Cause Blog

Why peer-to-peer fundraising is the future of Cause Marketing.

Face it: Cause Marketing is becoming as competitive as selling products. A game changer for many companies’ success, Cause Marketing efforts can now outperform their traditional marketing. But, while a company may be successfully at selling a hundred-year-old product, they’re discovering that their Cause Marketing must evolve in order to keep up with their competitor’s Cause Marketing. 

The problem with sponsorship.

The old model of Cause Marketing often relied on pure sponsorship: you’d pay and get your logo on T-shirts and a finish line banner at a fundraising walk. You may have felt you “owned” that walk as the biggest sponsor, but the reality is that it was basically just an advertising purchase. Sponsorship like that typically supports the infrastructure of the event or organization. While it may increase the fundraising they can accomplish, those dollars are usually not applied to the mission itself. As Cause Marketing becomes more and more results driven, it becomes logical to want to see those dollars actually buying some tangible good and having more engagement than just a logo impression.

Fundraising, the next stage of Cause Marketing. 

While corporate donations, employee giving and dollars-at-the-register that are asked of your customers can be substantial, it’s still a small amount compared to what you could be bringing to your cause by getting your stakeholders to fundraise for you. Your customers, employees, alumni employees, suppliers, stockholders and board members can show a deeper level of commitment to your cause by peer-to-peer fundraising through their networks. Not only does this generate substantially more dollars than them donating, it builds relationships and makes a positive impression on all the potential customers you’re being introduced to through your stakeholders. 

What’s peer-to-peer fundraising?

Think of it as digital door-to-door donations. Your stakeholders come to your Cause Marketing site, create a fundraising page and then use email and social tools to ask their friends and family to donate to your cause. The impact you have on your cause can multiply greatly through peer-to-peer fundraising. It can be used for physical events you’ve created, virtual events, campaigns or personal fundraisers created by an individual. 

Why is fundraising better than seeking donations?

The benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising over basic giving are numerous:

  1. Substantial increase of funds for the cause. Where a stakeholder may donate $10 themselves, they can easily fundraise $1,000 through their network. Fundraising can generate substantially more than basic giving bringing many more dollars to your cause.

  2. And this is in addition to giving. When someone fundraises for you, it doesn’t mean they’ll stop giving to your cause. The deeper commitment of someone who fundraises usually means they’ll continue to give themselves. Their fundraising is in addition to what they’re already giving.

  3. Increase in stakeholder engagement with your cause. When a supporter fundraises for you, they’ve made a big commitment to your cause. This vests them with your cause more deeply than if they just donated, since they feel their efforts will have a bigger impact. When stakeholders like potential customers, potential employees and potential investors are introduced to you through your cause, they’ll naturally get introduced to your company as their engagement grows.

  4. Introduction to your stakeholder's network. According to the Pew Research Center, the average Facebook user has 669 people in their overall network.  That’s almost 700 people that your cause and company could be introduced to through the fundraising page of each of your cause supporters. (Incidentally, in our peer-to-peer fundraising platform DonorDrive, about 90% of our social donations come through Facebook.)

  5. Supporters do the work. In peer-to-peer fundraising, you enlist your cause supporters to do the asking on your behalf. For the most part “enlisting” just involves letting your engaged stakeholders know that an event or campaign is happening, or giving them the option to create their own campaign to fundraise. When they know the tools to fundraise are available, it becomes a natural expression of their commitment to the cause.

As Cause Marketing evolves, companies want to generate more dollars, raise more awareness, and get more people involved so they can have a bigger impact on the cause and become more known for their association with it. Fundraising can be the easy way to make all this happen.