Welcome to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada

david_korea_picBy David Hessekiel

Peer-to-peer fundraising has a proud history in Canada stretching back to Terry Fox’s historic trek across Canada in 1980. But until now it hasn’t had a place for peer-to-peer fundraising professionals to share winning strategies.

Welcome to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada, the first conference and online hub 100% focused on helping make your programs even greater.

Our decision to launch a conference and an information-rich website was inspired and encouraged by the many Canadians who’ve traveled to our US conference over the last few years and engaged in our US-focused distance learning programs.

Please join us on October 20th in Toronto at the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada Conference, an event featuring excellent speakers committed to helping you succeed, great opportunities to build your network and the premiere of our benchmarking study ranking the largest Canadian peer-to-peer fundraising programs.

Embrace what we’re building and together we’ll create a year-round community with an “all for one and one for all spirit” that will help all peer-to-peer fundraising programs in Canada. I encourage you to

Send us news of your accomplishments and questions on how to deal with challenges.

— Connect with us on Linkedin and Twitter.

— Sign up for our live and recorded webinars.

— Dive into this website for articles on best practices.

And please tell your colleagues about Companies & Causes Canada so together we can tap the power of peer-to-peer fundraising to support important efforts to build a better world.

David Hessekiel
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada

Does Your P2P Event Create a Lasting Impact?

Wednesday, January 22 at 2:00 pm ET

The P2P landscape is undergoing significant change. Events are still the cornerstone of P2P but the types of, and reasons for, giving around those events is changing. Learn how mobile tech from Grassroots Unwired has enabled events like Ride for Roswell to create a stellar experience for event participants and volunteers and save significant staff resources along the way.

Org’s. that are still using spreadsheets on paper and online-only payment solutions on the day of their event are wasting time, losing money, and missing an opportunity to be more efficient, engage and retain participants. To maintain the revenues from P2P Events, organizations need a day-of experience that is as digitally connected and seamless as their online tools. An experience that gives org.’s the ability to tie the day-of experience into all other donor experiences, and where participants can do more than just run or walk.

Attendees will hear from Karen Cincotti, Ride for Roswell to learn about the ways they incorporated technology from Grassroots Unwired into their annual bike event and leave this webinar equipped with options to incorporate tech into the day of their own P2P event.


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Revolutionize Your Fundraising with Corporate Matching Gifts:
A Conversation with LLS

Tuesday, April 28 at 3:00 pm ET

Corporate matching gifts are an often overlooked opportunity to exponentially increase revenue raised in peer-to-peer fundraising events. In this webinar, you’ll get a broad overview of the different types of corporate philanthropy followed by a deep dive on the mechanics of matching gifts. Learn more about effective ways to market matching gifts to donors and how to successfully integrate matching gifts into your peer-to-peer fundraising events.

You’ll also hear from Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Christopher Reilly about how LLS increased their revenue by $1MM+ in their first year by leveraging matching gifts.

Learning Objectives:
• Understand matching gifts and the process for requesting them
• Collect effective strategies for marketing matching gifts to donors
• Learn how to successfully incorporate matching gifts into P2P fundraising events

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: Christopher Reilly, Vice President, Accounting and Financial Reporting
Double the Donation: Sydney Faye Williams, CNP, Sr. Matching Gift Account Executive


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Creating a Successful GivingTuesday P2P Campaign

Wednesday, January 29 at 2:00 pm ET


GivingTuesday – the massive one-day effort to encourage people to give to charity – has become an annual phenomenon.

In 2018, more than 3.6 million people gave more than $400 million to U.S. nonprofits. And the 2019 campaign is expected to exceed those lofty numbers.

Even better, a growing number of nonprofits are incorporating GivingTuesday into their peer-to-peer programs. Camp Kesem, for instance, has raised millions through its annual GivingTuesday peer-to-peer campaign – and has set a $2 million goal for its 2019 effort.

Join us on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 2 p.m. to learn how to build your 2020 GivingTuesday campaign from leading experts, including:

  • Cristin O’Leary Jones, senior director of development and chapter fundraising for Camp Kesem, where she manages the organization’s successful GivingTuesday campaign.
  • Woodrow Rosenbaum, data lead for GivingTuesday, who works with dozens of donation processors to evaluate donor behaviors and determine the best ways to encourage individual giving


PRICE: $99 or FREE for Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum members


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Webinar Recording: Build a Successful DIY Program From Scratch

Original Broadcast Date: November 21, 2019

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation did not have a formal peer-to-peer fundraising program prior to launching its start-up do-it-yourself campaign, Capes for Kids, in 2017.

But even with a modest program budget and a limited staff, the hospital has been able to build Capes for Kids into a highly successful campaign.

Now in its fourth year, Capes for Kids has raised $1.7 million for the hospital — and it has helped build important connections with new donors and corporate supporters.

Sarah Barker, vice president of public engagement for Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, will share how her organization has been able to create and sustain a successful DIY campaign from scratch.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Build powerful relationships with companies that are looking to support good causes;
  • Create effective, highly-engaging DIY marketing on a limited budget;
  • Establish ongoing relationships with DIY fundraisers and their donors.

