Peer-to-peer fundraising: Going Beyond the Usual Suspects

November 11, 2022Shari Carruthers and Dana Spiel

Peer-to-peer fundraising (P2P) is an effective way to expand beyond your sisterhood, women’s group, or WRJ membership by asking family and friends to contribute to a cause near and dear to you. P2P fundraising not only reaches a broader audience but it also prevents burnout of members and increases awareness of the organization’s goals and mission.

Various strategies can be found online, including: 

  1. The act of simply asking others outside of your group to support a specific initiative you are working on, OR 
  2. Ending email campaigns with a series of updates about supporting WRJ.

Many of us have reached out to our extended networks via social media to raise both funds and awareness for causes we deem important or feel kesher (a connection or bond) to. It can be as simple as posting a donation link for your birthday on Facebook or sending a quick email. It’s a great way to honor a loved one or celebrate many years of dedication to Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ). The options are endless, and it encourages those in your network to support the things you are passionate about so that WRJ can have a greater reach and impact. We encourage you to promote P2P among your WRJ sisters - both locally and nationally. If you have a milestone to celebrate or want to share the good work WRJ is doing, please reach out to us* so we can create something special for you.

P2P is a well-studied concept. We know it works! Studies show that the funds raised from P2P are usually double that of traditional fundraising. The easier you make it for people to fundraise, the more they’ll do it. Sometimes people just need a reason to say yes. We encourage you to share your areas of interest so we can support you in this endeavor. We will connect with you throughout the process so that you have the tools and resources to make your campaign successful. 

We hope this article can help you to brainstorm expanding fundraising efforts, whether on behalf of your women’s group or individual accomplishments. Here are some key takeaways to consider: 

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising ideas are appropriate for every nonprofit fundraising campaign.
  • Be creative from the individual, team, and do-it-yourself campaigns like selling baked goods, to virtual or in-person events.

To ensure success, focus on the four key components:

  • Urgency - Communicate the need, impact, and a clear call to action for the donation. Answer the question, “Why now?”
  • Goals- Identity who will benefit. How many people will be impacted? What is the timeline?
  • Emotion- Tell a story that inspires action and helps donors understand why your cause matters. Stories resonate with people greatly and generate empathy, thereby fostering a deeper connection to your cause. Fun fact: 56% of social media users who donate said that a compelling story is what made them do so.
  • Momentum - Follow-up with continual updates and encouragement.

Don’t forget that asking supporters to fundraise on the organization’s behalf is not passing the buck. It's a way to exponentially increase your revenue without increasing your budget.  There is no amount too small to get started. Try it by raising $500 and see how empowering it feels to share the important work you are doing with those close to you. P2P makes giving to worthy organizations creative, a way to engage with like-minded friends and family, and something you can do right from the comfort of your own home and community.  

Dana Spiel and Shari Carruthers can be contacted at: