Pan-Mass Challenge Facebook Fundraising Jumps 5,348%, Yields 31,000+ New Donors

For four decades, the Pan-Mass Challenge has helped raise more than $700 million for cancer research – but new data reveals a major trend for the future of event-based fundraising.

Last month, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute received $63 million – its largest gift to date – from the PMC, a 192-mile bike ride around central and Eastern Massachusetts, described as the nation’s most successful single-event fundraiser.

While the 2019 race took place Aug. 3 and 4, fundraising for the PMC takes place year-round – and before, during and after the event, the race’s 6,800+ riders and 4,000 volunteers, as well as 150 Dana-Farber employees, took to Facebook to raise $2,778,669 from more than 42,000 donors.

Of the 42,429 Facebook users who contributed to a fundraiser, 31,651 were new donors to PMC. Those new donors contributed $1,952,761, or 70% of the sum of the annual Facebook fundraising efforts.

The 2019 Facebook fundraising total represents a stunning 5,348% increase over the $51,000 raised via Facebook in 2018.

“I am extremely grateful for the generous support received from the Pan-Mass Challenge community over the last 40 years and am truly honored to cycle alongside dedicated riders, volunteers and supporters each August,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO of Dana-Farber. “Raising $63 million in one year is an incredible feat, and this record-breaking gift will make an immense impact on our work in the fight against cancer.”

PMC founder and executive director Billy Starr echoed Glimcher’s sentiments about the enormity of the impact made by PMC’s donors.

“Making our largest gift ever to Dana-Farber is the best way to commemorate our milestone 40th ride,” Starr said. “I’m incredibly proud of the role the PMC has played in furthering advancements in cancer research and treatment over the last four decades – it is thanks to the drive and commitment of our entire community of riders, volunteers, sponsors and donors that we have been able to give $717 million to Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund since 1980, making a truly unparalleled impact in the fight against cancer.”

Starr added that the role of social media continues to expand in meaningful ways for PMC.

“Integrating with the Facebook Fundraiser API this year was certainly a fundraising accelerator, helping us achieve a record-breaking $63 million gift to Dana-Farber,” Starr said. “The success of this initial program suggests an upward trajectory for 2020 fundraising as well, which we’re very excited about.”

A recent global NGO report from Nonprofit Tech For Good found that 39% of responding nonprofits in the USA & Canada use a peer-to-peer fundraising tool, the highest rate of the global entities polled (Africa; Asia; Australia & New Zealand; Europe; Latin America & the Caribbean; USA & Canada.)

“As the 1.6 million U.S. and Canadian NPOs fully embrace online funding streams— crowdfunding, peer-to-peer, text- to-give—the impact of nonprofit organizations worldwide will increase exponentially,” said Justin Wheeler, CEO and co-founder of Funraise.

The 2020 Pan-Mass Challenge takes place Aug. 1-2.