The Power of Peer to Peer Fundraisers – How one charity received $50K from the Bowral Classic

November 15, 2019

The Bowral Classic is an exciting third-party fundraising event where cyclists of all different levels get to ride through the rolling hills of the Southern Highlands and fundraise for a charity of their choice.

This year the Bowral Classic raised 80% more than it did last year and cracked $100k! One team of Willoughby dads, known as the High Street Flyers, raised just over $50k for Mary’s House (The North Shore Women’s Benevolent Association).

“The amazing thing about peer to peer fundraising is if you give them [fundraisers] the information to do it themselves, they will hit the ground running.”
– Fundraising, Communications and Engagement Officer at Mary’s House, Emma Taylor

Q and A with Emma from Mary’s House

The North Shore Women’s Benevolent Association (NSWBA) is a solely community funded not-for-profit organisation operating the women’s domestic violence shelter, Mary’s House.

According to Emma, the Bowral Classic helped put their charity “on the map.”

Why did the High Street Flyers choose to fundraise for Mary’s House?

As a women’s refuge, it’s not every day a group of 20 men choose to fundraise for the cause. Mary’s House was brought to the attention of the High Street Flyers by one of the cyclist’s wives as the charity is local to their area. The cause resonated with the group of dads – they wouldn’t want families they know to be in a domestic violence situation.

Emma’s experience: dollar handles were useful when meeting with the group as it allowed them to think about the human impact in relation to the amount raised.

When the cyclists register for the event it’s a seamless transition into creating a fundraising page and selecting a charity as the Bowral Classic uses the GoFundraise registration form.

What did Mary’s House do to help fundraise?

The real stars are the High Street Flyers. “I felt like their cheerleader,” said Emma.

Emma kept an eye on GoFundraise’s automatic email reminders for each donation, and then would personally contact the team to congratulate them when achieving a milestone. She encouraged them to keep stretching their goal.

Will Mary’s House get involved in the Bowral Classic next year?

Not only will the $50,000 raised make a huge difference to the lives of the women and children at Mary’s House, the Bowral Classic also opened the charity up to a whole new audience.

“Having a group like the High Street Flyers fundraise and educate people about the impact of our charity is incredibly helpful. You don’t know whose life you’re saving by telling them about Mary’s House,” said Emma.

Next year Emma wants to get more of their community involved in the ride.

GoFundraise is excited to see how the Bowral Classic tops this year’s results. Over 50 charities, like Mary’s House, have been able to benefit from this year’s fundraising.

Make sure your cause is receiving donations from the Bowral Classic in 2020 by encouraging your community to hop on their bikes and ride for a cause.

Tips for promoting third-party fundraising events:

GoFundraise connects charities with a variety of third-party fundraising events. If you’re registered with GoFundraise look at your charity’s portal to see what third party events you and your community can benefit from. Here are a few ideas on how you can promote events like the Bowral Classic to your audience and create an even bigger impact for your charity’s cause.

  • Put an events calendar on your website.
  • Communicate the opportunity to fundraise wherever you ask for donations (website, newsletters etc.)
  • Understand the type of participants in third-party events: corporates, families, schools, community groups. Reach out to these groups. To make it easy, provide them with a digital tool kit for fundraisers. You can even get participants to wear shirts or hats with your charity’s branding.
  • After your signature events, remind attendees about peer-to-peer fundraising events they can join on behalf of your charity. The event company will give them all the information they need to participate.

Let’s grow your cause, campaign and peer to peer fundraising!