We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignUp users. This Rock & Stroll Case Study focuses on supporting donations for multiple charity partners.
Overview: Rock & Stroll used RunSignUp for their 2014 Fundraising Race, and took advantage of the ability to support donations to multiple charities to help manage the 6 partnering nonprofits.
About Rock & Stroll:
Rock & Stroll was originally born as a part of an effort by Fannie Mae to support Nonprofit providers for the homeless through fundraising walks. The program provided a full infrastructure for the walks, from registration to race day logistics. When the Fannie Mae program disappeared, several of the organizations decided to continue with their own fundraising event. Allie Pihal of Dailey Events, an Event & Program Management company, stepped in to act as the organier for the event, and brought registration to RunSignUp.
Years ago, Rock & Stroll moved from a walk to a 5K to separate themselves from the many other fundraising walks. Similarly, the race organizers had started to see an over-saturation of 5K’s in the marketplace, and decided to add a 10K to the mix for 2014. They offered 4 participation options:
- Festival (after-run) participation
- 1K Walk/Fun Run
- 5K Run
- 10K Run
The new event paid off: the 10K ended up having the highest participation numbers of any event.
Allie noted that one major benefit of the 10K option was that the 10K drew more serious runners, as opposed to just those who came out to support the cause. When bad weather struck on race day and the festival portion of the day had to be cancelled, the runners showed up anyway.
“We had a guy who was doing a 10K in every state, and chose this for his 10K. It was a very different crowd than we would get for a 5K – the serious runners were looking for this kind of thing and they were more willing to be flexible and show up anyway, despite the weather.”
– Allie Pihal, Dailey Events
Organizing a Race to Benefit Multiple Charities
Rock & Stroll was a collaborative effort between 6 area nonprofits that provide services to the homeless in Northern Virginia: AACH, ALIVE!, Community Lodgings, Good Shepard Housing, New Hope Housing, and Wesley Housing.
In addition to sharing the proceeds, each of the 6 nonprofits shared the responsibility for encouraging runners to register, engaging volunteers, and securing Sponsors. As Allie noted, it is really hard to make any significant money for a charity based on registrations; it is the sponsorship that determine how successful a race can be as a fundraiser.
Accepting Donations for Multiple Charities
The Nonprofits involve each wanted individual runners to have a choice in where their dollars were contributed. In the donations tab:
- Each Charity was setup with a Charity Manager for each Nonprofit, and Direct Payment to the Charities.
- Each Runner was then prompted to make a donation within their registration process, and had the ability to select the amount of the donation and the Nonprofit recipient.
- Runners could also make a donation to “All 6 Nonprofits”, and their donation was split between the Charities.
With this simple donation setup, the race of 522 registered runners was able to raise $7,297 in donations, not including registration fees or Sponsor dollars.
In addition to providing runners with the option to donate to a specific Charity, the race included a custom question asking each runner what Nonprofit they wanted to support with their registration fee, or if they wanted to support all 6. 46.9% of the runners asked for their registration to be divided among the charities, but a small majority did want to see their contribution directed to a specific charity. This approach allowed each Nonprofit to maintain some personal connection for recruiting runners, despite the coherent approach to planning.