How Run/Walk Events Benefit From Modern Online Fundraising

By Will Schmidt
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Every year, the Lustgarten Foundation hosts nearly 40 run/walk events nationwide to inspire patients, survivors, and loved ones who have dealt with pancreatic cancer. Together, the community raises awareness, honors those impacted by the disease, and raises money to fund research.

Cathy Weber, the director of fundraising operations, has seen these run/walk events evolve over the years to include modern online fundraising processes. However, it wasn’t until recently that she decided Classy Events would optimize the online component of these walks and fine-tune them for success.

We spoke with Cathy to find out more about the Lustgarten Foundation’s transition into a more modern approach for online fundraising, and how Classy Events fits into the puzzle. Below, she shares her insights to help you modernize your fundraising events as well.

Early Adoption

The Lustgarten Foundation was one of the first organizations to begin using Classy Events’ new registration with fundraising tools when their old platform was being phased out. Cathy felt this was a perfect opportunity to switch from an “old and clunky” platform to something “effective and straightforward.”

Right away, I loved Classy and its look, feel, and ease of use. I just wanted to be a part of this up-and-coming, new, and fresh platform.

Cathy Weber
The Lustgarten Foundation

Currently, she has transitioned 14 walks onto Classy Events. Not only is it simple for her to build new run/walk pages, but her staff also reports that they can get a page up and running in seven minutes.

“With other platforms, we needed heavy training to use them. With Classy Events, we didn’t. One step went right into the next. It’s very intuitive to set up our walk pages now.”

It was also simple to get the campaign in front of their supporters and collect donations. Further, this switch has also helped the Lustgarten Foundation modernize their giving and bring more offline givers online.

Shifting Trends

From her perspective, Cathy has witnessed the pendulum swing away from offline giving towards online giving over the last five years.

In the past, participants would register and bring their donation envelopes to the walk, and I would collect thousands of donations on site. Now, more people are not only donating online but they’re registering and fundraising through Classy as well.

Classy has helped the Lustgarten Foundation take advantage of supporter interest in fundraising beyond a single gift. Specifically, they’ve made use of Classy’s:

  • Mobile-friendly pages that allow anyone to donate or start a fundraising page on the go
  • Email functionality to stay in touch with supporters, walkers, donors, and fundraisers before, during, and after the event
  • Classy Mode feature that, checked by default, allows supporters to cover the transaction fees
  • Activity wall on the landing page that allows the organization to publicly thank people who donate to the campaign

Through these features, Cathy provides a positive and engaging experience for the foundation’s supporters, fundraisers, and donors. She knows that if she can’t deliver that experience, people become frustrated with the technology. It becomes a barrier instead of a gateway to successful fundraising.

Page Presentation

When the Lustgarten Foundation combines these features with their own passion for their mission, they’re able to produce a beautiful page that engages supporters and gets them to convert. Their oldest and biggest event, the Long Island Walk, is a shining example of this in action.

The Long Island Walk is one of my favorites. I’ve watched this event grow from a $150,000 event in 2001, to an over $1 million event today. Over 8,000 people attend, they are passionate about the cause, and the energy they bring is amazing.

With Classy Events, the organization created a stunning page that tells its story, the impact of the event, and all the event day logistics that a supporter would need to know.

run/walk events
The Classy Events page for the Lustgarten Foundation’s Long Island Walk.

When the Lustgarten Foundation joined Classy, they made a choice to modernize their fundraising efforts. They are now able to engage their supporters and raise money in ways that keep excitement high and boost success.

I would recommend Classy Events because it facilitates fundraising in a way that motivates our constituents to raise even more money. And everyone at Classy has been helpful and made me feel like I’m part of a family, not a corporation.

If you’re interested in seeing what Classy Events can do for you, be sure to read the free guide below.

Image Credit: The Lustgarten Foundation’s Facebook 

Posted in Fundraising

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