PRICE: $99 or FREE for Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum members

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Office Hours Webinar Recording: Boost Fundraising Activation 10% with These Proven Digital Strategies

Original Broadcast Date: July 9, 2019

Learn from fundraiser activation strategies directly from one of the peer-to-peer fundraising world’s top experts.

Mandy O’Neill, chief strategist for Connected NonProfit, will take your questions during the latest in a series of Office Hours webinars.

These highly-interactive quarterly sessions put you directly in touch with peer-to-peer fundraising experts who share a short presentation on a highly engaging topic and then spend the bulk of the hour answering your questions.

Speaker Profile:
Mandy O’Neill, chief strategist of Connected NonProfit
Mandy creates tools and shares insider secrets that give you confidence that you’re doing the right marketing at the right time to hit your event revenue goals.

Her specialty?

She takes the pain and mystery out of participant recruitment and retention for peer to peer fundraising events so you’re not “starting over” every year to recruit for your events.

Mandy’s approach is backed by science and testing, so you get the “aha” of why it works and can use her proven data to help sell your ideas internally too. Her refreshing tips on online marketing have been featured in Forbes, Public Affairs Council, Boost Blog Traffic, and the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum.

Get free cheat sheets and tips from Mandy at www.mandyoneill.net

PRICE: $99 or free for Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum Members

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How to Use Email to Fire Up Your Fundraisers

You know the drill.

People sign up to take part in one of your programs with every intention of raising big bucks, but then life happens. They get distracted and, suddenly, it’s event day and they’ve hardly raised a dollar.

To change that pattern, fundraising guru Mandy O’Neill has a simple piece of advice: Give them a helpful nudge when they’re most likely to act.

People are most likely to start raising money right after they register for your event. That’s when they are most excited and engaged, said O’Neill, chief strategist for Connected Nonprofit

But here’s the kicker: you have to capture that energy before it wanes.

To do that, O’Neill recommends creating five automated emails that get sent to every new registrant over the course of eight days in the following sequence:

Day 1 — An instant welcome email

Day 2 — A prompt to self-donate

Day 4 — A script that shows them what to say when they fundraise

Day 6 — A sample fundraising email they can send to friends, family, and co-workers

Day 8 — A prompt to post on social media, with a suggested post and image

Want more practical advice and examples of what to include in those emails? Then sign up for our next Office Hours webinar featuring Mandy on Tuesday, July 9.

In addition to presenting practical solutions to get participants fundraising, Mandy will take your questions. She’ll also provide insights on how to engage donors who are about to reach fundraising thresholds, how to get them fired up before your event, how to thank them afterwards … and much more.

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Webinar Recording: Creating a DIY Complement to a Signature Program

Original Broadcast Date: June 20, 2019

The growth of Covenant House’s signature Sleep Out program was being limited by the physical need to host the events at Covenant House sites and high fundraising minimums. With the creation of Sleep Out America, a DIY version of the program, the group found itself with an acquisition and fundraising success! Get the story of how to accomplish this from Covenant House’s Colleen Veldt and Ashley Larkin from the DonorDrive team.

In this webinar, you’ll learn more about Covenant House’s path to:

  • Eliminate barriers to entry with a DIY program
  • Maintain a high impact and engagement with the cause
  • Define the success of their program
  • Lessons learned along the way



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Webinar Recording – Success Strategies: North America’s Fastest-Growing P2P Campaigns

Original Broadcast Date: June 13, 2019

Peer-to-peer campaigns throughout the United States and Canada saw strong results in 2018, according to the annual P2P Fundraising Thirty survey.

But for a select group of organizations, revenues have been growing at a particularly robust rate.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Dance Marathon and Extra Life campaigns, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Cycle for Survival, and SickKids Foundation’s GetLoud have been posting extraordinary results — and are expecting to continue to post strong revenue growth in 2019 and beyond.

How do they do it?

Join us on Thursday, June 13, for an opportunity to learn the answer to this question from the people behind these programs.

We’ve assembled an all-star team of P2P fundraising professionals to discuss the strategies and tactics that have helped them generate robust revenue growth. They’ll share their secrets — and take questions on how you can replicate their success at your organization.


Nancy Jordan is associate director of events for the SickKids Foundation, which in 2018 debuted a new program, SickKids GetLoud. The program raised $2.3 million in its first year — making it the youngest program in either Canada or the U.S. to make the P2P Thirty list.

Katie Klein is director of fundraising events for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. There, she leads its fast-growing Cycle for Survival series, which increased revenues by nearly 15 percent to $39 million in 2018 — and recently closed its 2019 campaign with record revenues of $42 million.

Elyse Meardon is vice president of revenue for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which boasted two of the five fastest-growing large programs in the U.S. in 2018. Elyse oversees its Dance Marathon program, which raised $43.5 million — up nearly 12 percent. Another program, Extra Life, vaulted onto the top 30 for the first time in 2018 after posting a revenue increase of 24.2 percent 

PRICE: $99 or FREE for Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum members.

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Inside SickKids Foundation’s Bold Decision to End a Successful Walk Program

SickKids Get Loud challenged participants to reach new heights with their fundraising.

