Case Study:

Enhanced Web Presence and Internet Tools Accelerate Online Fundraising for Komen Sacramento Race for the Cure®

“The online components Kintera provided created quite a buzz – people were emailing up a storm. Our Komen Race for the Cure™ participants said how easy it was to register and solicit, and then to collect pledges. There is no doubt that Kintera’s technology had a great impact on total dollars raised this year.”

Donna R. Sanderson Ed.D., Executive Director
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Sacramento Valley Affiliate

About The Komen Foundation

The Komen Foundation was founded in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died of breast cancer at the age of 36. The Sacramento Valley Affiliate is one of 119 affiliates of the Komen Foundation based in Dallas, Texas.

The foundation is a progressive grassroots organization fighting breast cancer with a network of more than 75,000 volunteers working across the country and in Germany, Greece and Italy. Locally, the Komen Sacramento Race for the Cure® has grown from 2,300 participants in 1997 to over 17,500 in 2002. Over three million dollars has been raised since the inception of the Sacramento race. Seventy five percent of the net proceeds stay in the Sacramento Valley. The remaining twenty-five percent of the funds go directly to Komen’s International Grant program.

The May 2002 Komen Sacramento Race for the Cure presented a doubled-edged challenge to Executive Director Donna Sanderson: How could the organization raise money to maintain its various services and programs in light of the economy and events of September 11, while streamlining processes to make less work for an already overburdened staff?

In 2001, 14,500 participants helped Sacramento’s Komen Foundation raise $750,000. Last year, the nonprofit used another vendor that provided online registration, but did not offer fully functioning web-based donation capabilities. In 2002, Komen wanted to partner with a full service Internet marketing services provider to integrate all online efforts to be more cost effective, increase the number of participants and make solicitation easier for those involved in the event.

Kintera’s comprehensive software platform, Kintera Sphere™, featured the ideal online solution for the nonprofit with the front-end Friends Asking Friends™ service and back-end management system ideally suited for this event’s fundraising efforts. At the event website,, participants could:

  • Create personalized web pages to market their cause
  • Send emails to friends
  • Collect donations from their personal web pages with secure credit card payments
  • Recruit friends and family to join their teams or to register and create their own personal web pages.
  • Reduce hesitation and intimidation associated with asking for donations
  • View real-time donor recognition and tracking

An exclusive component to Kintera’s web-based tools included the opportunity for the nonprofit’s staff and participants to track contributions for the event in real-time. Kintera’s back-end system provided the Komen organization comprehensive management information, available in customizable standard reports. They also used Kintera’s email campaign function to update team captains and generate additional registrations.

Donna Sanderson of The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Sacramento Valley Affiliate, learned first hand that word-of-mouth advertising via the Internet is a powerful force! The organization experienced a surge in online donations in 2002 as a result of the enhanced online presence provided by Kintera, as well as the grassroots momentum generated by Kintera’s Internet-based Friends Asking Friends service.

Facts and Figures:

  • In 2001, Komen contracted with another online service provider resulting in only 766 online registrations out of 14,500 participants. In 2002, the nonprofit switched to Kintera, and the number of online participants jumped to 5,393. Total number of online and offline participants in 2002 was 17,500.
  • Out of 5,393 participants who registered online, 700 took advantage of Kintera’s Internet fundraising tools to create their own websites, sending 13,821 emails to family and friends to solicit donations, resulting in 4,382 clicks to their individual web sites and 3,284 transactions via the Internet. These participants raised $138,756, of which $109,020 was collected online and $29,756 was collected offline (but data entry was input online by participants).
  • The organization had hoped to raise at least $42,000 in online donations – and they were thrilled that the 5,393 online participants raised more than $285,000. Total amount raised, offline and online, was $1 million.

With Friends Asking Friends solicitations, the organization was able to increase overall response rates, thereby increasing the number of donors and participants in fundraising initiatives. The group also enjoyed real-time donor recognition and tracking, as well as detailed data collection, online registration and e-commerce processing. The Komen chapter found that much of the management information they needed was available in standard reports, so staff didn’t have to spend days involved in paperwork.

In fact, Sanderson noted, they are considering handling the event completely online next year for savings in costs and staff time … and forget about mail-in registrations all together.

Tools Detail
A custom fundraising website with the Friends Asking Friends service, event management and email marketing were all part of the solution for The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Sacramento Valley Affiliate.

  • Website URL:
  • Custom Fundraising Website: The site accepted registrations and donations for the Komen Race For the Cure event, and allowed participants to invite others to support the cause and donate.
  • Event Management: The customer easily coordinated the online campaign and integrated it with its traditional offline components.
  • Email Marketing: Kintera’s email marketing tools allowed organizers to reach out to team captains and participants with custom emails for updates and to generate more participants