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Crowdfunding Versus Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: What's the best for you

It’s a common misconception that peer-to-peer funding (P2P) and crowdfunding are terms that can be used interchangeably. They both use the power of social networks and personal connections to spread awareness and raise funds. However, these two terms refer to different fundraising styles and require different strategies to reach success. It is important to know the difference between these two styles before choosing the best fit for you.


Both Crowdfunding and Peer-to-Peer are fundraising methods that take advantage of supporters' digital networks and social media sharing. The difference between the two lies mainly in the structure of the two methods

Crowdfunding only uses one campaign page. The link to this page can be shared across social networks and leads everyone back to the same central donation site.

On the other hand, Peer-to-Peer fundraising uses a more decentralized model where supporter set up their own unique donation pages that collect funds on behalf of your organization. P2P is often seen as a more organic form of fundraising as people donate within their existing networks rather than being redirected to one central location.

Both Crowdfunding and Peer-to-Peer have their benefits and shortfalls therefore choosing the best platform for you relies on what you are funding for and the goals for your campaign.


Crowdfunding campaigns can work well for organizations with specific reasons for raising money, such as raising money to build a school, or a specific event. However, it is the best choice for individuals looking to fund projects or personal fundraising needs like medical expenses.

Crowdfunding allows you to unite a large group of people under one campaign and expand your reach to every individual who donates to your cause.

You also have full control over the look and feel of your campaign. Because you create and customize the only donation page, you have the power to choose the information and photos you want to share with your donors. This way, you can create consistent messaging across your campaign.


P2P does not work so well for individuals because it requires a wider network of dedicated supporters. It is an excellent way for organizations to work closely and strengthen the bond with their supporters while working together to reach their campaign goals.

Peer-to-Peer campaigns are a great way to strengthen donor relations while also leveraging their networks for fundraising. Though you cannot have full control over every aspect of the campaign, allowing your supporters to be in charge of fundraising is a great way to save time and money.

Your supporters can create their own personalized giving pages and customize them to suit their own networks better. This personal touch may be more persuasive because the message comes from someone they know rather than a general message to a large group.

If you would like some more consistency in your message, you can create templates and premade sharable content for your donors to use. This allows for some personalization, but the greater coordinated effort of the campaign is still apparent.


Now that you have an idea of what each of these fundraising methods is and how they work, let’s go over how to start a campaign of your own and some tips to ensure you're successful.

To start a Crowdfunding campaign, you must first pick a platform that best suits your needs. Not all crowdfunding sites are created equal. There are many different choices specifically for non-profits with various features, restrictions, and requirements. It is worth it to research what exactly you need from the site. Some considerations to take into account are software and platform affordances, fees and subscriptions, as well as the goals and budget for your campaign.

  • Outline the parameters of your campaign. Things like your campaign's start and end date, your donation goals, and the budget all need to be explicitly defined.

  • Customize your donation page. Include an informative copy about your cause paired with compelling stories and powerful pictures to encourage donations and raise awareness for your cause.

  • Create sharable content to promote your donation page on social media and other online platforms. Depending on the platform you are using, the site may provide templates for others to share the page on their social networking platforms. If this is not one of the features of your site, create templates of your own and share them with your donors.

  • Remember to track your process and share it with your donors as you move towards your goal.

  • Lastly, always thank those who donate to your cause.

It is important to ensure that your donors know how much they are appreciated for their help and are kept up to date on your progress throughout the campaign. Even if you do not reach your goal, send them acknowledgment letters and emails thanking them again and outlining what you plan to do next.


Similar to Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer campaigns start with choosing the right software. Consider the needs of your organization and the needs of your volunteers and their donors. These would be things like the microsites for your fundraisers to raise money through, social templates to market the campaign, and an easy donation process for your donors. Also, consider your budget and the transactions fee associated with the platform.

You may also want to set up a central campaign page that outlines your goals and gives supporters information about setting their own donation pages. You can also use this page to collect direct donations if you do not already have this feature on your website.

Second, determine the goals of your campaign. What is your budget? Are you hosting your own campaign or event in conjunction with the fundraising? What are your expectations for this campaign?

Next, you can recruit and train the participants that will help you fundraise. Create a team of supporters who will help you reach your goals. Train them in the art of fundraising and give them all the tools they will need to be successful. This includes access to microsite and templates for social media and email content.

Make sure you track your progress. Where are things succeeding, what needs work, who is excelling, and who needs help? Empower your participants and remember to give them updates about the progress toward your goal that they can share with their networks.

Also, ensure that you acknowledge your support's help and hard work. Emphasize their value to your organization and the success you the campaign. Personalize your message so they know that they are appreciated.

Watch to watch instead of read, watch our YouTube video on Peer-to-Peer and Crowdfunding.


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