Alternatives to Blackbaud, Sphere, Kintera and Standard Peer to Peer Fundraising Software For Campaigns That Stand Out

Standing Out In a Crowded Field

With so many peer to peer fundraising campaigns today, it’s imperative that nonprofits create campaigns and experiences that stand out from the crowd.  Massive organizations like Komen that have massive marketing budgets have a stronghold on the casual peer to peer event participant.

How can the small to medium-sized nonprofit compete?  Part of the answer is to create an event and a campaign that stands out to build a core of loyal participants that raise a lot of money year after year.  Whether that is a nationwide underwear run ( or a bike ride that ends in an amazing party on the beach (, small to medium-sized charities need to create the experience and buzz to compete with other organizations with limitless marketing budgets.

The Problem With Kintera…

…is the 1997 look and feel that makes millennials shudder.  In all seriousness, the real problem with Kintera and most other peer to peer fundraising providers are that the systems lack complete flexibility.  The nature of the software prohibits flexibility.  No matter what they tell you, at some point, the answer is always no.  The result is that organizations temper their unique vision or adjust their expectations to what the software can do.  Unfortunately, that means a ho-hum campaign that will lose out to the higher profile walks and rides held by larger charities.  #cookiecutter

But there is hope.  Creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and hard work can lead to amazing results.  We’ve seen it here first hand.  Part of the equation for success is a software platform that can support unlimited creativity and gives charities the ability to reflect the uniqueness of their campaign.

Below are a few ways that a completely flexible peer to peer fundraising software platform will help a fundraising campaign stand out from the crowd.


  • Registration flexibility:  Let’s give discounts to kids, seniors, and veterans!
  • Fully customized branding, URL, imagery and page layout:  Donors should feel like they are still on the charity’s site.  No long URLs with gibberish with the vendor’s name in it.
  • Branding matches the organization’s brand:  If the first thing you see on the site is the vendor’s logo and URL, then the campaign belongs to the vendor, not you.
  • Campaign photos and videos easily incorporated onto the site: High-quality pictures say a 1000 words and may help to raise 1000’s of dollars.


  • Participant communications tools for e-mail and social media
  • Participant referral features: Give credit to participants that recruit other people.
  • Donor referral features:  Give credit to donors that recruit other donors.
  • Multiple payment options for donors: PayPal? Credit Card? Check? Amazon Web Services?  Check all of the above.

Reporting and admin support:  

  • Communication tools that either speak with everyone or a specific group of people:  Lets text everyone who is less than $50 from their fundraising goal the week before the event.
  • Reports that allow you to dig deeper easily and create custom layouts to make analytics simpler:  70% of our attendees are female.  Should we ask Lululemon to be a sponsor?
  • Game-changing insights are easy to achieve and allow you to take your campaign to your envisioned level:  Our attendance is down 9% from this point last year.  But our average donation size is up.  Let’s try to increase our social media ad buy to get more participants.

Social Media Communications:  

  • Email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. sharing that is personalized to the organization and the person sharing.
  • Shares that are seasonal and branded with your organization’s artwork.


  • Donor management (CRM): Connect to Salesforce, DonorPerfect, Neon, even Raisers Edge.
  • Payment Gateways:  Can the software work with your existing payment gateway or are you forced to lose control of your money?
  • E-mail marketing platforms: Build campaigns and segment with precision through integration with MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Active Campaign.
  • Thankfully, now integration is simple and is the best way to provide organizations the best tools available:  Use API’s to create the best solution rather than settling for OK features in all-in-one solutions.

Create a peer to peer fundraising campaign that differentiates itself or prepares for a long, slow decline.  The peer to peer fundraising platform you select is a key part of the process of differentiation.

At Blue Sky Collaborative our goal is to help your organization maximize the benefits of online peer-to-peer fundraising to help achieve your mission, your Blue Sky.  To learn more about how we can help, visit our website or call us at (p) 800-330-4109.