How Wearable Technology is Changing Peer to Peer Fundraising Campaigns

Peer to peer fundraising campaigns have traditionally focused on in-person events such as walks, runs or other competitions. Now, more people are purchasing wearable technology and it’s influencing the look and feel of fundraisers.

In 2017, Fitbit sold well over 15 million units of its wearable fitness technology. However, this is just one of many wearable devices on the market and according to a report by the International Data Corporation, wearable tech providers are expected to see huge market growth. Last year, over 100 million wearable devices were shipped worldwide and those shipments are expected to almost double by 2021. With these numbers it should come as no surprise that the devices are impacting peer to peer fundraising.

Breakthroughs in technology give people the tools to track their efforts and make improvements to their performance. Tracking efforts is a huge benefit to non-profits engaged in peer to peer fundraising campaigns. How? When fundraisers are paying attention to their efforts through tracking devices, they have something to be proud of and to share. They help build awareness and engagement through their wearable devices, which ultimately lead to donations. Research suggests that people who share their workouts and device statistics on their fundraising pages tend to raise 58 percent more than people who don’t share this type of information.

Alzheimer’s Research UK encourages the use of wearable devices for their Running Down Dementia peer to peer fundraising campaign and so far it has proven successful. The fundraiser has grown to include participants from not only across England but Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well. The frequently asked questions page on the Running Down Dementia website guides people through adding their wearable device to their individual campaign page.

Another campaign that began in Britain and that has experienced tremendous growth with wearable technology is My Marathon. Instead of running a full marathon all at once, participants in this British Heart Foundation’s peer to peer fundraising campaign have 31 days to complete their 26.2-mile journey. They can use tracking devices or fitness apps to help them plan and track their journey while raising money at the same time. More than 32,000 people have raised over one million dollars for this campaign. A video promoting My Marathon that was produced in 2016 demonstrates the control participants can have over their efforts with the help of technology.

Due to the popularity of wearable devices, many corporations have found it easier to encourage employees to participate in company driven fundraising campaigns. For example, food drives are a common but complicated way for a company to give back to its community. Traditionally, food and cash donations had to be gathered and then hand delivered to the local food bank for sorting. However, modern technology allows for virtual support, thus reducing complex logistics and allowing employees to send money directly to local organizations. There are also companies that encourage fitness and wellbeing, which can be rolled into a peer to peer fundraising campaign. Wearable technology can help individuals track their progress and see how they stack up against the competitors in their office.

No matter what form your peer to peer fundraising campaign takes, integrating wearable technology if possible can increase motivation!

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