Beyond the Event: Creative Approaches to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Problem Statement

Many nonprofits have invested in peer-to-peer tools to manage registration and participant fundraising for run, walk, and ride events. They may be missing opportunities to use those same tools between, or instead of, events to raise even more funds.

It’s an exciting time in fundraising! Nonprofits are finding creative and effective ways to use peer-to-peer tools and techniques to raise money and engage supporters.

The same tools that were originally intended for peer-to-peer fundraising around traditional run, walk, and ride events are now being used for everything from virtual food drives, to mission trips, to fraternity events, to blood drives, to the increasingly popular do-it-yourself (DIY) events. Using these approaches, organizations of all sizes and missions are raising funds and other types of support year-round.

In this session, a panel of three nonprofits—Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Humane Rescue Alliance, and Parkinson Canada—will tell their stories and answer moderator and audience questions about their real-world experiences with creative peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. You will learn about:

  • Ideas for how to inspire supporters to raise funds for your organization
  • What’s worked and what hasn’t with real-life peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns
  • How to choose and use online tools, such as peer-to-peer sites and registration forms, to make your campaigns more successful
Mark Becker
Cathexis Partners
Founding Partner
Mark Becker is the founding partner of Cathexis Partners providing consulting, project management and technical support to nonprofit clients' websites and CRMs. Mark has more than 20 years of IT experience in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors.

Melissa Kear
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Online Marketing Coordinator
As Online Marketing Coordinator at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, I wear many hats. A digital storyteller, I use social media, blogging, photography, video, and graphic design to tell the story of hunger in Central Florida, and showcase the organizations, including our own, working together to close the gap. Outside of work, I am a writer, crafter, lover of true crime, DIY, and baking shows, and involved in a few fandoms, who loves herself a good book and curling up with my furry-babies, on a cold rainy day.

Jon Collins
Parkison Canada
Associate Director, Events and Partnerships
With eight years of experience at Parkinson Canada and progressive management experience and a demonstrated track record of growth in fundraising programs (focusing on Peer to Peer) I'm a passionate member of the health charities sector. Since early 2008 I have been involved with Parkinson Canada in a number of capacities. I'm thankful that my role here continues to grow and for the opportunity that I have to continue to work on behalf of people living with Parkinson's. As Associate Director, Events and Partnerships with Parkinson Canada I focus on leading a team of event professionals in executing signature, third party and community events nationwide. With a focus on innovative program delivery, monitoring of performance indicators and tieing campaign messaging to cause and actions I lead a strong events portfolio while participating as an active member of the organization's Senior Management Team.

Emily Miller
Humane Rescue Alliance
Director of Special Events
Emily Miller is the Director of Special Events at the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA). Emily joined the organization in 2010 and has been in the special events industry for seventeen years. Prior to joining the HRA team, Emily worked as an Event Marketing Manager at VeriSign, an internet technology company in Dulles, VA. Emily attended George Mason University and received her Event Management Certificate from The George Washington University. Emily has always loved animals and currently has four cats of her own: Dirty, Nub, Peeper, and Penny. Emily says, “working at the Humane Rescue Alliance has given me the ability to do what I love for those that I love – the animals. It’s the best feeling!”