as much as you want over the next five days and for every logged mile I will personally donate $X to XYZ. If you would like to participate, send me a text and a picture of how many miles you’ve completed. Please tag any friends you think would like to participate too! If you would like to make a direct donation, here is a link to their donation page!”
Step 3 – Gather materials and get ready to have fun!
MAKE A LIST OF SUPPLIES NEEDED TO PARTICIPATE:
- If you are doing an Instagram Live Cook-Off, establish a clear list of ingredients and materials to have on hand so that you and your participants can get organized for the big day.
UPDATE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ON YOUR PROGRESS:
- Keep your friends and family in the loop as you prepare and to highlight your fundraising success. Make sure to thank your donors if you are using a personal donation page.
Example: Thank you for your support! No matter the distance between each of us, this is a time for connection. We know that crises hit those in poverty the hardest, with a longer and more complex path to recovery. Your support of XYZ moves us one step closer to a sense of normal for the most vulnerable in our midst. If you have any questions or need additional support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to an XYZ staff member.