While some of the nation's largest peer-to-peer fundraising events — runs, walks, and rides among them — are struggling to compete with newer, faster-growing campaigns, others are seeing significant increases in revenue, an annual study by the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum finds.
The 2015 Peer-to-Peer Thirty report found that four of the campaigns ranked in the top five in 2006 have experienced significant declines in revenue over the past decade. The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life (ranked first in 2015, despite its revenue falling 23.9 percent since 2006), the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training (fifteenth, down 64.5 percent), the March of Dimes' March for Babies (third, down 16.1 percent), and Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Komen 3-Day (twenty-fourth, down 76.8 percent) collectively raised $455.8 million in 2015, $254.5 million less than they raised in 2006.
At the same time, nine of the top thirty programs in 2015 have seen their revenue more than double over the past decade. Two others — Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Cycle for Survival and the bicycling event Pelotonia — didn't even exist when the P2P Thirty list was created ten years ago.
According to the report, revenue from the thirty largest campaigns totaled $1.57 billion in 2015 — up 9.8 percent from the $1.44 billion reported in 2006. When the four campaigns that have seen significant drops in revenue are excluded, the other twenty-six programs on the 2015 list collectively raised $1.11 billion, up 53.7 percent over the $724.7 million raised in 2006. Campaigns that have seen significant increases in fundraising revenues include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness Community Walks, which grew more than tenfold, from $1.3 million in 2006 to $14.8 million in 2015; the St. Baldrick's Foundation's head-shaving events, which raised $36.9 million for pediatric cancer research, up 193 percent from $12.6 million; and the Alzheimer's Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's, which moved up to seventh on the list in 2015, raising nearly $77.5 million, up 154 percent from $30.5 million in 2006.
"While a handful of brand-name programs have struggled to keep pace with their prior results, many highly successful campaigns have emerged," said David Hessekiel, president of the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. "As a result, more charities than ever are seeing significant revenues from peer-to-peer fundraising."