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Are endurance events right for your organization?

Endurance events have become a popular fundraising approach for nonprofits. They consist of marathons, hikes and many other challenging physical activity events. These events are effective in fundraising and bringing cause awareness since they are able to engage a large number of participants through peer-to-peer fundraising. However, endurance isn’t necessarily the right fit for all nonprofits. Here are a few considerations nonprofits should take in when deciding whether endurance-focused fundraising is a match for their missions.

Resources

Before hosting a large scale event or series of events, it’s important to make sure that the organization has the staff and resources to make this happen. Events are a lot of work – the amount of planning and logistics that go into a large event takes a lot of resources. As such, usually only large nonprofits have the capacity to put on these events and coordinate them in multiple cities nationwide.

For mid-size nonprofits that may not have the capacity to host these events on their own, there is another option: to encourage supporters to fundraise around pre-existing events.
For example, Back on My Feet is using the San Francisco Marathon to fundraise for their cause using Rallybound. They have created a fundraising team that is training for the marathon, with each member’s fundraising goal and progress visible on their individual pages. Rallybound allows nonprofits to easily create endurance fundraising campaigns as a part of our standard Platform License.

Demographics

When planning an endurance event, nonprofits should also consider the demographics of their donor base. Endurance events are generally for people that enjoy physical challenges, and some demographics may not be up for that kind of challenge. For example, mud runs are a popular endurance event in which participants run an obstacle course covered in mud. Nonprofits need to think about whether their supporters would likely be interested in this type of event, e.g. if supporters are already taking part in fitness and outdoor activities, a mud run would likely go over well.

Stay tuned this summer for more in-depth looks at endurance-focused fundraising!