Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Revenues Down in 2016, Survey Finds

Revenues for the nation's largest peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns dropped 2.8 percent in 2016, a report from the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum finds.

The 2016 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Thirty Survey found that the thirty largest P2P campaigns raised slightly more than $1.53 billion last year, down from $1.57 billion in 2015, marking the fourth consecutive year in which the total declined. The survey also found that only thirteen of the thirty campaigns saw revenue increases in 2016, including the American Heart Association's Heart Walk ($123.1 million, +5.2 percent), the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk ($68.5 million, +12 percent), and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Cycle for Survival ($30 million, 20 percent). The largest P2P campaign, the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life ($279 million, -9.4 percent) saw revenues decline by more than $10 million, as did the March of Dimes' March for Babies ($85.7 million, -10.5 percent) and Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure Series ($74.9 million, -13.4 percent).

According to the report, the downward trend in P2P fundraising revenues reflects a transition — abetted by the proliferation of online tools — in the peer-to-peer fundraising field from organized walks and bike rides to so-called do-it-yourself campaigns.

"Peer-to-peer fundraising continues to be an industry in flux," said David Hessekiel, founder and president of the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. "Each year, we see a number of novel campaigns burst onto the scene — giving supporters the chance to raise money doing everything from playing video games to engaging in extreme challenges....But these new options continue to put pressure on long-running, brand-name programs. And some of these long-running programs are seeing their revenues decline as a result."

"Fundraising Revenues Down for Largest P2P Campaigns, New Survey Finds." Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum Press Release 03/01/2017.