With a prominent title sponsor, 3,000 annual participants, and revenues of $2.44 million, The Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk had all the markings of a successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

But when Nancy Jordan and her team at the SickKids Foundation looked under the hood, they worried that the 5-year-old walk event had already seen its best days.

So they took a bold step and started over.

Instead of trying to squeeze dollars from what was still a successful campaign, the SickKids Foundation decided to pull the plug and replace the Great Camp Adventure Walk with something new.

The result was SickKids Get Loud — a campaign designed to reignite the interest of some of the previous walk’s participants while also attracting an entirely new group of supporters.

While the Great Camp Adventure Walk was a 20-kilometer walk aimed at families with young children, SickKids Get Loud! followed a different formula.

The new event featured a shorter, 5-kilometer walk, followed by a music festival featuring popular bands such as Barenaked Ladies and Magic! To attend the festival, participants need to hit a fundraising minimum of $300. But any participant can take part in the walk, regardless of how much money they raise.

This new formula gave participants a greater incentive to raise money — and it helped draw more people.

SickKids Get Loud debuted in the fall of 2018 with more than 4,350 participants, $2.3 million in revenues and a spot on Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada’s ranking of the top 30 P2P programs.

More importantly, Jordan sees growth on the horizon.

SickKids is looking to draw up to 5,000 participants and raise $2.6 million this year.

What’s more, the organization has provided a blueprint for when to make the often painful decision to move on from a successful peer-to-peer campaign at the right time.

Here are four key lessons:

Know your audience — One of the biggest factors in SickKids’ decision to move on from the Great Camp Adventure Walk was its audience. The walk was designed to be very kid friendly. This was appealing to younger children and their families, but the format made it difficult to get them to keep coming back as they grew older.

“It wasn’t cool enough,” Jordan said of how the walk was seen by older kids.

As a result, participation had plateaued — and the organization was devoting considerable resources to recruit new participants each year to replace those who had aged out of the program.

Create long-term agreements with sponsors — SickKids takes an uncommon approach to sponsorships — pushing to lock its key corporate supporters into 5-year contracts rather than year-to-year agreements. This helps the organization build consistent revenue bases for multiple years. It also gives SickKids an opportunity to discuss contract extensions years before their current agreements end.

Because of this approach, Jordan said the nonprofit was able to learn years ahead of time that two of its largest initial sponsors were unlikely to return for a second contract. While this news was painful, it also gave her a heads up about a potential revenue decline.

Assess what has changed — Like some couples, nonprofits and their peer-to-peer programs can grow apart. When SickKids launched its innovative SickKids VS branding campaign in 2016, it grew increasingly difficult for Jordan and her team to connect the Great Camp Adventure Walk to the nonprofit’s brand.

Rather than continuing to fit a square peg into a round hole, SickKids determined that it might work better to develop a new program that was more aligned with its new brand.

Break old habits — As peer-to-peer programs begin to age, it becomes more difficult to break bad habits. In the case of the Great Camp Adventure Walk, SickKids continually drew a large number of $0 fundraisers — or those who raised only a small amount of money.

And once that habit becomes a part of a campaign’s culture, it’s difficult to break.

Rebranding the campaign and giving it a new format gave SickKids an opportunity to start over, set new expectations, and change its messaging around fundraising.

Sunsetting a longtime peer-to-peer fundraising campaign isn’t easy — nor is it for everyone.

But by being thoughtful, deliberate, and creative, you can create something completely new and successful out of the ashes of a sagging program.

5 New Things Every Fundraiser Should Know

Summer is coming — and with it, you’ll hopefully have a chance to catch your breath between the hectic spring and busy fall event seasons.

Here are five things worth exploring during your down time:

Instagram’s Donation Sticker — Your campaign will soon have an opportunity to add Instagram to its social media toolkit. Instagram this month launched its new Donation Sticker feature, which allows users to attach attach a “Donation” button to their stories and connect money raised through the button to registered charities. For now, the feature is limited to a select number of nonprofits — but it likely won’t be long before your organization can leverage it for its own P2P campaigns.

Getting Your Fundraisers to Come BackA new report by Classy finds that peer-to-peer fundraising pages on its platform that are started by return fundraisers raised more than twice as much money on average as pages created by one-time fundraisers $501 vs. $222, respectively. But here’s the rub: only 14 percent of fundraisers returned for a second time. Luckily, we have some practical advice on how to get your fundraisers to come back.

Ideas for Your Next Campaign — Looking to reach a new audience with a new campaign? The ever-growing Big List of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising includes nearly 140 ideas for P2P campaigns. Our latest favorite? The “Don’t Talk-A-Thon”, in which supporters take an oath of silence to raise money for Project ALS.

Insights from Amsterdam — Peer-to-peer fundraising is growing quickly in the Netherlands — and new research from Peerworks Consulting includes some great lessons for fundraisers in North America. Learn more.

Building Better Corporate Partnerships — Cycle for Survival continues to set new records — reaching $42 million in revenues from more than 245,000 donors this year. Katie Klein, director of fundraising events for Memorial Sloan Cancer Center, will share how the series has been working with new corporate partners to help bolster its revenues in a webinar on June 13.