Fundraising Events in 2020 – Low Frills, High Enthusiasm

As a part of our survey to gauge experiences and expectations throughout 2020 and 2021, one thing stood out: event organizers were inspired and motivated by the enthusiasm that participants have had for supporting their cause – even if the events weren’t what they were used to.

We’ve noticed this dedication to nonprofits in a few ways this year – while registrations and transactions have been consistently down, donations have been up, with total donations through Q3 already exceeding the $20 million raised on the platform in 2019. And back in April, we hosted a webinar on events opting to provide low-frills, low-cost or free events that keep the focus on fundraising.

Our message heading into 2021 is simple: nonprofits can’t wait for revenue – they need proceeds now to support and extend their valuable services, and you may be surprised by how much enthusiasm your supporters will show if you can provide an opportunity for them to re-engage. We recommend starting with a Hybrid approach (with both virtual and in-person elements) for increased fundraising opportunities and maximum flexibility.

Don’t believe us? Take if from other event organizers who focus on fundraising:

We held a free virtual event with a donation option for our charity and averaged $15/person and raised more money than our in person events do because of associated costs.


“I turned one of my actual races into a virtual race. It garnered 40% of the entries as my 2019 version of the same event. This event has a charity beneficiary that was heavily impacted by COVID-19. So we pitched to our participants the option of adding a separate, per-entrant donation directly to the beneficiary (in addition to the entry fee). The results were astounding: over the past 15 years, our average annual donation to the beneficiary has been $13,000. This year, from the additional voluntary donations from the smaller number of entrants, the beneficiary received $28,000.”– Anonymous

“We brought on some new donors and supporters through our virtual 5K Walk/Race”.

“By pairing a virtual run series with a targeted donor event, we were able to support the Child Hunger Relief Programs


“In 2020 our fundraising actuals came within 5% of our actuals from 2019. We consider that a huge success.”


“Free, no-frills virtual events and challenges have generated significant donations for charities.”– TWIN CITY TRACK CLUB

“EXCELLENT on-ground race despite COVID restrictions, including capping and need for an open start line. Volunteers were amazing; $50K raised in support of our mission.


We’ve previously posted full results and a summary of more success stories – keep sharing what works in your fundraising efforts! To get started, learn more about why we believe Hybrid Events are key, and review setup recommendations today.

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