The altruistic nature of people can be observed in the many ways society has begun to leverage technology for social good, including peer-to-peer fundraising. Altruism is a desire to aid in the betterment of others without the expectation of a reciprocal benefit or reward. Instead, an altruistic individual’s concern for others stems from a genuine and unselfish wish to help.
The unanticipated reward of giving is that warm feeling we have when we help someone, which has been proven to be beneficial for mental and physical health. The Cleveland Clinic outlines several health advantages, which include a longer life span, decreased blood pressure, less depression and stress levels, as well as increased self-esteem. On top of good health, one study found that volunteering is proven to produce feelings of empowerment while another study demonstrated that kindness and giving back are contagious. Interesting facts like these coupled with technological advancements point to the reasons peer-to-peer fundraising has become a major trend in recent years.
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: A Trend That’s Here to Stay
Since its inception a few years back, crowdfunding has grown exponentially. According to Massolution, 2016 marks the first year the crowdfunding industry will account for more funding than venture capital. Peer-to-peer online fundraising specifically refers to crowdfunding that helps individuals draw on the support of friends, family and others around the world. Simply put, individuals are empowered to create their own crowdfunding campaign on behalf of a specific organization or personal cause and then share it with their social network. In this way, it allows people to personalize their campaign to reflect their unique involvement, consequently exposing causes to new networks of potential donors and supporters.
Capitalizing on Your Social Network
Your social network is more influential than you may think. All you need to do is ask. According to Blackbaud, when questioned about their motivation to donate, about 50 percent of individuals claim that a friend asked them. The same study revealed that in the past five years social giving via online channels has more than doubled, reiterating technology’s prevailing impact on fundraising. Taking a serious approach to social media can pay off. The same study revealed that utilizing social media could increase fundraising by 40 percent. Within a few shares on social media, your campaign will be visible to three times as many people within your own network, extending your reach to potential donors that were previously inaccessible.
Demystifying Three Common Misconceptions of Crowdfunding
- For those who are not well versed in the realm of crowdfunding it can sometimes be perceived as online begging or even a form of virtual panhandling. However, this is a mislead perception of a powerful tool. A crowdfunding campaign invites others to participate in a worthy cause by becoming partners in its mission. Each donation serves a purpose in a similar way that an investment would for a business.
- Often, individuals approaching crowdfunding for the first time are surprised when their campaign doesn’t gain significant traction immediately. This is because the crowd does not come with the crowdfunding platform. This is where you need to put in some elbow grease to jump-start the momentum of your campaign. Fortunately, technological advancements in social media have forged a new interconnectivity between individuals across the globe. By leveraging your social networks, you can get in touch with entire populations of possible supporters that were formerly beyond reach.
- Another common misconception is that all crowdfunding platforms are free. In fact, the majority of crowdfunding platforms charge a platform fee, so a chunk of the money you raise is used as payment for the company. Fortunately, YouCaring has no platform fees, so all the money raised, with the exception of a small third-party payment processor fee (not a YouCaring fee), goes to your cause.
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising in Action on YouCaring
Using peer-to-peer fundraising for purposes such as medical expenses has proven to be quite fruitful on YouCaring. When individuals are struck with unexpected medical problems, it can be a huge financial burden. For many, using crowdfunding not only aids in raising the necessary funds but also generates a supportive community.
A prime example is Matthew Schreindorfer of Montreal, Quebec. He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2014 but soon took to crowdfunding with his wife. Their Help Save Matthew campaign successfully raised more than $835,000 so he could participate in a clinical trial.
“YouCaring is one of the major pieces of the puzzle that saved my life,” Schreindorfer said. “Without it, I would never have had the money to get access to the treatment in the U.S., or I would have been in financial ruin from it.”
Get Started Today
Ready to unleash compassion? YouCaring is the place to begin. In a few easy steps, anyone can have a campaign up and running that highlights their commitment to a meaningful cause. Launch your free campaign today.