There are different ways to promote your fundraising campaigns and one of the most effective ones is word-of-mouth or peer-to-peer marketing.

Peer-to-peer marketing is a strategy that makes use of existing donors’  and supporters’ networks and encourages them to reach out to their peers, friends, coworkers, and family members for donations.

The basic idea behind P2P fundraising is that donors will be more likely to put their trust in someone they know than a stranger asking for donations. Hearing it from someone you know also creates some kind of emotional connection to the cause. 

Before you can start with your P2P fundraising campaign, there are a few things you should keep in mind.


1. Define your donor personas

A donor persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal donor based on market research and real data about your existing donors.

Come up with a plan to reach your preferred audience. While you may feel that everyone will relate to your cause, this is not the case. Begin by identifying a few key target personas.

When creating your donor personas, consider including customer demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.


How to Use Word-of-mouth and Peer-to-peer Fundraising Marketing to Improve Your Fundraising Campaigns - Donor Personas


Now it’s time to how you can reach your target personas through your donors and supporters. Your supporters have a big network so they are an incredible asset to amplify your message and reach the donor personas that you are looking for.

How to Use Word-of-mouth and Peer-to-peer Fundraising Marketing to Improve Your Fundraising Campaigns - Supporter network


2. Make your message human

People want to feel connected to the cause they are supporting, people respond faster to true stories about real people and they are far less likely to support faceless campaigns.

Show them your cause is worth their time and money, this might sound easy but appealing to emotions without face-to-face contact is not easy.


Nonprofit Marketing Campaign


Connecting with your potential donors is not an easy task, but sharing your stories through word-of-mouth can really help you accomplish this. Additionally, try to use the tone of voice that fits your final audience the best and always try to share original stories that can inspire your potential donors to donate.


3. It’s urgent!

As any procrastinator knows, nothing concentrates the mind like an imminent deadline. Set a goal and tie it to a date. Your potential donors will be more willing give or take action as the deadline approaches. Same will your supporter network when it comes to spreading the word about your cause.

Setting a deadline can help the increase of donations you receive. Deadlines give your fundraising a sense of urgency and make people take immediate action to support your work.  Make sure to publish this deadline on related landing pages, donation forms and fundraising appeals.

When something is urgent it looks more important: telling potential donors that you need them to donate fast gives a feeling that their donation will have an immediate impact. Additionally, it will help you avoid the problem of them forgetting about your message.

The greatest inspiration is the deadline

4. Use the right visuals

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this is something you should keep in mind for your fundraising campaign. You want to give potential donors an inside look at what they are contributing to.

  • Use high-quality images.
  • Pick images that fit your brand’s voice, style, and mood, because images should appeal to your target audience.
  • Great marketing helps to forge a personal connection between the brand and the customer, so it’s usually smart to including people in your visuals.
  • Don’t forget about videos. Creating a video or more for your campaign can help you communicate your message clearly and inspire people to give.

Nonprofit Marketing Campaign


  • You should not just jump in and start spreading content about your fundraising campaign, you need to determine a strategy first.
  • Define your donor personas. It will help you define your message better and hit the desired target.
  • Make sure that it’s human, create a strong connection by telling them a story.
  • Set a time limit for donations, so the people donating will get a feeling that their donation has an immediate impact.
  • The right kind of visuals. A picture says more than a thousand words. Give an inside look at what people are contributing to.


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