Pickleball and Paddleboards: Get Creative with Activity-Tracking Events

Activity trackers, such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit, have revolutionized the way we approach physical fitness and they’re also dramatically changing the way we approach fundraising events. Over a third of adults in the United States are now using health apps or wearable devices to track their activities, making it easier than ever to monitor progress, set goals, and stay motivated. Nonprofits have jumped on this trend, harnessing the power of activity trackers to create innovative fundraising events that go beyond the traditional marathon or walkathon. Think pickleball tournaments and paddleboard races.

Peer-to-peer activity-tracking events have emerged as a game-changer for nonprofit organizations seeking to raise funds and promote a healthy lifestyle. These events leverage the popularity of wearable devices and health apps to encourage participants to sign up for and support a range of fun, trackable activities while contributing to a meaningful cause. The result? More engaged supporters, increased donations, and a wider impact on the community.  

While the thought of activity tracking may immediately conjure images of running, walking, or cycling, there is a world of potential in less traditional activity-tracking events. Let’s dive into some creative and out-of-the-box event ideas that are tailor-made for wearables, health trackers, and potentially for your organization.  

1. Way of Water Event  

Dive into the world of water sports with a Way of Water event. Participants track their swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing adventures using their activity trackers. Whether it’s navigating serene lakes or tackling challenging river currents, this event brings a splash of excitement to fundraising.  

2. Mental Health Month Challenge  

Raise awareness about mental health through various well-being activities. Participants set daily meditation or mindfulness goals using their activity trackers. This challenge can focus on breathing exercises, yoga classes, or other self-care activities meant to create a positive cycle of well-being while fundraising for an important cause.  

3. Read-A-Thon  

Combine the love of reading with friendly competition. Participants track the number of pages they’ve read or books they’ve completed on a leaderboard to support literacy and education. Building an entire event around reading might just give your donors the push they need to pick up their next book.   

4. Reuse & Recycle Rally  

Promote sustainability with an event you can recycle every year. Constituents participate by tracking their success in helping the planet by recycling, reducing food waste, purchasing local produce, and reusing containers. Funds raised can contribute to environmental or conservation efforts, making every step count for a greener future. 

5. Volunteer-A-Thon  

Encourage participants to give back to the community while staying active. Supporters track time spent volunteering for local causes, such as cleaning up parks or serving at food banks. This event celebrates both physical and social responsibility, fostering a sense of unity and immediate, measurable impact.  

6. Healthy Meal Month  

Embrace a holistic approach to health by hosting a nutrition fundraising event. Participants log their meals, earning points for each healthy choice. Funds raised might support a nutritional education program, empowering individuals to make informed lifestyle decisions.  

Driving Results through Activity  

Wondering if activity tracking will work for your organization? Take a look at the positive results for Carry The Load, a service and support group for veterans and first responders. For its Memorial May National Relay, the organization leveraged the power of Good Move, a free activity-tracking and fundraising mobile app offered by Blackbaud.  

  • Carry The Load found that participants who used the app were more engaged overall and raised significantly higher donation amounts compared to other participants. App users accounted for a substantial 26% of the total donations raised. On average, a user raised $168 more than a participant not using the app— a +46% difference.   
  • 58% of participants who participated in the activity-tracking portion of the event successfully raised funds compared to 31% of those who did not use the activity-tracking tool.   
  • Team captains engaged in activity tracking raised 21% more funds compared to other captains.    

Matt Fryman, director of marketing for Carry The Load, said activity tracking was easy to integrate into their fundraising program.  

“We were pleased at how quickly the community embraced it and the level of interest in tracking the activity.”

Tips to Make the Most of Your Event 

To ensure the success of an activity-tracking event, a few key elements are essential:

Have Fun with Leaderboards for Gamification and Friendly Competition  

Tap into participants’ competitive spirit by incorporating leaderboards to showcase top performers (and inspire those trailing behind). Friendly competition adds an exciting edge to the event, motivating participants to push their limits and raise more funds. The more they are encouraged to check a live leaderboard, the more opportunities are available for them to see your mission.  

Boost Motivation with In-App Content and Push Notifications  

Keep participants engaged and informed throughout the event with regular updates, tips, and motivational content delivered through the app. Push notifications serve as reminders and encouragements to stay active and connected.   

Easy Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Tools  

By thinking outside the box and leveraging the power of user-friendly technology, your organization can create memorable and meaningful experiences that inspire change and foster a culture of giving. Creative activity-tracking events can simplify peer-to-peer fundraising, especially when you empower your participants to connect their personalized fundraising pages and share their progress with friends and family.  

Ready to join the movement to track your way to a healthier, more compassionate world? Get started today by learning how activity-tracking tools can transform your next fundraising campaign.