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 Survey,¬†the 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.