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Cycling and Spinning Programs Struggle, But Creative Ideas Offer Signs of Hope

Ride to Conquer CancerCycling and spinning programs have been among the fastest-growing P2P campaigns in recent years.

But the largest Canadian programs struggled mightily in 2015. According to the recently released Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada Top Thirty Benchmarking Surveythe nation’s five largest cycling and spinning programs saw their revenues decline by $3.7 million, or 5.1 percent, last year.

As the list below shows, results were particularly unkind to JDRF Canada’s popular spinning series, JDRF Revolution Ride to Defeat Diabetes

  1. Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer – Princess Margaret Cancer Center – down 5%
  2. MS Bike — MS Society of Canada – down 5.3%
  3. Big Bike – Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada – down 0.2%
  4. Ride for Heart – Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada – up 3.4%
  5. JDRF Revolution Ride to Defeat Diabetes – JDRF Canada – down 19.3%

To be sure, 2015 was a tough year for most Canadian programs — not just those that involve pedals. Fundraising totals for the top 30 programs declined by 8.6 percent last year. However, the decline in cycling programs was a particularly profound wake-up call for organizers, as, until recently, cycling had been growing in popularity.

The good news is that organizers of many of these programs are taking note and making changes that aim to breathe new life into their campaigns — many of which have been pedaling along for more than a quarter of a century.

JDRF earlier this year has unveiled plans to reboot the Revolution Ride — a move that aims to attract a new generation of riders. The Heart and Stroke Foundation is also making improvements to its cycling programs, with an eye on getting new people involved.

For more on Canada’s Top 30 P2P programs, download our 2015 report.

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2016 Conference Evaluation

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Thank you for coming to our 2016 Conference!

We value your feedback and appreciate your taking the time to answer a few questions to help us keep making our conference better.

 


P2P Fundraising Canada - 2016 Conference Evaluation

Electronic evaluation for the 2015 conference.

2015 Workshop Evaluation

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Thank you for coming to our Pre-Conference Workshop!

We value your feedback and appreciate your taking the time to answer a few questions to help us keep making our workshops better.

 


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Build Your Network

networking

Take advantage of the many opportunities during the conference to meet your peers:

8:00 AM to 8:30 AM — Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall

10:00 AM to 10:30 AM — Networking Coffee in the Exhibit Hall

1:00 PM to 1:30 PM — Dessert Reception in the Exhibit Hall

4:15 PM to 5:00 PM — Closing Reception

And online – Join our LinkedIn Group and keep the networking going.

 

2015 Conference Presentations

presentationsLearn more about our speakers

Welcome

Download: 2015 Canadian Top Thirty P2P Programs

Sector Breakouts
  • 320_ChessIcon_RedDownload Presentation: Proprietary Programs Presentations
    • Amy Milne, Beyond
    • Tristan Bassett, SickKids Foundation
    • Joanne Fraraccio, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto
    • Kimberley Locke, JDRF
    • Becky Mitts, MS Society of Canada
  • Download Presentation: Challenge Programs Summit
    • Rachel Armbruster, Armbruster Consulting Group
    • Donna Dowsett, Canadian Diabetes Association
    • Nick Hollowood & Gary Irvine, The Realbuzz Group
    • Sponsored by The Realbuzz Group
  • Download Presentation: Independent Fundraising Programs Summit
    • Donna Wilkins, Charity Dynamics
    • Thadshiga Jayaseelan, Oakville Hospital Foundation
    • Sue Dalos, Canadian Cancer Society
    • Candice Hamel, MS Society of Canada
    • Sponsored by Charity Dynamics
CashSweatTears_Canada_4cCash, Sweat & Tears Canada Award Luncheon

Read more about Lovisa McCullam and her achievements on behalf CF Canada

Cash, Sweat & Tears Canada Award sponsored by Blackbaud

Skill Building Breakouts

 

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Launch Your First P2P Campaign: How to Get Fundraising Results

This post is the third in a 3 part series for small to medium-sized charities launching their first peer-to-peer fundraising event.

iStock_000018832333Largeby Cindy Younan, CanadaHelps

When planning and launching your first peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising event, there can be many moving parts and unknowns. The good news is there’s a lot that can be done well in advance to ensure it’s a success. With the right preparation and strategy, you can set your charity up for great fundraising results. Here are three tips to help get you there:

Engage and Empower Your Fundraisers
Your fundraisers are your key to fundraising success. Your job is to empower your fundraisers with the tools, incentives, information, inspiration and motivation they need to confidently approach their networks and raise money for your cause. You need to invest time and effort into maintaining engagement because this area can ultimately make or break you.

First, provide your fundraisers with a place online where they can access ideas for Facebook and Twitter messages, email templates, shareable photos and videos, fundraising tips, social media banners and avatars that promote your event, a FAQs page, etc.

In addition, send them messages of support each time they hit an important milestone to keep them motivated and to let them know you’ve noticed their hard work. Make sure you follow your fundraisers on social media and share and/or like their posts. It’s about keeping your relationships strong, after all.

