This is our second full quarterly report during COVID-19. As we have discussed over the past several months, this has impacted our entire community, and certainly RunSignup | GiveSignup negatively. The good news is that we are all adapting and learning new ways of doing things. There is some return of in person events, but with new methods for safety. There has been huge growth of virtual, challenges and fundraising events.
Series A Investment and Profitability
We have reached two very important milestones in September. This will be our first month when we will actually produce a profit since February. We have been able to keep all of our team, although we have had hard times with partial salary at times since March 13. And we have even been able to hire our first GiveSignup reps to help nonprofits.
In addition, we have taken a $2.6 Million investment from Payroc in a Series A. RunSignup employees still own greater than 90% of the company, and Payroc will be a preferred payment processor in 2020 and beyond. There are three major reasons we took this investment:
- During these tough times, we wanted to make sure we had plenty of cash in the bank to service our customers and pay our employees.
- We are seeing a huge increase in new customers and new events, and want to make sure we have the resources to meet their needs.
- Serving nonprofits with GiveSignup is a very large opportunity. Many of the new customers coming to us are nonprofits and we want to ensure we are not diluting our endurance investments to continue to build out our GiveSignup offerings.
As expected, the numbers are all down – roughly 20% lower transaction volume and 24% lower registration volume, although an improvement from the -35% in Q2. Also encouraging is that there was steady improvement during the quarter with September transaction volume down only 14% YOY, and registrations down 17% YOY.
Our focus on helping nonprofits is showing excellent results, with donations up 63%. We did a total of $22 Million all of last year in donations and are already ahead of that number this year. Nonprofits are coming to us for new ways to create fundraising campaigns, and our GiveSignup efforts are beginning to produce some great results for our customers.
The pageviews are up significantly (26%), especially when compared with transactions. This is due to the wide use of our virtual results and challenge platforms. Along with our free websites, free domains, and free photo platform, we are providing our customers more opportunity to engage with their supporters over a longer period of time and in more meaningful ways.
Detailed Weekly Trends
Overall transaction volume has steadily improved over Q3.
We also track the % of events that are non-virtual, virtual and challenge:
We have started tracking donations on a weekly basis now as that is trending up from last year’s 8% to the 20% overall we saw in Q3.
New races continue to be significantly ahead of last year. The past month we are more than doubling the number of new races created over last year at this time. We have averaged over 500 new races created each of the past 6 weeks. In addition, we are averaging over 200 new payment accounts per week the past several weeks, which is up over 50% from last year. This is a result of new customers being attracted to our market leading virtual and challenge platforms, typically from word of mouth recommendations from our customers (Thank You!).
Renewed races has been down, but seems to be recovering some.
In summary, the rest of 2020 and probably most of 2021 will continue to be well below 2019 levels. However, the good news is that we are helping more and more customers. And there will eventually be recovery in live events, which will lead to great growth for our customers and our business.
Investing for Growth
While we have invested heavily over the past several months in our virtual and challenge platforms (as you will see below in our technology overview), we continue to make progress on our overall endurance platform. Many of the features will serve in person races very well, such as our improvements to our results displays. It is also likely that many events will become hybrid to get more out-of-town participants and take advantage of more participant engagement with multi-day, week or month challenges before their live event. In addition, our RaceDay Scoring software for timers continues to make progress to become the dominant tool for timers to use for scoring live races. Along with the fact that many of the vendors in the endurance market have not been able to keep up with platform investments, RunSignup is becoming more and more the clear choice.
One of the big reasons for taking on an outside investor is to support the growth of GiveSignup, and not take away from the investments on the endurance side. We see GiveSignup, made up of donations and nonprofit ticket revenue, as growing to be larger than our endurance business over the next 5-7 years since it is a much larger market.
We made clear we are going to Take our Shot this past quarter. Between the investment, the hiring of three reps, and the many technology advances to help our nonprofit customers raise more and save time.
We are very encouraged by the number of RunSignup nonprofit customers who are beginning to use and to plan on taking advantage of the GiveSignup tools. Whether it is for improving on their Paypal donation forms, or upgrading from Eventbrite to a solution built specifically for nonprofits or some other form of fundraising.
