So you’ve heard all of the hype about Independent Fundraising Events (IFE) and your organization has decided to jump in with both feet. Hey, others have raised millions and we can too! While it’s true that there are many benefits of starting one of these profitable programs, diving in with no thought will ensure that you don’t maximize your revenue potential.

There are several options in how you structure your campaign and it’s important to consider which will be the best fit for your organization and potential participants. During the discovery and planning process, we recommend talking to internal stakeholders to clarify internal business practices, goals and resources available to impact the overall strategic direction of peer-to-peer program. Next, talk to your potential fundraisers to identify key motivators for support, propensity to support the new program and the key tools they will need to become successful fundraisers. This information will guide you in which program structure is the best fit for you.

Open Model

The open model provides your constituents a general opportunity to set up an online fundraising campaign, without directing them to specific reasons/occasions to fundraise for. The tools, communication and content are generic and can apply to any kind of fundraising activity. This option allows for quick and easy set-up and does not typically require maintenance throughout campaign.


  • Simple configuration and maintenance of website
  • Less expensive and shorter implementation timeline
  • Incorporate into other organization campaign
  • Flexible to target different audiences at same time
  • Great for first year program as it allows you to identify trends


  • Content is generic so does not provide a customized experience for participants
  • There are no “prompts” so constituents might not be sure of what activities are appropriate
  • “Fundraising Hub” Model

The Hub Model

The fundraising hub model allows you to define different reasons/occasions that your constituents can fundraise on your behalf. By customizing their registration pathway, you are able to provide an online experience specific to the fundraising motivations and activities. Examples of different activities that could be customized are: athletic events, memorial/tributes, community events, create your own, special occasions, school events and specific organizational campaigns (Spay Day, Save the Seals, etc).


  • Prompts participants in specific ways they can fundraise
  • Provides a customized experience based upon which method they choose
  • Provides opportunities for specific promotional campaigns
  • Could be stand alone


  • Complex site configuration
  • Longer implementation timeline and up front expense
  • Site updates would need to be made in multiple places
  • Providing multiple options could lead to confusion
  • “Focused Campaign” Model

Single Campaign Model

The single campaign focused model builds the program around a specific fundraising campaign. It is highly targeted and allows you to build robust marketing promotions around a single concept to recruit participants. The charity: water birthday campaign is an example of this model.


  • Simple configuration and maintenance of website
  • Less expensive and shorter implementation timeline
  • Consistent messaging over time
  • Creative concepts for marketing campaigns


  • Pigeon holed into one concept
  • Might not appeal to broad audience
  • Pressure to come up with “perfect” concept


The Creative & Strategy Practice at Charity Dynamics is dedicated to mulling over current trends, fleshing out recommendations and vetting new opportunities in the digital nonprofit world. Partner with us and gain insight into what’s new, what’s worth pursuing and what your organization can do to change the world.