RaceTrends: Are You Asking For the “Right” Donations?

It’s no secret that the endurance industry is BIG business for charities large and small. While your local charity 5K will likely find that turning a race into a profitable endeavor is a lot harder (and requires a lot more sponsors) than it looks, it is possible to raise money through your events.

Fundraising Event 101: If you do nothing else, you must turn on donations to allow participants (and non-participants) to donate directly to your cause.

But what next? How much will people donate?

To start with we take a look at the number of donations made on our platform at various dollar amounts:


It’s clear that the bulk of participants (46.4% – nearly half) are donating under $10, with fewer and fewer donations made as the dollar amounts rise. Only 3.6% of donors donated more than $100.

But before you aim low on your donation asks, take a look at the total value of donations that were brought, by donation size:


This one looks a little different. That 3.6% of donations that were for more than $100? They made up a 30.7% of all the donation dollars collected. That’s not to say you don’t want all the $5 donations, too – those aggregated to a total of $885,989 collected in 2017 – but don’t be afraid to aim big. A few big donors go a long way.

Takeaway: Set broad donation levels! During donation setup, you have the ability to set the levels that you’ll suggest for donations (custom amounts will still be allowed). Include a low-level contribution ($5 or $10) to capture those who will only make small donations, but also include a really high-dollar level – like a $500 donation. Mere suggestion is important if you want to encourage people to go high, and if you capture just one donor at that level you have already matched 100 donors at a $5 level!

Takeaway: Be personal. Give people a reason to increase their donation by showing them exactly what that dollar amount does for your charity. For example, if you’re raising money to buy school supplies for local kids, you might name your levels “First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade”, and so-on. Then, you can note within each level exactly how many pens, pencils, and books each donation level will buy.

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