Canada’s 30 Largest Peer-to-Peer Programs Raised $275 Million in 2014

P2P Thirty Canada

Canada’s 30 largest peer-to-peer fundraising programs brought in more than $275 million for charities in 2014, according to a first-of-its kind study released at the inaugural Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada conference.

Peer-to-peer fundraising programs engage supporters to solicit their personal contacts for contributions. These “asks” are often linked to a supporter’s participation in a rapidly expanding universe of events ranging from traditional runs, walks and rides to more unusual activities such as rappelling down skyscrapers, mustache growing and sleeping out in the cold.

Canada’s largest peer-to-peer fundraising program (in terms of gross revenue) was the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, a series of four cycling events that raised $42.4 million to support cancer research in 2014.

It narrowly edged out the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, a program that enabled nearly 130,000 participants in 400 locations to raise $42.2 million in 2014.

But while these two programs are Canada’s largest, each actually saw its revenues decline compared with 2013 — a common trait among the top 30. For 16 of the programs, revenues dropped compared with 2013 and collectively the top 30 programs posted a 6% decline in gross revenues.

That overall figure was weighed down by a significant decline of 32% (or $10.8 million) at Movember Canada, said David Hessekiel, president of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada. Remove the Movember figure and the other 29 programs declined by only 3%.

The fastest growing program in the top 30 was the Coldest Night of the Year, a winter walk series organized by Blue Sea Philanthropy in 80 communities that raised $2,534,761 in 2014 to help “the hungry, homeless and hurting.”

The second fastest-growing program was the Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk, a camp-themed event in Toronto that grew 41% to raise $1,900,000 for the SickKids Foundation.

“There is still room for growth for many traditional walk, run and ride programs, but it is notable that the two fastest-growing programs in the top 30 were novel, family oriented-events,,” said Amy Milne, cofounder of Beyond, a new Toronto-based peer-to-peer fundraising consulting firm that co-sponsored the inaugural Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada Top 30 study.

The growth of these programs also shows the continued promise of peer-to-peer fundraising — especially as online and mobile fundraising technology continues to evolve.

“In our increasingly networked society, the prospects for peer-to-peer fundraising are tremendous for nonprofits that know how to leverage technology, personal outreach and the power of their causes,” said Hessekiel, who has organized peer-to-peer fundraising conferences in the US for the last ten years.

More than 200 development professionals hungry for such training attended the first Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada conference on Tuesday, October 20. Industry statistics, guidance on peer-to-peer fundraising best practices and access to year-round virtual training is available at www.p2pfundraisingcanada.com.

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To explore the complete list of campaigns that made the first-ever Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Thirty click the link below:

2015 Canadian Top Thirty P2P Programs