Crowdfunding vs Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Which is Right for Me?

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Lots (and lots and lots!) of people look for information when comparing crowdfunding vs peer-to-peer fundraising. Ambiguity around the phrases “crowdfunding” and “peer-to-peer fundraising” make the topic hard to navigate. That comes from the fact that “crowdfunding” and “peer-to-peer fundraising” mean different things to different industries. They can even mean different things to different segments within a single industry!

That can be true for the nonprofit industry, too. But the industry has adopted two prevailing definitions of each fundraising type. Once you understand those, deciding which style is a good fit for you is much easier!

Crowdfunding vs Peer-to-Peer: The Basics

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project, campaign, or program by collecting many smaller donations from multiple donors instead of relying on large donations from one or two supporters.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is like crowdfunding on steroids. You recruit participants to ask their friends and family to make donations to your campaign. Many donors make small donations like they do in crowdfunding. But peer-to-peer fundraising, each participant has their own crowdfunding-style page. Peer-to-peer fundraising is usually accompanied by an event like a walk or a run.

Pretend you want to raise money for a new playground. A crowdfunding campaign would include a single fundraising page with a set goal. A peer-to-peer fundraiser would include multiple participants, each with their own fundraising page and goals.

Crowdfunding vs Peer-to-Peer: Which Should I Use?

Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraisers are both handy ways to raise money for a specific cause or program. Choosing the right fundraising style for you will depend largely upon the resources available to your organization!

Crowdfunding is a simpler strategy than peer-to-peer fundraising. You only need one page, and the biggest time commitment will be building and promoting that page to your donors and followers. You’ll also want to encourage your audience to share your form. The more your page is seen, the more donors you’ll reach! You’ll want to be sure to share your crowdfunding form heavily through social channels and email.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is more complex. It relies on recruiting participants who raise money for you, so you’ll need to plan on finding and training participants. They’ll need ongoing support, too, as they raise money for you. Peer-to-peer fundraising requires more time and planning, but it can generate more attention and visibility than a crowdfunding campaign. It also exposes you to a wider audience, since fundraisers share with friends and family.

Crowdfunding is a great choice if you:

  • Have a moderate fundraising goal for a specific goal or campaign
  • Have a small staff
  • Are ready to actively share your campaign on all your communication channels
  • Have an active base of supporters who can share your form
  • Want to raise money with the set of tools you’re already using

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a good choice if you:

  • Have time to plan and execute a large fundraising event or campaign
  • Have enough staff to support numerous fundraising participants
  • Have a base of willing participants who are comfortable with online tools
  • Are okay with adding a new tool to your fundraising toolbag
  • Can plan an accompanying event

Crowdfunding vs Peer-to-Peer: Where Do I Start?

Whether you go with a simple crowdfunding campaign or a more complex peer-to-peer fundraiser, you’ll run your campaign similarly.

First, set your goal and build out your event page. If you’re running a peer-to-peer campaign, you’ll need to set up participant and team pages, too.

Then, approach some loyal donors and volunteers about getting involved. They’ll help build momentum by sharing your form. Asking them in advance to help you spread the word will ensure a smooth start for your campaign.

Be ready to share your campaign on your site, on social media, and on your website. Both types of fundraisers rely on being very visible to many donors, so spread the word!

Make sure you follow up with donors to thank them. For peer-to-peer campaigns, you’ll also want to thank your participants for all the work they did for you.

The crowdfunding vs peer-to-peer debate can be tough to navigate! Both fundraising styles are similar, and they can each be a lot of fun to execute. Once you understand the advantages and requirements of each, though, you can make a decision much more easily.

Qgiv Tip: We’ve got both crowdfunding and peer-to-peer tools in our platform. If you’re interested in setting up a campaign and don’t know where to start, contact our support team. They’ll help get you started!

Looking for crowdfunding or peer-to-peer tools? Qgiv’s platform includes both! You can click here to learn about crowdfunding and fundraising thermometers. We’ve also got a powerful peer-to-peer tool that includes tons of features your fundraising participants will love using.

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