Every August, I put on a ridiculous spandex outfit, a pair of shoes not made for walking, a helmet and gloves and get on my bike to ride from Wellesley to the tip of Cape Cod for the annual Pan-Mass Challenge.
More importantly, i spend far more time than I do training and riding raising money to fight cancer. The Pan-Mass Challenge sends 100% of all funds raised by riders to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund to aid the fight against cancer. I have signed up to ride for the ninth consecutive year, and in afit of optimism have increased my fundraising goal to $8,500. If you would like to help fight cancer with me this way, please go to my donation page at http://bit.ly/pmcdoug.
Every year, I also take a look back at my fundraising efforts to see if I can identify any trends to help me with the next season. In 2015, the minimum fundraising level for 2-day riders was $4,300. For the last several years, I have settled on a goal of $7,500 (surpassing the “Heavy Hitter” level) and have been lucky enough to have people help me reach that level for the last six years.
As you can see, the total money raised – $8,110 – is about on par with recent years, a little below last year’s level. Fundraising has been consistent, then, if not showing continuous growth. The question for 2016 is- can I raise more, and how can I do it? For one, I have set my stated goal at $8,500, more than last year (though slightly less than 2014’s total) as a small incentive.
The total number of donors has actually regressed slightly, also suggesting that I could do more to attract more helpers to the cause:
“More donors” probably means more new donors, as retention of returning donors has been steady (actually slightly increasing the last several years). I can conclude that my email campaigns in particular have been effective in keeping people active in the cause, so growth probably needs to come from outside, meaning finding new ways to publicize my ride and new groups to appeal to.
Average donation amount has again been steady, slightly more than $70. While in 2015 I did not receive a large matching grant that I had the previous year, I did see larger-than-normal donations from at least one regular donor, so there is likely no real outlier in that data set.
My conclusion? If I want to continue to maintain and grow fundraising pace, I need to continue to court regular donors, but find ways to add additional interest and create a higher percentage of new people donating to the cause. This could mean going back to more concerted social media campaigns as I have in the past (including video and image posts) and considering different platforms than those that had worked in the past. That gives me much to think about as I wait for spring to arrive and road training to start.
Meanwhile, now is as good a time as any to help fight and beat cancer with me and the PMC!