Annual Benchmark: Canada’s Top P2P Programs

P2PCanada_30_4cRevenues for the 30 largest Canadian peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns posted less than a 1% decline in 2019, according to an annual survey by the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada.

Collectively the 30 campaigns tracked by Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada raised nearly $245.1 million in 2019, down 0.3 percent from 2018.

And after removing the results of just one program, The Ride to Conquer Cancer, results for the remaining 29 campaigns were up by more than $2 million.

“While it’s easy to look at the top-line revenue number and assume that peer-to-peer fundraising is struggling, this year’s survey tells a much different story,” said Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum President David Hessekiel. “The majority of large programs experienced strong gains in 2019. On the heels of a strong year in 2018, revenue has been trending up over the past two years.”

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 video gaming challenge and reach out to their friends, family members, colleagues and followers for donations.

Results of the study including the top 30 rankings can be found at https://www.p2pfundraisingcanada.com/.

The survey is sponsored by CauseForce.

Survey Highlights

This year’s survey of the top 30 programs is led by The Ride to Conquer Cancer, which saw its revenues total more than $39 million, down 6.6 percent from $41.8 million in 2018. Officials say the revenue decline was expected following a 2018 in which three of its four events were celebrating milestone anniversaries.

The Ride, which drew an estimated 10,000 participants in four cities, has held the title of Canada’s largest P2P program since the survey began tracking campaigns in 2014.

“The Ride across Canada saw a slight decline year over year. However, the engagement of our riders, crew, volunteers, and donors remains as high as ever,” said Steve Merker, Vice President of Corporate & Community Partnerships for The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. “With over 11,000 riders and volunteers and over a quarter of a million donors, the Ride serves as Canada’s largest athletic fundraising program for cancer research.”

The Terry Fox Foundation’s The Terry Fox Run, was Canada’s second-largest peer-to-peer campaign in 2019, raising $25.3 million — up 2.7 percent from 2018.

Despite being one of Canada’s oldest and most established P2P programs, The Terry Fox Run has seen significant gains in recent years — even as other longstanding programs have struggled. Since 2015, its annual revenues have increased by more than 30 percent.

“The Terry Fox Run shows that with a disciplined approach, long-running peer-to-peer programs can resonate with supporters for decades,” Hessekiel said. “The fact that it continues to draw more than 3.4 million participants per year 40 years after its founding is a remarkable achievement.”

Strong Growth Abounds

Movember Canada – which encourages men to grow moustaches each November to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues – posted the biggest revenue increase among large Canadian programs in 2019.

The campaign raised more than $19.9 million – up $2.4 million, or 13.7 percent from 2018. The increase was fueled, in part, by a surge in participation. More than 70,700 people took part in Movember Canada’s 2019 campaign, up more than 14,200 from 2018.

“Our campaign message to Canadians was simple: Whatever You Grow Will Save a Bro,” said Keith Sexton, Movember Canada’s Senior Manager of Community Development. “It paid tribute to the fun origins of Movember but was underlined with the importance of our why – which clearly resonated with the 70,000 Canadians who joined us this year.”

While Movember and the Terry Fox Run were among the most noteworthy gainers, they did not provide the only highlights.

Other campaigns that posted significant gains in 2019 include JDRF Canada’s Sun Life Ride to Defeat Diabetes for JDRF (up 17.1 percent), Blue Sea Philanthropy’s Coldest Night of the Year (17 percent), The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation’s Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer (14.5 percent), and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night (13 percent).

Other highlights from the survey include:

  • Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada’s Big Bike campaign had the largest percentage decrease: 39 percent. The decline was part of a planned downsizing of the campaign according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, which noted that it was looking to focus on ensuring that it was focusing on events that had lower overhead compared to revenues.
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night is the only new campaign to break into the top 10 this year. It replaces Big Bike, which dropped from No. 10 to No. 17 on this year’s list.
  • Cops for Cancer – which provided data for the first time – is the only new entry on this year’s list. It replaces Ovarian Cancer Canada’s Walk of Hope. Cops for Cancer raised $3.15 million to land at No. 25 on the list.

Download the Top 30 Narrative and Dataset


 Top 10 list

  1. The Ride to Conquer Cancer – Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and three other Canadian cancer centers – $39.0 million – down 6.6 percent
  2. The Terry Fox Run—The Terry Fox Foundation – $25.3 million – up 2.7 percent
  3. Relay for Life – Canadian Cancer Society – $23.0 million – down 3.0 percent
  4. Movember Canada – Movember Canada – $19.9 million – up 13.7 percent
  5. CIBC Run for the Cure – Canadian Cancer Society – $16.7 million – up 3.1 percent
  6. Jump Rope for Heart – Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada –
    $13.1 million – down 1.6 percent
  7. MS Bike – MS Society of Canada – $8.4 million – down 2.9 percent
  8. MS Walk – MS Society of Canada — $8.1 million – down 0.8 percent
  9. World Partnership Walk – Aga Khan Foundation — $7.7 million – up 6.9 percent
  10. Light the Night – Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada — $6.5 million – up 13 percent

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

2018 — Canadian Top Thirty P2P Programs

2017 — Canadian Top Thirty P2P Programs

2016 — Canadian Top Thirty P2P Programs

2015 — Canadian Top Thirty P2P Programs

2014 — Canadian Top Thirty P2P Programs