Q2 marks the quarter where our business and our customer’s business returned to growth. Vaccination rates going up, cases, hospitalizations and deaths going down dramatically caused states to open up. As we had been expecting, that is great news for live events.
The cover photo above is from the Scott Coffee Run. We wrote about the joy we and the participants experienced from being back at a live event. This experience is being repeated across the country, and the endurance community is one of the earliest to recover from the pandemic. While it takes a while to plan and execute a successful event which limited the numbers in the spring, we expect the fall to be very busy – and very happy.
Our core endurance business has fully come back, and we are gaining market share. Our GiveSignup business helping nonprofits is really expanding as the numbers below will indicate in more detail. Our own business is well ahead of the plans we made in November and we are investing in growing our team. In fact, we are happy to welcome so many new and talented people to our team.
In 2021 we are comparing our numbers to 2019 – the last year of normalcy. The quick way to see how our community has recovered is to compare the total transaction volume processed on our platform. The fact that the red is above the blue by a growing margin is good news. Our customers raised 18% more in June of 2021 than they did in 2019 on our platform in spite of only partial recovery of live events.
While the transaction volume has grown, some of this is from our GiveSignup efforts with nonprofits. We are seeing a number of nonprofits holding free events that are fundraisers or focus on donations. We are also benefiting from early adopters of our purpose built nonprofit ticket platform.
Endurance registrations are down 11% for the quarter, but were essentially flat in June with 442,000 vs. 447,000 in 2019.
We are experiencing growth in our endurance customer base, with new endurance customers representing about 20% of the registration volume. We still have a number of endurance customers that have not returned yet as planning a spring event was difficult to envision in January and February (and sometimes local governments were not allowing permitting).
We expect to see all of these numbers to increase in Q3 and Q4 as more live events come back. Races like Broad Street and Boilermaker have shifted from the spring to October this year and both plan to open in July as an example. But Top 100 races like these only represent 6% of the total number of participants per year in the US. Smaller spring races simply were not held, and we expect most fall races to come back this year.
Our strategy of building a set of purpose built solutions to enable nonprofits to engage their supporters beyond run/walk/ride seems to be gaining market acceptance. Many of our nonprofit customers are expanding their use of RunSignup into GiveSignup features such a tickets for golf outings and galas and festivals, as well as increasingly using our platform to drive donations.
Our Q2 metrics are actually ahead of our projections for the quarter, and in June, we were about 35% ahead of our own revenue projections. While that is good, we know that the past quarter is not necessarily reflective of the future in this fast-changing environment.
Another set of metrics guides us toward even more optimism about our business. We wrote about how we are growing again – hiring people and increasing our spending budget – based on what we are seeing from future trends. Here are some of the updated charts we shared in that blog:
Endurance Business and Technology
Our endurance business is rapidly recovering and shifting from the pure virtual era to a more balanced hybrid era where many events have a virtual and challenge option, but live events are over 80% of transactions.
We had started shifting back to working on software features for live events towards the end of 2020, and are continuing to work hard, particularly on race day features that have been rolled out over Q2:
Updated Checkin App – Over 900 races have checked in over 240,000 participants in Q2 with the new app – and people are loving it.
On-Site Registration – We revamped our web based onsite registration capabilities, combining the best of kiosk and expo modes, adding a “dark mode” for easier visibility in sunlight and many other refinements for ease of taking cash and recording it properly.
RaceDay Scoring 3.0 with Team, Relay and Cross Country Support – RaceDay Scoring is becoming the obvious choice for timers. It is modern, easy to use, highly functional, and has integrated results posting, txt notifications and integrates easily with our free photo platform. Adding cross country support will help many timers transition from systems they have been using for the past few decades, and provide some really cool live results on the web that will motivate many high school and college runners and teams. This type of impact is why we love building technology for the endurance community.
Payment Processing Migration – We have made a massive “under the covers” change of payment processors that will enhance our ability to scale and manage customer money optimally. This may impact some customers and require updating information such as bank verification. This is part of our efforts to comply with all laws, much like our early work on sales tax this may be somewhat new to some customers, but it is coming to any type of transfers of funds between accounts and all marketplaces like GiveSignup | RunSignup will need to do these updates in the future.
600+ Deployments – We had over 600 deployments of features in Q2. Many are small improvements for a variety of reasons – some of them are the monthly security updates we make, some are small UX improvements, some are optimizations of the system, some are adding fields to reports, some are to improve virtual results display, and countless other items.
As the numbers above indicate, GiveSignup is growing rapidly. We are building a new set of reports that will allow us to report this in better detail in the future, but over 40% of our transaction volume is done by nonprofit 501C3 organizations. When we decided to build additional features to help our nonprofit customers on a broader basis, part of the logic was that it would grow our overall business and allow us to invest more in the core platform. This is indeed the case, as we now have been able to hire new developers to expand our RaceDay development team and our infrastructure team. Over the coming years, the additional business will help us pay to revamp our membership and volunteer and sponsor systems. In addition, our leadership technology for endurance events makes us the obvious choice for nonprofits putting on run/walk/ride fundraisers. So if one of our competitors suggests that we are losing our focus on endurance, don’t buy it.
Our focus for GiveSignup is on fundraising events. We are taking our expertise in events and building a full featured nonprofit ticket platform for all types of events. We are seeing an increasing number of our endurance customers expanding use of the GiveSignup platform – from replacing Eventbrite for their gala and golf outing and festival to replacing PayPal donations with our purpose built platform. And best of all, it is all in one platform and one place.
We are bringing our same open approach to the nonprofit community – this time with a focus on making it easy for nonprofits to integrate their participant, fundraiser and donor data on the GiveSignup platform with their CRM and Donor Management System. This can be thought of having the best of both, and helps nonprofits optimize their supporter engagement. We now support 11 systems:
- Neon One
- Network for Good
- Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge
- Active Campaign
- Dynamics 365
We also released a number of features over the past quarter:
New Ticket CheckIn App and Volunteer Mode – Just like our RaceDay CheckIn App, this makes it simple for volunteers to use their own phones to check in participants. This makes training a breeze and avoids costs and complications of expensive equipment, or the overhead of manual spreadsheets printed out.
Improved Website Customization – One of the great features of our ticket, donation and fundraising websites is that they are real websites. You can bring your own URL, you can create beautiful cover pages, and we are quickly adding features. Q3 will bring advanced website builder capabilities that enable any type of content and multiple pages and menus integrated right with your call to actions and real time data like donation goals all easily managed and under the nonprofit’s control. Oh, and your supporters don’t have to get ads for other events from Eventbrite.
Ticket Import – This allows for manual entry or CSV upload of tickets that are purchased outside the online ticket purchase capabilities of GiveSignup. It also allows nonprofits to import tickets sold on Eventbrite.
Referral Rewards Improvements – We have expanded this unique capabilities that allows nonprofits to reward participants with encouraging their friends and family to sign up for your event. For example, offer people a $25 refund if they get 5 friends to sign up. This is all automated on the GiveSignup platform, with no extra work for nonprofits to adminster.
E-Cards for Donations – We have added beautiful and easy to use e-cards to donations. For example if someone makes a donation, they can send a “Happy Birthday” to a friend letting them know a donation was made on their behalf.
We are excited to be a part of the recovery from a very difficult time for our customers. It makes us even more motivated for continuing to release great technology that can help endurance and nonprofit customers raise more.