Ask your fundraisers to donate to their own pages, even if it’s a small amount. If you have many fundraisers, these small amounts can go a long way. Plus, their own networks are more likely to donate the closer they are to reaching the goal.

Build Momentum and a Sense of Urgency
There are several ways to maintain momentum throughout your campaign. Ask a sponsor to match donations for a period of time – donors are more likely to donate when they know their dollars are going further. Alternatively, ask a sponsor to donate a prize that you can give away to a lucky fundraiser that raises a minimum amount. Offering exciting incentives and rewards will push fundraisers to keep working hard.

Also, share statistics of your current progress to get people excited at the probability of reaching the fundraising goal and don’t forget to include a countdown until the big event. Break your goal into bite-sized, attainable pieces like, “If every fundraiser brings in just $50 dollars more, we’ll reach our goal!”

To create a sense of urgency, send your fundraisers a countdown/progress email 1 month before, 2 weeks before, 7 days before and 72 hours before the deadline. Your subject line should be something that will grab attention.

Remind people what reaching the goal will do for the people your organization helps. Rephrase your goal in different terms that demonstrate the impact reaching it will make.

In addition, some healthy competition in the lead up to the event can be fun and build momentum. Get creative on how to do this with your chosen event type. For example, in the case of an athletic type event, you can add in fun aspects like a training tracker that allows everyone to see each other’s progress.

Send Memorable and Fun Communications
There was something that made your supporters donate or fundraise for your charity. It may have been something outside of your control like a unique experience or an affected family member, but often it can be a story, speech, video, or advertisement that inspires someone to get involved. Keep producing those kinds of communications during your event in order to hook supporters and keep the ones you have. You also want to make sure that those who go above and beyond for your organization are properly supported with special, personalized communications.

Videos and photos from the preparations for the event, the event itself, and your charity’s work can be some of the most impactful and meaningful communications between you and your supporters so share, share, share!

Most importantly, say ‘thank you’ more than anything, at every chance you get!

Read the other posts in this three-part series: “Five Tips for Right-Sizing Your P2P Event” and “Building Awareness for Your First P2P Event

About the Author

Cindy Younan is the Charity Marketing Manager at CanadaHelps. CanadaHelps.org allows donors to safely donate and fundraise online for any registered Canadian charity and also provides charities the secure online fundraising platform and education resources they need to succeed. As a registered charity itself, CanadaHelps has facilitated over $500 million in donations to Canadian charities online since launching in 2000. Over 15,000 Canadian charities fundraise online using the CanadaHelps platform. Stay connected with CanadaHelps on Twitter @CanadaHelps.


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Building Awareness for Your First P2P Event

This post is the second in a 3 part series for small to medium-sized charities launching their first peer-to-peer fundraising event.

Two friends running on the lines at the stadium in a sunny day

by Shannon Craig, CanadaHelps

You’ve planned your peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising event down to the finest detail, prepared your fundraisers and volunteers for the challenging (but fun and rewarding) work ahead, and now you need to build awareness!

Here are 5 key avenues to help you get the word out about your event:

Fundraisers and Supporters
These are the people that truly care about your cause and your event. Make sure you encourage your fundraisers so that your awareness-building through their networks is maximized. Ensure that you thank them often and provide inspirational emails, tools, and tips periodically. Your emails should contain information that they will want to share with others through word-of-mouth and social media.

Another great way to keep the ball rolling is to offer incentives to your fundraisers. This can include having a sponsor match donations for a certain period of time or offering prizes.

Your charity likely has some strong donors who regularly donate or occasionally donate large amounts of money to your charity. Tapping into their enthusiasm for your cause can really build up your awareness. Make a special case of ensuring they have everything they need to support you and spread the word to their like-minded friends and family.

Sponsors
Sponsors can help cover costs, but they can also help spread the word. Often, they have resources, connections, and experience in the world of advertising/marketing. Securing a sponsor can be challenging, but there are things you can do to make it easier. Advertisement of their brand in general is good, but when coupled with your charity, their target audiences see that they are also a caring, trustworthy, and respectable brand.

If they’re not used to sponsoring charitable events, they may need a helping hand in learning about all the potential benefits they can gain from the partnership. Brainstorm a variety of ways they can help you advertise, from small to large, and traditional to nontraditional.

Personalities
Explore your options in securing a local personality to endorse, donate, or participate in your event. Securing an A-list celebrity may be tough, so consider well-known personalities such as mayors, councilors, MPs/MPPs, principals, business owners, athletes, chefs, social media icons, musicians, etc. Try to choose a local celebrity that matches your cause or event. Their support can increase your awareness by letting you reach different segments of the community, by using their social media presence to your benefit, and by creating buzz around your event. Clearly establish beforehand if you’re allowed to use their name when promoting your event.

Public Relations and Local Media
Start early with local media because it can take a while for the media representatives to find an opportunity to feature your event and prepare a story. To get their attention, have key messages ready and a great photo to share with them. Send news releases or even just a paragraph of information to local news outlets so they know about your event and your charity. Ask fellow staff, volunteers, family and friends if they have connections. You can contact a specific journalist directly who might be interested in your work, especially if this person often covers stories like yours. Don’t forget to invite media to your event and provide them with plenty of photo-worthy moments and have a spokesperson ready and prepped.

