Tiny Country, Big Events, Great Insights

Tiny Country, Big Events, Great Insights

Since we are based in Amsterdam, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to track trends with peer-to-peer fundraising events here in the Netherlands. Over the past five years we’ve conducted our Dutch Top 20 Benchmarking Study where we look at the highest grossing fundraising events and determine which ones will make the list.

So, why does this matter? Well, if you’re Dutch, you might be curious about what’s been happening “in your own backyard.” But if you’re not from the Netherlands, our report may be even more interesting for you as there are certainly some great ideas and insights that you can glean from the big events happening in this relatively small market.

The “Dutch Top 20 of 2018” proved to be the most exciting year so far for fundraising events as it welcomed a brand new event concept onto the list and showcased some significant growth amongst many of the veteran Top 20 event programmes!

As you look down the list (see below) you’ll notice that many of the Dutch Top 20 are cycling events (12 total)…many raise money for cancer (11 total)…and a few of them are both including the #1 event: the Alpe d’HuZes. This cycling event challenges participants to ride up and down the french Alpe d’Huez mountain six (“zes”) times and requires a fundraising minimum of €2500 which benefits the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF Kankerbestrijding). In 2018 the event saw an increase of 8.6% in revenue along with a 7.3% growth in participation which is quite a feat considering the event that has been around since 2006 and has held the #1 spot for the past five years.

There were many other long-standing events in the Top 20 which saw impressive growth in revenue despite suffering decreases in their overall participation. A great example of this is the Roparun–a relay running event with starting locations in Paris and Hamburg and a joint finish in Rotterdam. Last year marked the Roparun’s 27th year, and they managed to pull off a revenue increase of 9.3% despite a 3.7% decrease in the number of teams. Their success in optimising the revenue potential of their teams helped them secure the #2 spot on our Top 20 list for the fifth year in a row!

The newcomer to the list was the Elfstedenzwemtocht(“11 City Swim Tour”)….which entered the Top 20 at the #3 spot! The event is organised around Olympic swimmer Maarten van der Weijden’s endeavour to swim 200km following a famous Dutch ice skating route called “de Elfstedentocht”. Nearly 1,000 participants signed up to swim a short distance with Maarten in one of the cities along the route.
Fundraising (and donations) were certainly fueled by the media coverage of the event…and we look
forward to seeing if they can continue to build off of the great momentum from its inaugural year!

Looking down the remainder of the list you’ll notice that there are very few “mass participation” events….at least for now. What you can’t see is all of the exciting action happening underneath the “Top 20” threshold. Below that line there are a variety of events emerging with very low barriers to enter such as walks, short-distance runs and even sing-a-long events like Ademnoot (produced by the Dutch Lung Foundation). Our prediction is that these events will soon outperform the endurance/challenge events currently in the Top 20 due to the fact that they have activities with mass-appeal and lower fundraising requirements.

Over the five years we’ve been conducting this study, we’ve seen the threshold to enter the Top 20 continue to rise and have seen more Dutch charities investing in peer-to-peer fundraising events. The healthy year-over-year growth in participation and revenue of the Top 20 combined with the number of events overall in the market is a good indication that “event fundraising” has officially moved from “novelty” to the “norm” in a relatively short amount of time.

For countries that are well-established in event fundraising, the Dutch Top 20 can hopefully spark some new innovative ideas. For those countries who are just getting started with event fundraising, the Netherlands serves as a great example of what’s possible.

The full report which includes the Top 20 data set is now available for download. Any questions regarding the report can be sent to hello@peerworksconsulting.com.

Dutch Top 20 Events of 2018

RankEvent NameEvent Type
#1Alpe d’HuZescycle, run or hike
#2 Roparunrelay run
#4Samenloop voor Hoop relay walk
#5Muskathlonwalk run, swim or cycle
#6Africa Classicmountain bike
#7Swim to Fight Cancerswim
#8Amsterdam City Swimswim
#9Nacht van de Vluchtelingwalk
#10Run for KiKarun
#11HomeRideroad cycle
#12Tour for Liferoad cycle
#13Duchenne Heroesmountain bike
#14Giro di KiKaroad cycle
#15Tour du ALSroad cycle
#16Ride for the Rosesroad cycle
#17A Local Swimswim
#18Stelvio for Lifecycle, run or hike
#19Groot verzet tegen kankercycle
#20Klimmen tegen MScycle or run

For the full report and data set, click here.

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