We began monthly updates in July after doing weekly updates that ended in Week 18, and are shifting to monthly updates. The monthly update is meant to give stats that are useful to the endurance and nonprofit communities we serve, but also to bridge the gap between our Quarterly Business Updates, and our Monthly Newsletter. We also published our August RunSignup and GiveSignup newsletter. We believe in sharing information openly so we can all learn and improve.
Our business continues to be deeply impacted by the pandemic. While we had been up 29% year-over-year from January 1- March 7, the loss of real races has been drastic. Here is the summary for the month:
- Transaction Volume: Down 23% vs. 27% in July
- Registration Volume: Down 26% vs. 30% in July
- Donation Volume: Up 63%
Here is a chart of our weekly transaction volume compared with last year:
Compared with many others (Eventbrite reported being down 75% in July), we are doing comparatively well. We have been saved by having Virtual Races and the new challenge category emerge. Real race volume makes up only about 25% of our transaction volume:
Low Renewal Rates, but Many New Customers
One of the more interesting statistics is the race renewal and new races created reports.
Renewals fell to 681 in August from 1,051 – a drop of 35% (vs. 42% in July). However, the number of new races created grew to 1,822 from last year’s 1,054 – a growth of 73% (vs. 46% growth in July). The net change is an increase of 18% (after being down net last year) overall (2,503 vs 2,105 last year)
The number of new payment accounts created in August increased marginally to 741 vs. 619 in August 2019, an increase of 20%. These are mostly brand new customers to RunSignup | GiveSignup since they are entering new payment processing and bank details for our underwriting review. The majority of these new customers are nonprofits who are looking for ways to generate revenue with virtual events and challenges.
There are two challenges that come out of this. First, the increase in new races is causing a lot of extra support interactions with both new customers as well as existing customers using our virtual or challenge software for the first time. And since our platform is rapidly extending, especially as we have built out the new challenge platform the past couple of months, our own team has to work hard on training and preparing for helping customers efficiently and effectively.
Second, the average size of events is falling. While we continue to have a number of 1,000 – 20,000+ participant virtual and challenge events use our platform, on average the size is dropping. About 22 of the Top 100 races in the U.S. use our platform, and obviously those are not happening at previous scale. But this continues down the line. We have dozens of small races typically below 250 participants each weekend, but the average real race size is smaller than typical. Also, from the business perspective, we are doing great with growing our donation volume (up 63% this month), but the gross profit on the 4% processing fee is lower than the processing fees we charge for events.
Fall Cram Session
We continue to see a lot of interest in education. After our successful Summary Symposium at the end of July, we held a “Fall Cram Session” – all the slides and recordings are here.
Here’s an overview of the sessions and some helpful content:
- If you’re hoping to maintain *some* in-person element for your race, check out the panel on successful races and Eric’s session on setting up a Hybrid Race.
- If you are considering launching a Virtual Challenge, view Bryan’s session on Building a Virtual Challenge and get thorough review with the Virtual Challenge Everything Guide.
- If fundraising is the name of your game, learn about Peer-to-Peer fundraising and start preparing for your Giving Tuesday Campaign.
- If you’re a timer looking to shake off some summer rust, catch up on Virtual Results and Bibs and get a refresher on RaceDay Scoring.
- If you want to learn a little bit about everything, Bryan’s rapid-fire Quick Hits session is for you.
Getting Started Resources
We also have a new Getting Started on RunSignup Webinar that we will be holding monthly for new customers or those needing a refresher. We have also created a new Get Started Hub.
What has been remarkable during this pandemic is the unbelievable focus and hard work of our team. We are a bunch of passionate people who love technology and helping our customers.
Like you, we are living in a stressful time as we outlined a couple of months ago when we discussed what was happening inside RunSignup. Specifically, our employees took a 50% reduction in pay effective March 13. Full pay was restored in mid April with the PPP money we received, and continued until early August. We are varying employee compensation so we can stay break even. The first paycheck of August was at 75%, and the second paycheck is at 85%, and we are hopeful to get to 95-100% in September for a few months as we see things continue to pick up. As we have said, we think the recovery will happen in 2022, so we want to design a path forward to assure stability for ourselves and our customers. The good news with this approach is that we have been able to keep our entire team.
So, we especially appreciate your referrals of friends and other organizations to use our platform. Thank you!
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