Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way for social profit organizations to raise money, especially at special events like walks or runs. In this type of fundraising, the people who will participate in your event reach out to their peers to invite financial support, usually in small amounts of $25, $50 or $100. The invitation from your participants exponentially increases the number of people your event reaches and the amount you raise. 

But like most fundraising efforts, the retention of these new donors is not great.


Over at Bloomerang, CEO Jay Love shared 6 Ideas to Improve the Peer-to-Peer Donor Retention Rate. Here is his helpful list:

  1. The next communication (after the electronic thank you) outlined the mission of the organization in a personalized manner. In addition, the economic impact of the event on the mission was spelled out, usually with a chart or graph.
  2. The person who I sponsored sent a personalized word of thanks a few weeks after the event. It further stated what the charity’s mission personally meant to them.
  3. I was invited by the charity to become a regular subscriber to the one of their newsletters in the format I desired.
  4. I was sent a one off email asking if I would like to visit the charity at some point in the future.
  5. When I said yes to a visit, a personal call was made to me to establish the details.
  6. The first follow-up gift solicitation was more than 6 months later, but less than 9 months.

My advice

  • Donor retention is an important focus, even with donors who make a gift because someone else asked them. 
  • Make a plan to keep your “new” donors engaged, informed, and understanding that even their small gift makes a difference. Target your communication to let them know you notice they just joined your donor family. 
  • Find ways throughout the year to build a relationship between the new donor and your mission and not just with the person who invited their initial gift. 
  • Some of these new donors are key prospects for sponsorship or for their own participation in your event next year. Especially for those $100+ donors, ask the person who invited their gift which of their supporters might be ready for deeper involvement. 

Putting more focus on these donors will cause your retention rate to increase each year! I promise.


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