Digital-first, peer-to-peer fundraising is attracting new people to support charities in new ways and is making an ever larger contribution to the coffers of American nonprofits.
Over $154 million was raised through “digital-centric” peer-to-peer charitable fundraising in 2021, a 30% increase from 2020, according to data from 44 nonprofits participating in a peer-to -Peer Professional Forum and sponsors GoodUnited and Tiltify
The first Digital-First Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study focused on programs whose efforts were not based on traditional, physical, peer-to-peer fundraising efforts such as walks and drives. Digital-first efforts use tools like social media and livestream video to encourage donations from people associated with program participants.
“This digital-first study is an important first look at an aspect of peer-to-peer fundraising that has experienced and will continue to experience dramatic growth,” said David Hessekiel, President of the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum.
Study highlights include:
■ 44 nonprofits generated $154.9 million from digital-first peer-to-peer fundraising programs in 2021, a 30% increase from $119.2 million in 2020.
■ This 30% increase in revenue is almost nine times the collective rate registered by the primarily physical and hybrid programs as measured in this year’s separate peer-to-peer fundraising Thirty study, which shows an increase of 3.5% from 2020 until 2021 showed.
■ Sixteen programs reported raising $1,000,000 or more through digital-first peer-to-peer fundraising; seven reported $500,000 to $999,999; Fifteen reported sales of $100,000 to $499,999 and six sales of less than $100,000.
■ Participation in these programs increased 132% from 2020 to 2021 (Note: some programs launched in 2021 and not all participants raised money.) Donors to digital-first efforts increased 29% (among the 86% of organizations that provided this). Data.)
The study found that digital-first, peer-to-peer fundraising is being explored by organizations of very different sizes and approaches. For example:
■ The Team Seas fundraiser, hosted by YouTube personalities Mr. Beast and Mark Rober, raised $30.9 million for The Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Clean Up in 2021 to save 30 million pounds of plastic and debris from oceans, rivers and remove beaches. “Team Seas” is an add-on to the “Team Trees” campaign, which raised $23.6 million for the Arbor Day Foundation.
■ The American Cancer Society raised $19.5 million through Facebook challenges in which supporters committed to an activity (eg, walk 10,000 steps a day for a month) and referred contacts to donate.
■ Stream For No Kid Hungry raised $753,000 for the anti-hunger charity by recruiting 390 mostly video gamers to raise money from people who stream them online.
■ Trans Lifeline, a support hotline for the LGBTQIA+ community, raised $526,500 exclusively on Twitch in 2021, representing 20% of their total revenue for the year. The popularity of fundraising on Twitch prompted the organization to create the website Peer2Peer.live, a list of Twitch streamers committed to providing safe and supportive content.
■ PBTF GameON raised $200,000 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation by “giving live streamers, content creators, esports organizations and gamers the opportunity to help find a cure,” according to the foundation.
“Our mission at Tiltify is to bring online communities, charities, and businesses together to do social good around the world,” said Michael Wasserman, CEO and co-founder of Tiltify’s digital-first fundraising campaign, which empowers celebrities, social media influencers, and… Enabled content creators of all sizes to rally their communities to a cause and raise more money for charity than ever before. This study solidifies this trend across the philanthropic field. Digital-first fundraising programs are mainstream and making a real impact on society.”
“Social giving is the highest and best use of social media,” said Nick Black, co-founder and CEO of GoodUnited. “The $6 billion raised on Facebook signals supporters’ desire to engage and congregate in the channels where they spend time. It’s increasingly online. It is no exaggeration to say that the economics and virality of digital-native fundraising has the power to save the world.”
Click here to learn more about the digital-first peer-to-peer fundraising study.