Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Building Advocacy through Development

There are numerous causes to support in today’s political climate. While topics like gun control and the environment dominate news feeds and airtime, advocating for the arts is just as necessary, particularly in a world where importance of the arts is often overlooked. There are many digital platforms that advocacy organizations use to facilitate their strategies. For example, a common advocacy pathway is email. While nonprofits’ advocacy efforts often go toward email campaigns to target individuals, the open rates for advocacy emails has declined. According to M+R’s Benchmarks 2017 study, response rates for advocacy email has declined, dropping 17% from 2015 to 1.60% in 2016. With this in mind, arts organizations can test other opportunities that will not only increase advocates, but raise funds as well. An organic method to increase advocates is Peer-to-Peer fundraising technology!

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) is a form of online fundraising that enables an organization’s advocates to spread its mission out to friends and family. While an organization initially creates the peer-to-peer page, the soliciting of supporters then comes from its advocates that share it with their network of peers. P2P also allows for advocates to create fundraising pages on behalf of the organization they want to support. Advocates can curate the P2P campaign around special events such as a birthday or in memoriam of a loved one.

According to the 2018 Global NGO Technology Report, about 31% of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in North America used a P2P platform in 2017 (Nonprofit Tech for Good 24). Also from the same report, 33% of donors worldwide donated to a P2P fundraising campaign in 2017 (Nonprofit Tech for Good, 9). While these statistics are for NGOs, American nonprofit organizations, particularly arts and culture sectors can take advantage of this emerging technology. More supporting actions from advocates are occurring digitally, so it’s best to take advantage of the tools that are out in the digital sphere.

NGOs (1).png

While one may argue that P2P is solely for fundraising, arts organizations can also use this to increase the support of individuals who believe in the organization’s cause. Donors are already advocates for their organizations. What better way to increase the number of advocates than to ask the organization’s existing supporters to spread the word? Also, advocacy efforts need funding in order to work. While some advocates are ready to be on the front line at Capitol Hill or participate in letter-writing campaigns, others can share their support by using their wallet and spread the word digitally to their peers.

Screenshot taken by author from    Razoo    website.

Screenshot taken by author from Razoo website.

There are many P2P platforms available such as Razoo, CrowdRise, and CauseVox. Most P2P platforms require the purchase of a monthly subscription and nonprofit organizations have the option of choosing what level is best for their budgets and goals. P2P platforms have many features that are useful for nonprofit organizations such as data analytics. When choosing a P2P platform, organizations should be sure that it can integrate with its CRM system. Depending on the chosen platform, some may charge a platform fee in addition a monthly subscription as well as credit card service fees. Other than that, organizations do not have to send targeted emails to constituents and the money raised from P2P can go to anything from operating support for an annual campaign to an advocacy action campaign. Click here for Razoo’s page about raising funds for arts and culture.

In order to test a P2P platform, an arts organization has to set goals of how many advocates it wants to gain as well as how much money it wants to raise. Arts organizations also need to assure that they have the required resources such as budget, time, and human capital to test and implement P2P technology. Once goals are set and resources are allocated, arts organizations can then test out and see how its mission spreads over the web!

What other advocacy tools and platforms has your arts organization used? Please share in the comments below!



“Creative Fundraising for Arts & Culture on Razoo | Raise Money for Anything!” Razoo. Accessed March 10, 2018.

“Fundraising Software for Nonprofits.” Razoo. Accessed March 10, 2018.

“M+R Benchmarks 2017.” M+R Benchmarks 2017. Accessed March 11, 2018.

“Non-Profit Pricing.” CrowdRise.  Accessed March 10, 2018.

“Pricing.” CauseVox. Accessed March 11, 2018.

Smith, Kyle. “A Few Good Tools for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising.” Idealware (blog), July 6, 2015. Accessed March 9, 2018.

“Support Arts Midwest on Razoo.” Razoo. Accessed March 28, 2018.

“2018 Global NGO Technology Report.” Nonprofit Tech for Good, 2018.

Wu, Rob. “Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: How It Works & Best Practices.” CauseVox, June 6, 2016. Accessed March 9, 2018.