The six trends driving growth in peer-to-peer fundraising

by Garth Stirling
May 16, 2021

We’re growing moustaches, running marathons, dressing up, and painting our nails — all in the name of charity. Yep, Aussies really have got on board with peer-to-peer fundraising. 

In fact, we’re leading the way globally. 

According to a recent global study over 20% of Australians have set up a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign — this compares to 10% in Asia, 10% in North America and 17% in Europe. Combine this  with recent research from McCrindle that found over 80% of Aussies are open to donating online and it’s starts to become why this is such a big growth channel.

Using Raisely’s platform data insights and our own research, we’ve put together the top 6 trends driving growth in this digital fundraising product in 2021. 

1. Core P2P fundraisers trend younger

Peer-to-peer campaigns are not for everyone. 

In fact when we look at the core of peer-to-peer fundraisers they tend to skew younger. Think Gen Z (18-26 years old), Gen Y (27-41 years old), as well as Gen X (42-56 years old) depending on the activity. It’s an especially great way of activating your NextGen donors who don’t tend to respond as well to other more traditional fundraising techniques. 

This should also be a consideration when you look at the design and targeting for your campaign. For example, Variety’s Hair with Heart campaign has seen incredible growth in 2020 since narrowing its design and targeting to young girls and their mums.

2. Consider both cause and experience focused fundraisers 

P2P participants generally fall within two distinct categories.

The first are cause-focused participants. These are likely to be your core supporters and care deeply and passionately about the cause. This group will want to know more about what you’re raising money for and are drawn to the cause and/or need. Oftentimes find them on your owned channels such as your email database, social media communities or friends of friends. 

The second are experience-driven participants. This group will be more drawn to the activity, community and/or experience, rather than the cause. They also may not be your supporters, so you will need to attract them through your prospecting marketing. This includes activating community fundraising networks such as corporates, schools, churches and community groups. 

3. Take extra care of your top 15% of fundraisers and return fundraisers

85% of revenue comes from the top 15% of your high performing fundraisers. So obviously, they are a key group to target. As well as that, a key segment to focus on growing is past fundraisers. If you can get these past fundraisers back on board, on average they’ll raise three times more than a first timer. 

So while the number of fundraisers you sign-up should be a key goal, you also should focus on setting up a segmented support strategy that takes especially good care of these two groups. 

Make sure you:

  • Consider personal treatment such as coaching calls and webinars for that top 15% of fundraisers. We know of an organisation that even offers in-person training with subsidised transport for their top fundraisers. 

  • Also nurture the tier that sits just below the 15% of top donors and consider the little things you can do to improve their performance.

  • Look after past fundraisers well. Don’t just send them one impact email months after they participated, instead think about a 12-month calendar of engagements to keep them warm and offer something new each year to keep the energy levels up.

4. Run multiple P2P campaigns every year

During COVID-19, Raisely saw organisations run a number of smaller campaigns throughout the year instead of just one flagship campaign. 

This helps appeal to a broad supporter base and lets you try new ideas. When one takes off, you might make it your new flagship.

As well as the rise of multiple P2P campaigns, we also saw the rise of multi-campaign participations from fundraisers. Your most engaged supporters are now willing to engage with you, and fundraise for you, more than once a year. Approximately 5% of supporters will re-engage across multiple campaigns in the one year, up from less than 1% the year prior. 

5. Virtual events 

Virtual campaigns are trending up in 2021, all thanks to COVID-19. 

Today 20% of new campaigns on the Raisely platform now have a virtual element. This is up from 5% in 2019. 

Virtual or activity-based campaigns give supporters a really tangible thing to do, and that makes for compelling stories when they’re asking their friends to donate. A great example is the Burpee Bounce Back Challenge by Orygen.

6. Everything is mobile

Mobile, mobile, mobile! 

Raisely have found that 70% of website traffic comes to your campaign from a phone. Broadly, we’re seeing digital and ecommerce trends heading even more in this direction. 

Really excellent campaigns are thinking mobile-first and are spending time on the mobile experience for their supporters.


There’s a lot to take in here, but the take-away should be that P2P campaigns are here to stay and they’re a super effective means of both engaging with core supporters and raising much needed funds. If you’re interested in making the most of your next P2P campaign, get in touch and let's create something that has the crowd going wild!