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Pan-Massachusetts Challenge Extends Online Fundraising, Engaging Donors to Become Fundraisers

PMC PaceLineTM to Increase Money Raised for Cancer Research

Submitted by: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Jimmy Fund

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Health & Wellness

Posted: Jul 08, 2009 – 10:00 AM EST


Jul. 08 /CSRwire/ - NEEDHAM, Mass. - July 8, 2009 - The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, the most successful athletic fundraising event in the nation, has developed a unique online fundraising system that will empower its cyclists to reach more financial contributors to cancer research.

Combining the viral nature, speed and connectivity of social networking with the personalization and storytelling of blogging, the PMC PaceLine TM www.pmc.org empowers riders - and now donors - to personalize their contributions with messages about why they ride and why they contribute financially to cancer research. In addition, the system allows contributors to "join the PMC Paceline" and become virtual cyclists and fundraisers themselves for the cause. The goal is to engage donors to become fundraisers too, while making it easier for all contributors and riders to spread the PMC message and mission across the globe and increase the sum the PMC will contribute to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at the end of the 2009 campaign.

This week, the PMC PaceLine will go live for cyclists registered to ride in the 30th annual Pan-Mass Challenge. The PMC is set for Aug. 1 and 2, when more than 5,000 cyclists will come from 36 states and eight countries to ride up to 190 miles in the two-day event. Since its 1980 inception, the PMC has raised nearly $240 million for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. The PMC raises and contributes more money to cancer research than any other athletic fundraising event in the nation. It is also among the most efficient, annually giving 100% of every rider-raised dollar directly to the Jimmy Fund.

But this year, and this economy, challenge even the sharpest and most innovative of nonprofits, says PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr. "The PMC PaceLine is virtual and a virtually endless online cycle that allows donors to saddle up behind riders and connect more personally to the PMC, the Jimmy Fund and to the cause of raising money for cancer research," Starr said. "Now when PMC riders ask friends to contribute to their fundraising campaigns, they can ask them to donate in the name, memory, or honor of someone they love or have lost. Every donor who joins the PaceLine is personified with an avatar that can be personalized with different colors for the helmet, biking shoes, and rider jersey and an icon that symbolizes the reason behind the gift. There is no minimum fundraising commitment for those who join the PMC PaceLine, and donors can choose to contribute and personalize the gift, without also joining the PaceLine and seeking contributions from others. Most importantly, 100% of all donations will go directly to fund groundbreaking cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber through its Jimmy Fund.

"The PMC PaceLine asks riders to engage their donors, and donors to engage other donors, to join on an endless chain of cyclists around the globe raising money for cancer research," Starr said.

The system was built in conjunction with Crunch Brand Communications, a Boston-based brand marketing firm, and MWare, Inc. as way to help PMCers overcome today's economic challenges. "Social networking and social media were built on personalization," said Crunch Brand President Ted Schlueter. "Our goal is to put personalization to work to raise money for cancer research."

The PMC PaceLine was not the PMC's first entre into viral or online fundraising. In 2003, well before Facebook, the PMC website enabled PMC cyclists to create their own fundraising profiles complete with a photo and profile story about why they ride. The site also enabled page viewers to instantly make electronic donations to the cause, which are more cost efficient than contributions made by check or cash.

About the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge
Now in its 30th year, the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge is a pioneer of the athletic fundraising industry and today raises more money for charity than any other single event in the country. In 2008, the PMC raised $35 million, and since 1980 it has raised nearly $240 million for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. The PMC, an annual bike-a-thon that spans up to 190 miles, is a model of fundraising efficiency. In 2008, the PMC donated 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the cause. The PMC generates half of the Jimmy Fund's annual revenue and it is Dana-Farber's single largest contributor. Some 240,000 individual contributions were made in last year's fundraising campaign. The PMC is sponsored by the Boston Red Sox Foundation and Overstock.com. The 2009 PMC will be held on August 1 and 2. For more information about the PMC, visit pmc.org or call 800-WE-CYCLE.

About Crunch Brand Communications
Crunch is a team of brand specialists who attack four core business challenges.
Identity Crisis: We help companies understand who they are, so their customers will too
Brand Fatigue: We inject adrenaline into companies eager to reclaim their former glory
Web Noise: We help companies build websites that create chatter and boost business
Brand Uprising: We help restless companies shake things up in their category
For more information visit: crunchbc.com or call 617-241-5051.

For more information, please contact:

Jackie Herskovitz PMC Publicist
Phone: 617-269-7171
Phone 2: 617-821-0514
Fax: 617-269-7179


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