peer to peer fundraising statistics

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Statistics Reflect Trend of Modern Giving


The concept of peer-to-peer fundraising has grown in popularity over the years, with many nonprofits jumping on the bandwagon. Most organizations know the struggle of finding ways to bring in money consistently throughout the year, and this type of campaign can be launched with very little financial outlay and a comparative minimum of effort. 

In this article, we share the advantages of peer-to-peer fundraising by visiting a variety of statistics on its performance. We also take a look at how you can use these numbers to increase the impact of your own organization’s fundraising strategy. 

Let’s go!

No time to read this article now? Download it for later.


What Exactly is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising?

Peer-to-peer fundraising, also called P2P fundraising, is closely related to crowdfunding. However, instead of an organization calling for funds in one place, peer-to-peer fundraising takes advantage of social networks by calling on their supporters to fundraise for them. 

A centralized page is created using a peer-to-peer fundraising platform, sharing information about the event. From there, participants can create their own personal fundraising page and are encouraged to share this page on their own social media networks to gather donations for the cause.

 facebook fundraiser statistics exampleSource: Facebook

Facebook birthday fundraisers encourage an individual’s friends to donate to an organization that represents something special to them. This acts as a birthday gift of sorts.

This type of fundraising can be as simple as asking your supporters to run a Facebook birthday donation campaign, or a larger event like a marathon, watch party, or annual fundraiser. 


Efficacy of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising by the Numbers

So how does the popularity of peer-to-peer fundraising break down by the numbers? Let’s take a look at what statistics are currently saying about the efficacy of these campaigns. 

Who is Participating?

When peer-to-peer fundraising started taking off a few years ago, only a few organizations were taking part. Now it is extraordinarily popular, with almost a full third of nonprofits running these campaigns. Here’s why:

  • A 2019 poll found that 39% of Americans say they’ve donated to a charity because of the request of a family member. 

  • A 2020 poll found that the average amount raised online by personal fundraising pages was $391, with an average gift of $91

  • 33% of nonprofits around the globe are using a peer-to-peer fundraising platform according to this 2019 report

  • 14% of fundraisers who gave during a peer-to-peer campaign participated in subsequent fundraisers for the same organization

  • There is an 18% increase in the amount raised by returning participants in peer-to-peer campaigns. 

Social Media Platforms and Peer-to-Peer Campaign Performance

Social media platforms are a great place to launch peer-to-peer campaigns, as they have built in donation protocols. Facebook especially has been on this trend for a while, so you will find a lot of stats to back up their performance. 

Matt is impressed by his peer-to-peer fundraising statsMatt is impressed by these peer-to-peer fundraising stats!

  • From 2014 to 2021, Facebook and Instagram raised 5 billion dollars with peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. 

  • The average size of a gift made through Facebook Fundraiser peer-to-peer events is $47

  • 40% of people participating in peer-to-peer campaigns used Facebook to solicit donations from their friend and family groups. 

  • For those running DIY campaigns and sharing on Facebook, an average of $333 was collected by participants

Effects of Covid 19 on Peer-to-Peer Fundraising 

The pandemic has affected every aspect of life around the globe over the past couple of years from the supply chains to social life, and peer-to-peer fundraising was no exception. Here are some numbers that explain how COVID-19 impacted giving. 

  • In 2019, 6 million people participated in peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, while in 2020 only 2.2 million were involved. This was a decrease of 33.9% year over year. 

  • The average raised by participants in any size of peer-to-peer campaign increased from $139 in 2019 to $189 in 2020, up 35% year over year.

  • In larger peer-to-peer events, the average amount raised increased as well. In 2019 the average raised in larger campaigns was $227, while in 2020 the average raised was $416, up by 83%.

There are a couple of bright spots. While giving went down by 33.9% overall during the pandemic for the top 30 peer-to-peer fundraisers, individuals seem to be shifting in their giving habits as an adjustment to changes. 

Another thing the data shows is that Americans love cycling and endurance events for peer-to-peer giving. While the pandemic was at its peak, it became difficult to hold events in person, even outside. Most organizations scrambled to switch to an online model. 

The average amount collected from cycling peer-to-peer events was down by 37% year over year from 2019 to 2020. Now that things are opening up again all over the country, chances are good that participation in live-event peer-to-peer campaigns involving physical challenges will start to increase again. 


Best Practices for Peer to Peer Fundraising

While peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are generally simple to run, and rely heavily on donor engagement, there are some best practices to follow to ensure that you are getting the most out of this strategy. 

Find a reputable and reliable peer-to-peer fundraising software to support your event. The ideal peer-to-peer fundraising platforms will offer a variety of tools to help you create an engaging page for your event, as well as user-friendly templates to assist your nonprofit supporters on their individual donation pages. Many peer-to-peer platforms will also offer tracking metrics and automatic receipts and thank you emails for your supporters. 

Plan carefully around your target audience. Your entire campaign depends on your supporters actually getting involved, so it is important to really think about what will be appealing to them. For instance, a spin-a-thon might be ideal for a fitness club but maybe not be for an elderly adult day program. A nonprofit with a really young base may be more likely to become involved if the peer-to-peer campaign includes some sort of social media challenge. Take some time to brainstorm with your staff, and even reach out to some members and volunteers to discuss what might work best for your organization. 

Nancy happy about her peer-to-peer fundraising knowledgeNancy is ready to flex her newfound peer-to-peer fundraising knowledge!

Always thank your participants. Peer-to-peer fundraising statistics show that repeat participants bring in more donations, so you really want to keep your supporters involved. One of the best ways to keep them happy is to let them know that they are appreciated. You can offer prizes for high-performers in your event, but at the very least make sure that everyone involved gets a thank you email and donation receipt. Fortunately, many donation software platforms will offer a peer-to-peer fundraising email template that you can use to recruit as well as thank your participants. 


Final Thoughts

Peer-to-peer statistics have a lot to tell us about how these campaigns can help bring in donations. While the percentage of peer-to-peer fundraisers declined over the pandemic, they are still a strong contender among fundraising ideas for most nonprofits. And trends show that they will continue to build back up as things get back to normal. 

The data demonstrates that using supporters and social media is an excellent way to find new donors as well as new supporters for a nonprofit mission. With a new focus on virtual fundraising and hybrid events, donations should remain strong in peer-to-peer campaigns even during unforeseen circumstances. All it takes is a knowledge of your base, some enthusiastic supporters, and a strong peer-to-peer campaign software program to get your next big event off the ground. 

Enjoyed the article? Download it to keep or share with others!




💡Is peer-to-peer fundraising effective?

Absolutely. Over the last several years, more than 30% of nonprofits have chosen to run peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, making it the number one option for raising donations. Find out more. 

🔑 Which demographic is most likely to donate?

Gen Xers and Millennials are the largest donor groups for these type of campaigns, due to their comfort with the social media model of giving. However, with the advent of Facebook and TikTok fundraisers, both older and younger generations aren’t too far behind. Find out more. 

📝 What is the difference between crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising?

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a form of crowdfunding—it simply takes it a step farther. Crowdfunding is one source (usually the organization) asking for donations from their own supporter group. P2P asks the supporters to take to their own donation pages and social media contacts to expand the reach of the mission. Find out more.  


The Holy Grail of Nonprofit Tips ✨
Get all of the information you need to efficiently manage your nonprofit with our monthly newsletter.

What To Know Before Buying a Membership Database Software

16 min read

Nonprofit Accounting Basics: A Detailed Breakdown

10 min read

Building a Nonprofit Board of Directors

5 min read