2017 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada Top Thirty Benchmarking Study Results


Fundraising revenue for Canada’s 30-largest peer-to-peer fundraising programs declined 1.5 percent in 2017 to $238.8 million, according to the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada Thirty survey of the nation’s largest fundraising programs.

The modest drop follows several years of more substantial declines in revenue among these 30 bellwether programs and suggests brighter days ahead for many groups. More than half of the campaigns in this year’s survey, in fact, saw revenues increase or stay even in 2017.

“2017 was an encouraging year for Canadian charities that manage peer-to-peer fundraising programs,” said David Hessekiel, president of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada, which produces the annual survey. “A number of prominent programs are thriving — and a number of other organizations have been adding new programs and campaigns that augment their longstanding campaigns.”

A number of campaigns saw significant growth, headlined by Canada’s largest peer-to-peer program, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation’s Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. The campaign saw a massive 13 percent increase in 2017 and posted record revenue of $39.4 million.

Blue Sea Philanthropy’s Coldest Night of the Year also boasted another record year, with revenues totaling more than $4.7 million — a 21.8 percent increase over its total in 2016. The results made Coldest Night of the Year the fastest-growing large peer-to-peer fundraising program in North America.

“Coldest Night of the Year is leading a wave of newer Canadian peer-to-peer programs that are building strong connections with their supporters and spurring them to take action,” said Bill Wood, president and CEO of FrontStream, makers of the Panorama peer-to-peer fundraising and engagement platform, and sponsor of the 2017 survey.  “Each year, Blue Sea Philanthropy stays ahead of the curve by listening to participants and adjusting their online strategies to inspire 120 communities across the country to go the extra mile for good causes.”

The Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada Thirty survey ranks the 30 largest peer-to-peer fundraising programs in Canada.    

Peer-to-peer fundraising is the practice of having a nonprofit’s supporters take part in an activity such as a walk, bike ride or challenge and reach out to their friends, family members and colleagues for donations.

In the past, peer-to-peer fundraising was dominated by large national health charities that played host to multi-city events.

But the landscape has shifted in recent years with the explosion of social media and independent peer-to-peer fundraising in which individuals can easily launch their own campaigns to raise money for their favorite charities.

“Peer-to-peer fundraising is becoming much more diverse — and much more efficient — than ever before,” Hessekiel said. “Nonprofits report that they are taking steps to make sure they are managing their costs and getting more bang for their investments.”

Other highlights from the survey include:

  • SickKids Foundation is seeing significant growth among two of its peer-to-peer programs — Great Cycle Challenge and the Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk. Both campaigns are among Canada’s five fastest-growing peer-to-peer programs — an impressive achievement considering the fact that both programs are new. Great Cycle Challenge debuted in 2016, while the Great Camp Adventure Walk started in 2013.
  • The Terry Fox Run — the oldest campaign in the survey and Canada’s third-largest peer-to-peer fundraising program — saw revenues increase by 2.5 percent in 2017. It marked the second-straight year of strong growth for the program, which raised more than $24 million.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada conducts the survey with sponsorship support from FrontStream.

Download the Top 30 Narrative and Dataset

 Top 10 list

  1. Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation ($39.4 million)
  2. Relay for Life, Canadian Cancer Society ($25 million)
  3. The Terry Fox Run, Terry Fox Foundation ($24.1 million)
  4. CIBC Run for the Cure, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation ($17 million)
  5. Movember Canada, Movember Canada ($15.5 million)
  6. Jump Rope for Heart, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada ($12.7 million)
  7. MS Bike, MS Society of Canada ($8.5 million)
  8. MS Walk, MS Society of Canada ($8.4 million)
  9. World Partnership Walk, Aga Khan Foundation Canada ($7.6 million)
  10. Big Bike, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada ($7.5 million)

P2PCanada_30_4cPrevious versions of the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada Top 30 survey:

2016 — Canadian Top Thirty P2P Programs

2015 — Canadian Top Thirty P2P Programs

2014 — Canadian Top Thirty P2P Programs