Education, Information Hubs and Virtual Symposium
We have kept our focus on helping our customers learn and adapt in these tough times. We developed several information hubs:
- Get Started Hub
- Going Virtual
- How to Host a Turkey Trot in 2020
- Challenge Platform
- Giving Tuesday
- Facebook Fundraising
- Nonprofit Ticket Events
- Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
- Fall Cram Session
- Summer Virtual Symposium
Our big educational effort was our Fall Cram Session with over 600 people.
Our virtual and challenge platforms have become the most popular for the endurance and the nonprofit communities with literally millions of participants now. We have spent a lot of time honing the user experience and adding special features that make the experience more engaging and more aligned with nonprofit missions.
We have introduced Free Virtual Event Photos as part of our ongoing roll out of our Photos Platform V 2. New features allow participants to upload their own photos, share them easily, monitor and flag photos. Photos are not available right on individual and team pages and results pages. More enhancements roll out almost weekly.
We have integrated and highlighted the visibility of donations and fundraising in a variety of ways. For example, your custom cover page now has a good looking goal meter to highlight to your website visitors:
We also recently released a fundraising goal thermometer on individual result pages.
We also introduced some “fun” in fundraising with confetti celebration when goals are met!
We have also continued to expand our partnerships with an integration with Double the Donation for nonprofits.
RaceJoy has had a ton of advancements as we meet the huge demand for a more interactive and “real” virtual race experience. Find the certified timer in your area that can help you implement RaceJoy for your race at our new RaceJoy Website.
We have had a couple of major new releases (and about to release challenge activities):
This video and blog highlight all of the great features for virtual events:
Milestones and Badges
We have greatly expanded the milestone and badge capabilities in challenges to really engage participants with gamification.
Corral Management System Upgrade
We rolled out a major upgrade to our corral management system. This is important as in person events now frequently manage their COVID safety requirements with spacing participants out with say 50 people allowed each 15 minutes. The new Corral system helps manage all of that complexity. And it rolled out in time for the wave of smaller rolling start events that are happening now. We are seeing over 100 races using our scoring system each weekend in September.
Simplified Menu System
RunSignup has a ton of great features, but it can be confusing, even for advanced users. We have greatly simplified the menu system and are rolling out other ease of use features.
We have added an option in user profiles to select Non-binary in addition to Male and Female.
The endurance and nonprofit communities remain under enormous pressures. We are seeing furloughs and layoffs across many of our customers, and some actually closing up completely. This weighs heavily on us, and makes us even more focused on finding ways to help our customers Save Money and Make Money.
One of the reasons we publish our $Transactions numbers so publicly is to try to inspire our customers and others to use our technology to find ways to produce revenue. We take pride in the fact that in September our customers had revenue that was down only 14% overall. Unfortunately, the spread of individual customers range from doing nothing, and producing no revenue to those who have adapted and embraced virtual events and challenges and are actually raising more money today.
A great example was American Cancer Society, highlighted in Forbes. The article highlights how ACS hosted a “Determination Runs the Country” in June and raised over $60,000. ACS has continued to roll out events and challenges on our platform and found new ways to generate revenue and engage with their supporters.
On the vendor side, we published our ever popular bi-annual Race Registration Market Analysis. There is similar pressure on the vendor community with Eventbrite, Active, Enmotive and others laying off employees. We see slow progress on feature releases from vendors.
There is also a looming backlog of sales tax liability that is building up for pretty much all the vendors except ourselves, Eventbrite and BikeReg. RunSignup continues to collect and pay well over $100,000 per month in sales tax on behalf of our customers. We are seeing many states asking us for back taxes from before we had released our sales tax software, and they will be coming after all of the online registration platforms as states look to generate revenue to cover their significant COVID losses. As an example, we paid $18,000 to Utah last month alone, while RaceEntry continues to not collect.
This is a very difficult time for the endurance and nonprofit communities. We feel lucky to be in a position where we can help our customers. We also feel fortunate to serve such great customers, who continue to provide us inspiration and feedback on new ideas we can implement. Thank you especially to so many of you who have told friends and colleagues about RunSignup | GiveSignup and helped us weather this storm.