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Amy Sample Ward

I've been thinking a lot about person-to-person fundraising in light of the Giving Challenge and other holiday campaigns. The 3 most important things to remember, in my opinion, when designing, starting and carrying out a peer-peer fundraising campaign are:

1. Other people are not you but they are LIKE you - you know what kind of stories resonate with yourself and what motivates you, so go with what you know.

2. People WANT to give but need you to make it as easy as possible - give them the direct link to donate, ask for a doable amount for donations, provide other ways to support if they can't/don't want to give money (like a simple message they can copy with a link to ask their networks to donate).

3. Peer-peer means that these people are your FRIENDS, so treat them that way - ask for support (forwarding, donating, linking, etc.) in a personal way, thank people for supporting the campaign in a personal way. Like in #1, remember how you would feel as a participant and not just leader in the campaign, you would want to be personally included, too!

Looking forward to reading all of the great ideas for peer-peer fundraising; it's an exciting field!

Brett Gerstein

I have an interesting idea. I know that there has been some discussion as to how effective Facebook Causes really is. People seem to sign-up freely but don't necessarily visit the cause often.

At the New Israel Fund we are going to try the following:

We plan on having a competition to see which Cause member can recruit the most friends. Because of how the Cause is set-up, they will be able to see how well they are doing - this is important. We will award each of the top 5 winners a free $25 Starbucks card as an incentive.

Hopefully, this will lead to a significant growth in our cause membership. Now even though most of these new members may sign-up and not be actively engaged with the cause, they will likely have visited at least once and learn what the New Israel Fund stands for.

After we've given out our awards, we plan on on contacting our top recruiters again and asking them if they would be willing to fundraise on NIF's behalf. We would point them to a site like, where they can set-up a personal fundraising page around specific projects, NIF is currently working on.

When these top recruiters ask their friends to make a donation, many of the people they will be asking will already be familiar with us from having joined the Cause. This should help.

We're hoping that asking our top cause recruiters to fundraise for us will work. We know that they have a lot of friends (they won our competition), and we know they support our organization. The fact that they received an award from us should only add to their willingness to want to help us out.

I'll keep you posted on how this works out.

Beth Kanter

@brett great ideas. In the recent America's Giving Challenge, I had set up a FB Cause, but decided to start directing all the donations to the global giving badge. We had some confusion - even though I insert a huge link on the Cause

How might you avoid the pitfalls that I feel into?

Paul Caplan

Tip for person-to-person fundraising? Do exactly what you've done with this post, start from a conversation, move into a relationship and from there into fundraising, campaigning or whatever.

Brett Gerstein


Here are some more ideas:

1. I might add a badge (in my case a badge from to the Cause but I wouldn’t expect much from it. Most of the people in the Cause might sympathize with what the New Israel Fund stands for but they probably feel that way about many causes. Plus we already know that a majority of people are one-time visitors.

2. I read recently that the number one reason people give is because friends and family ask them to. By reaching out to the top recruiters from our competition I am asking them to help us out and talk to their friends and family for us. I would do this by sending each of them a personalized email with step by step instructions on how they can do this. This might include the following suggestions for example:

a. I had thought about asking them to set–up their own Cause but this doesn’t work so well because people won’t be able to see all of our projects on one page - and then easily pick and choose a fundraising campaign to base it on. I like how lays it out so this might be where I direct them (note though that we still need to work on our project listings that you’ll see)

b. I might encourage them to place a badge on THEIR blog, THEIR facebook page, THEIR website which would then bring people back to their fundraising page on Change org. I would also encourage them to place the badge on NIF's Cause page - why not right?

c. I would also ask them to email their friends on Facebook about their fundraising page by going to their friends page and setting up a friends list so that they can send a message to up to 20 of their friends at once.

I guess in a way I'm planning on using the Cause primarily as a tool
for building a bond with people that have a lot of friends (through our Starbucks reward) and then building on that connection by asking them to fundraise on our behalf for specific projects people might relate to.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!

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