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Peer-to-Peer Donors

Peer-to-peer fundraising leverages supporters that fundraise on behalf of your mission, organization, or cause. Offering a highly personal and social experience, peer-to-peer leverages the personal networks of your supporters to garner support for your cause. The growth of peer-to-peer fundraising has been tracked across demographic metrics to provide a composite lens into who gives and which causes they give to.


According to The Next Generation of American Giving, older donors continue to prioritize money as their greatest form of impact. This common trend still holds true: The older you are, the more likely you are to prioritize monetary contributions as making the biggest difference. Similar numbers of Generation Zers, Millennials, and Generation Xers choose volunteering as their contribution of choice. These trends bleed into peer-to-peer fundraising, including the runs, walk-a-thons, and bike-a-thons that draw upon all generations, albeit in different ways.

While participants in peer-to-peer events are likely to be in Generation X or younger, those most likely to financially sponsor athletes are older generations, like Baby Boomers and Matures. This points to a need to meet peer-to-peer supporters where they are and reinforces that older and younger generations alike can be stewarded with the engagement opportunities they prefer.

In tandem with these trends, it appears that crowdfunding has emerged as a close cousin of peer-to-peer fundraising. Among younger groups like Millennials, the percentage that say they have given via has risen from 17% to 48% since 2013. Younger donors like Millennials and Generation Zers are particularly likely to participate in crowdfunding as they take part in digital advocacy and develop their philanthropy through their early life stages.

Source: 2018, Blackbaud Institute, The Next Generation of American Giving



While previous studies have found gaps between the peer-to-peer fundraising outcomes of men and women, the 2019 Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study finds that this gap is closing in many categories.

Women attend and fundraise in greater numbers for the majority of traditional peer-to-peer event types. With women representing around 70% of the population for fee-based and no-fee registration events, they tend to have somewhat higher rates for event registration, participation, and service as captains of an event team. In general, men gravitate toward cycle or bike events, comprising 61% of all participants and nearly 60% of event team captains.

Despite the fact that women turn out to fundraise in greater numbers, men tend to raise more than women in all categories except endurance events, and they have higher average online gift amounts across the board. The approaches taken appear to have an impact on the genders that participate, with some genders slightly bent toward different event types. This data reinforces that organizations should ensure a positive experience for all event attendees to promote loyalty among supporters.