Cycling Fundraisers Set New Marks

As cycling events continue to be a bright spot amid an evolution of traditional fundraising events, Pelotonia announced another record fundraising year, generating $27.4 million to benefit cancer research.

This year’s tally is $1.2 million more than the $26.2 million raised in 2016, up about 4.5 percent, bringing the 10-year total since its founding in 2008 to more than $184 million. A record 8,470 riders and 3,056 volunteers participated in 10 routes ranging from 25 to 200 miles during this year’s event, held Aug. 4-5.

Columbus, Ohio-based Pelotonia was established to fund life-saving cancer research and the centerpiece of its year-round fundraising efforts is a three-day experience that includes a weekend of cycling, entertainment and volunteerism. Funds raised benefit The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

The Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Thirty, which ranks the 30 largest P2P campaigns in the U.S., reported that nearly $1.45 billion was raised in 2017, down 6.7 percent from the $1.55 billion raised in 2016. Cycling events have been among the fastest-growing events in the Fundraising Thirty in recent years.

At least 44 cause-related cycling rides raised more than $1 million each in 2017, according to a study by Cadence Sports and the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. Five U.S. cycling programs and six in Canada made their respective top 30 peer-to-peer fundraising programs.

The two-day Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) raised a record $56.5 million in 2017, an increase of $6.7 million, making it the largest single-event peer-to-peer fundraisers in the U.S. It resulted in a $51-million donation to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) in Boston, Mass.

This past summer, PMC donated $56 million to DFCI, bringing the 39-year total to $654 million. The PMC accounts for 54 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and is the largest contributor to DFCI.

Cycle for Survival, an indoor cycling event at Equinox health clubs to benefit Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, reported raising $39 million this year from 230,000 donors and 34,000 participants in 16 cities. That’s about $5 million — almost 15 percent — more than the $34 million reported in 2017, which was an increase of 13 percent over 2016. It was recognized as the 2018 Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum’s Program of the Year after revenues quadruple since 2012. The next Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Thirty is expected to be released in February.