Fundraising Marketing

Cycling + social fundraising: A perfect match

on April 12, 2018

Social fundraising has become a must in an event’s toolkit, and cycling events are no exception.

Cycling events have grown into powerhouse fundraisers, with approximately 68% of participating cyclists fundraising for a specific cause. Following behind, but not very closely, are single or multi-day events, such as marathons at 45%, walks at 32%, and 5Ks at 15%.*

So what does this tell us? Based on these numbers, cyclists are a highly engaged group of fundraisers who are ready and willing to share their philanthropic narrative with the world. Which in turn, makes them ideal candidates to crush social fundraising. So let’s dig in a bit as to why cycling and social fundraising are so great together.

Why social fundraising and cycling are a match made in heaven

Leverage all that training

Cyclists have a long, heavy training schedule leading up to a big race, and this training period is the perfect time for them to start incorporating social fundraising into their fundraising efforts. When you encourage your cyclists to reach out to their networks describing their day-to-day training journey, you’re motivating them to start the conversation and engage with their friends and family early on. And like with anything, when you feel like you’re “along for the ride,” you’re more apt to want to help the organizer reach their goals.

Social fundraising is the act of getting fundraisers and their supporters to post to their personal networks about the actions they take related to your cause. That’s why the training period is such a pivotal time to reach out. Encourage fundraisers to post about their training sessions to their network of family and friends, but also educate them that there is real value within those shares.

In fact, over 48% of donations given to a fundraising campaign resulted from a share by the campaign’s organizer. And not only that, 20% of the donors who give actually go further and also share the campaign page following their donation. The average donation amount added to the campaign for each share is $13. So, said another way, if 100 people click and share on the campaign page, that results in an extra $1,300 in donations for that campaign.

Primed and ready to give

Cyclists’ incomes do tend to skew on the higher side, with one-quarter of respondents in a Montreal-based study having an average household income above $100,000. With more wealth tends to come a wealthier network who is primed and ready to give if asked to by a friend or family member... making social fundraising all the more important. By reaching out to their personal network, cyclists have a great chance of creating a higher donation volume for their fundraising campaign, and bring in more awareness for the organization as a whole.

This could also be a reason why cycling participants outpace those in all other event categories, such as multi or single-day events, 5Ks, and walks. They raise more money, obtain more and larger gifts, and use online tools more often and more effectively.* The average dollars raised per cyclist who fundraises is $848, while the average 5K or walk fundraiser raises around $239.

Investing in cultivating relationships with your cyclists can help lead to greater fundraising efforts and results, and with cyclists bringing in so much donation volume, this is a great way to to tap into a new network of donors who might not have otherwise donated to your cause.

Teams were built for social fundraising

For cycling events, encouraging team fundraising can be critical to peer-to-peer success... which also makes cycling teams perfect candidates for utilizing social fundraising. When you’re a part of a team, fundraising performance tends to be much stronger.

With a team organizer at the helm, empowered by robust team management functionality, social fundraising becomes a natural fit for generating awareness and excitement as well as donations to individual team member’s fundraisers. Healthy competition amongst team members allows for social fundraising to become even more a part of their playbook with team members reaching out to their own networks to keep them up to date on progress, encourage more donations and shares, and climb to the top of the team leaderboard in the process.

In conclusion, with 80% of of cycling revenue coming from online fundraising, it’s imperative to make sure you’re optimized for social sharing in order to leverage this community that has shown such promise in the way of social fundraising.


According to the 2016 Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study (

Gary Wohlfeill

Gary Wohlfeill is the Director of Marketing at CrowdRise. He works with partners to develop highly engaging fundraising campaigns, and leads the marketing team in developing the CrowdRise brand. Gary has been named as having the “3rd best haircut of people under 6 feet tall at CrowdRise" and hopes one day to slip to 4th.