Social Media
There are three important things to keep in mind when raising awareness about your P2P event through social media. First, post regularly and consistently about your P2P event. Use a tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to schedule some posts throughout the week to lighten the workload. Second, don’t just post but engage. Use social media as a hub where your fundraisers and donors can conveniently get in touch about the exciting things that are happening before, during and after the event. Third, make up a short, memorable hashtag and promote it in all of your communications. Since only a small percentage of your followers see your posts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, consider allocating some of your marketing spend towards online advertising.

Read the other posts in this three-part series: “Five Tips for Right-Sizing Your P2P Event” and “Launch Your First P2P Campaign: How to Get Fundraising Results

About the Author:

Shannon Craig is the Chief Marketing & Product Officer at CanadaHelps. CanadaHelps.org allows donors to safely donate and fundraise online for any registered Canadian charity and also provides charities the secure online fundraising platform and education resources they need to succeed. As a registered charity itself, CanadaHelps has facilitated over $500 million in donations to Canadian charities online since launching in 2000. Over 15,000 Canadian charities fundraise online using the CanadaHelps platform. Stay connected with CanadaHelps on Twitter @CanadaHelps.


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5 Tips for “Right-Sizing” Your P2P Event

This post is the first in a 3 part series for small to medium-sized charities launching their first peer-to-peer fundraising event.

iStock_000063619123_Fullby Shannon Craig, CanadaHelps

A peer-to-peer (P2P) social fundraising event has the potential to positively benefit your non-profit, deepening your relationship with your current supporters, raising awareness of the work you do, and attracting new donors to dramatically grow your fundraising program. However, as a small to medium-size non-profit, it’s critical that you “right-size” your event.  In others words, you should strive to match the type/scale of event you choose to your available resources.

Here are 5 important tips to “right-size” your P2P event:

Set a Realistic Fundraising Goal
A great rule of thumb for setting a realistic fundraising goal is to secure 30% of your total goal within the first 48 hours of your campaign. In other words, estimate how much you can likely acquire in the first two days and multiple it by about three and a half. You’ll be thankful you did later when you see how ecstatic your supporters are when they’ve reached it.

Keep it Manageable
Keep your event manageable and think outside of the box. Some events such as runs require a lot of planning, logistics and working with third parties (municipal governments, lawyers, etc.) to make them successful. Where you may need waivers and permits for a run or ride, far less planning is required for an event like a write-a-thon where your supporters write letters of support for a given cause. The key is to choose an event type that can be managed with the resources you have. If weather is a risk and you don’t have a budget for tents, simply look indoors. Consider a stationary event over a run or walk to avoid the complexities of coordinating traffic management, the need for more signage, volunteers, etc. From cook-a-thons to read-a-thons, there are many types of P2P events that can be kept manageable while providing a great experience for your participants and even the broader community.

Think About Your Supporters
Great events don’t have to be huge! Just three canoes and nine paddling fundraisers may be enough to meet your camp’s fundraising goal to build that new craft cabin. Spend time figuring out who your core supporters are that you can count on. Then, choose an event type that they’ll embrace (it may turn out your core supporters are not in for a physical challenge).  If you’re appointing your supporters as team captains, estimate how many people they will be able to recruit as their fundraising team members. Then, you’ll have a better idea of who will be involved so you can choose the proper location. If space is an issue, opt for an event where participants can be spread out at different locations, or participate at different times.

Minimize Costs
When you think of P2P fundraising, you will often think of t-shirts, free hats, free food, sponsor giveaways and prizes. These costs can quickly add up, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many creative ways to do more with less. Look for sponsors and partners to donate or lend you their support. This can be in the form of sound equipment, tables, etc. Do a bring-your-own-lunch at the end of the event. Rather than t-shirts, ask everyone to dress in your colours.

Make it Memorable
One of your primary goals when creating a P2P fundraising event should be to create a memorable experience for your supporters – after all, you want them to join again next year!  The trick is to make them feel connected to your cause and the people involved. Think about how you can deepen the passion they feel for your cause and foster relationships — the people they meet, experiences they share, and the difference they feel like they’re making as part of a team. Fun is another way to drive engagement. Did they enjoy participating? Are they talking about the event with their friends and sharing photos on Facebook?  Also, little touches matter – small mementos that keep your cause top of mind months later, like photos of your work with messaging that makes it clear your impact without them would be impossible.

Read the next post in this series “Building Awareness for Your First P2P Event

About the Author:

Shannon Craig is the Chief Marketing & Product Officer at CanadaHelps. CanadaHelps.org allows donors to safely donate and fundraise online for any registered Canadian charity and also provides charities the secure online fundraising platform and education resources they need to succeed. As a registered charity itself, CanadaHelps has facilitated over $500 million in donations to Canadian charities online since launching in 2000. Over 15,000 Canadian charities fundraise online using the CanadaHelps platform. Stay connected with CanadaHelps on Twitter @CanadaHelps.


 

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CanadaHelps