When planning a fundraiser for your school, creativity is key. You want to choose a fundraiser that can raise a lot of funds for your school’s programs, classes, etc. But you also want to choose one that will engage students and get them excited to participate.
Leveraging a peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising campaign is an excellent way to motivate your students to do their best to raise money for their school. The outcome of these types of fundraisers relies heavily on the effort students put in.
What is peer-to-peer fundraising?
In general, peer-to-peer fundraising is a powerful social giving tool that can be used by more groups than just schools. Nonprofits use P2P as a way to expand their donor networks and work toward their missions.
During a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, nonprofits recruit their supporters to fundraise on their behalf. According to the OneCause guide to peer-to-peer fundraising, the process follows these steps:
- Decide on your campaign goals and select a peer-to-peer fundraising platform.
- Set up and configure your campaign page.
- Train and provide resources (like fundraising appeal templates) to your participants as they set up their own campaign pages.
- Keep up with your campaign and provide ongoing help to your participants as needed.
This same process applies to schools, as well! Peer-to-peer fundraising can expand your donor base beyond just the people who are involved with your school. When your participants share their pages with their friends and family, you’ll tap into an entirely new network of supporters.
In this article, we’re going to cover some amazing a-thon fundraisers. They leverage P2P campaigns to maximize the money you raise for your school. These include:
Read on to see how you can successfully fundraise with these exciting P2P campaigns!
Read-a-thons are great peer-to-peer fundraisers that can raise a lot of money for your school. And they’re relevant, too! Read-a-thons promote literacy and a love of reading in students. For this fundraiser, parents and other members of the community can pledge a donation based on how much the students read.
Here’s what makes read-a-thons so successful:
- It promotes friendly competition. Taking part in a read-a-thon is a challenge students will enjoy because of the competition! Students can try to “out-read” each other. But the best part is that they’ll be participating in something that’s good for them. Friendly competition among students is always a good thing!
- It doesn’t include product sales. Instead of spending time selling products like magazines or cookie dough to raise money for their school, students are reading and learning.
- It doesn’t have to be drawn out. Hosting a read-a-thon over even a week or two is a good amount of time to draw out the competitive edge in students and keep them engaged. Create a sense of urgency by making your read-a-thon only occur over a couple of short weeks and raise more as a result!
Now that we know why read-a-thons work well for schools, here’s how you can use your peer-to-peer fundraising software to take it to the next level:
- Students can set up their own fundraising page with their parents to be shared on social media and via email.
- Or, each classroom or grade level can have their own fundraising pages, which features all of the combined fundraising progress for that group.
- Your school can leverage fundraising thermometers with your software. It promotes even more friendly competition and displays your fundraiser’s progress on your website. You can also post a physical thermometer poster in the hallway at school for good measure.
Take advantage of the learning and fundraising opportunities that come with read-a-thons. When students have fun engaging in the challenge and focusing on their books, your fundraiser will be all the more successful. If you want to make a difference, definitely add this campaign to your list!
Walk-a-thons are family-friendly events and can bring your entire school’s community together. There are several ways to get involved, as well. For example, students can walk, parents can observe, and anyone can sponsor a walker.
Here are some best practices you should incorporate to make your school’s walk-a-thon a hit:
- Let participants easily register, raise money, and invite other participants through your peer-to-peer fundraising platform.
- Allow students, teachers, and parents to sign up as a group and easily add new walkers to the group.
- Use a platform that allows you to add offline donations to a participant’s total so all donations will be tracked.
- Leverage social media! If your platform integrates with social channels, participants can connect their social media to their online accounts on the platform.
- Add other fundraising elements into the mix. If some families would prefer to donate to the school in other ways, you can add another element to your walk-a-thon, like a shoe drive fundraiser. Ask families to bring in shoes that no longer fit their children to donate and raise more funds for all your P2P campaigns.
Walk-a-thons can bring your community around the school together and it’s a great way to have a good time while raising the funds you need. Stay on top of your planning and check out additional tips from the OneCause guide to peer-to-peer walk-a-thons.
Have any future major leaguers at your school? Baseball fundraisers, like hit-a-thons, are great to include in your school’s P2P campaign. This is an especially great fundraising idea for your high school’s baseball team.
Participants in the hit-a-thon will ask their family members, friends, and neighbors to make a pledge or donation. These amounts can either be based on how many hits the players get or the longest distance hit, with each player getting a designated number of pitches.
Players should create their own personal fundraising pages. On those pages they can upload photos and explain what their school means to them. They can also allow their supporters to securely make a donation online.
Here are a few other ways to make your hit-a-thon count:
- Plan your hit-a-thon in conjunction with another event so you can boost your attendance. For example, host a barbecue or a raffle that can take place before, during, or after the hit-a-thon.
- Make sure everyone, especially coaches, promotes your hit-a-thon around school. This can include physical flyers, posters, and online banners for social media. Add the event to your school’s online calendar so anyone can easily access the information.
- Offer the players incentives, like t-shirts and other prizes, for the best hitters to win during the event.
- Secure sponsors for the event. Reach out to local businesses to ask for donations and set up a few levels of sponsorship with the benefits that sponsors will receive.
A hit-a-thon isn’t just a way to raise money; it’s also an excellent way to boost school spirit, cheer on fellow classmates, and unite everyone with a common goal. When you leverage this peer-to-peer fundraising campaign to its maximum potential, you’ll find you can raise even more than you thought!
Bike-a-thons are yet another excellent fundraising idea to get your students outside and moving for your school. They’re also family-friendly and provide a venue for more serious bikers to get some practice in.
Here’s how you can set up your school bike-a-thon:
- Set up a predetermined course for the ride.
- Put together a committee (made up of teachers, parents, etc.) to plan the event.
- Find some sponsors to support the planning and execution of the fundraiser.
- Recruit students, teachers, parents, and others to participate as bikers.
- Set up peer-to-peer campaign pages using your fundraising platform so bikers can start securely collecting donations.
Bikers can collect donations for the school in a couple of ways: They can collect pledges per completed mile, or donors can give a set donation amount to the school as a way to support the biker’s participation.
Be sure to encourage the whole community to participate! Students can bring their entire families, neighbors who live nearby can come out to enjoy the experience, and local businesses can sponsor the ride in return for more exposure to the community.
If you’re looking for even more information on how to get your bike-a-thon started, check out this guide.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is one of the most powerful campaigns you can run for your school. Whether you’re trying to raise money for your classroom, a school trip, or a sports team, you’ll expand your reach even further and open your school up to the community surrounding it.
Part of running a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for your school means choosing the right platform that can support multiple campaign pages. This way, you’ll have no limits as to how many people can participate, and you’ll be able to track your progress. Find the right peer-to-peer fundraising tools for you and get your fundraiser started!
Author: Joshua Meyer
Joshua Meyer brings over 14 years of fundraising, volunteer management, and marketing experience to his current role as the Director of Marketing for OneCause. Currently, as a member of the OneCause sales and marketing team, Josh manages all of the firm’s marketing efforts. He has a passion for helping to create positive change and loves that his current role allows him to help nonprofits engage new donors and achieve their fundraising goals.