Home >> Athletic Event Fundraising Tops $1.75 Billion in 2008

Athletic Event Fundraising Tops $1.75 Billion in 2008

“Athon” Fundraising Tops $1.75 Billion in 2008
Run Walk Ride Thirty survey shows top thirty charity programs
raised $1.76 billion, up 7.6%

DALLAS – (March 4, 2009) – Dollars raised by people willing
to exercise for a good cause in the top 30 programs grew by a healthy 7.6% in
2008, but executives are concerned about repeating such growth in this
recessionary environment, according to the Run Walk Ride Fundraising
Council
, the leading authority on athletic event fundraising.

The top thirty “athon” programs generated more than $1.76
billion in gross revenue for charity last year, up from $1.64 billion in 2007,
the council’s third annual “Run Walk Ride Thirty” study reports.

“The economy is the #1 concern of the executives who manage
these events,” said David Hessekiel, president of the Run Walk Ride Fundraising
Council. “The president’s call for increased public service may help drive
participation, but everyone in this field will have to work even smarter to grow
in 2009. Sharing best practices is what the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council is
all about.”

By raising $430 million in 2008, the American Cancer
Society’s Relay for Life
dwarfed all other competitors in the field. The top
five programs in 2008 were:

$430.0 million (+5.9%) – Relay for Life American Cancer
Society
$125.5 million (+0.4%) – Team in Training Leukemia & Lymphoma
Society
$115.0 million (-0.9%) – March for Babies March of Dimes
$113.1
million (+19.8%) – Race for the Cure Susan G. Komen for the Cure
$110.0
million (+26.5%) – Breast Cancer 3-DayNational Philanthropic Trust

“The top five demonstrate the diversity in this field,” said
Hessekiel. “With a short walk, a 5K run, a relay, a 60-mile weekend walk and an
endurance program there’s an activity for everyone from the couch potato to the
driven athlete.”

The Breast Cancer 3-Day led the top 30 rankings for
percentage growth by expanding 26.72% from 2007 to 2008. The top five programs
by percentage revenue growth were:

26.7% to $110.0 million – Breast Cancer 3-Day National
Philanthropic Trust
20.5% to $11.7 million – Arthritis Walk Arthritis
Foundation
20.0% to $60.0 million – Making Strides American Cancer
Society
19.8% to $113.2 million – Race for the Cure Susan G. Komen for the
Cure
19.2% to $56.0 million – Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Avon Foundation

The top five programs in terms of absolute dollar growth
were:

$24.0 million – Relay for Life American Cancer
Society
$23.2 million – Breast Cancer 3-Day National Philanthropic
Trust
$18.7 million – Race for the Cure Susan G. Komen for the Cure
$10.0
million – Making Strides American Cancer Society
$9.0 million – Avon Walk for
Breast Cancer Avon Foundation

It took at least $6.3 million in revenue to make it into the
top 30 this year, a spot claimed by The Rodman Ride for Kids, a
Massachusetts-based, 25 to 100 mile bicycle ride that raises money for
children’s social service programs.

When program executives were asked how they hoped to drive
growth, the top two strategies cited were increased corporate team recruitment
followed by providing individual participants with tools to raise more
funds.

The Run Walk Ride Thirty is primarily based on survey
responses from the professionals who manage well-known athletic event
fundraising programs. If a nonprofit does not participate, the council seeks out
public information to obtain key statistics. A study summary is available at RunWalkRide.com. A CD with extensive
survey data is provided to dues-paying members of the Run Walk Ride Fundraising
Council.

For further information, contact the Council at (914)
921-3914 or info@runwalkride.com

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