On the heels of raising a record $17.8 million in 2022 following two years of pandemic hiatus, AIDS/LifeCycle was named “Program of the Year” at the annual Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum conference today.
The world’s largest single-event fundraiser for HIV and AIDS, this seven-day fully supported bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles benefits the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV-related services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Since debuting as the California AIDS Ride in 1994 (it was reconfigured to AIDS/LifeCycle in 2002) the Ride has raised more than $304 million and involved more than 70,000 journeys down the California coast.
At $17.8 million, AIDS/LifeCycle was the 22nd largest peer-to-peer fundraising program in America and surpassed its previous fundraising high of $16.8 million set in 2019, according to the just released Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Top Thirty Study.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is the practice of having a nonprofit’s supporters take part in an activity such as a walk, bike ride or other real or virtual challenge and reach out to their network of friends, family and colleagues for donations. Collectively, peer-to-peer fundraising programs raise more than a billion dollars annually for thousands of nonprofits nationwide.
“More than just a ride, AIDS/LifeCycle is an incredible brand that inspires thousands of people to take on a big physical challenge while celebrating life as a rolling community of riders and “roadies,” said David Hessekiel, president of the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum.
Among the factors AIDS/LifeCycle leaders credited for the program’s record success were pent up demand among participants and donors for a live event after a two-year COVID pause and enthusiasm among many veteran riders to honor the “last hurrah” of Lorri L. Jean, the retiring longtime CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
“AIDS/LifeCycle is pure magic,” said Tracy Evans, director of AIDS/LifeCycle. “The Ride began at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic when the community came together to build funding for community-based healthcare, bring visibility to the crisis and help end stigma. That was the start of a nearly 30-year tradition rooted in love, care and support for each other and the communities we serve. Everyone who participates in AIDS/LifeCycle is a co-conspirator in creating the world we all want to live in – and for one week of the year, we do.”
The Program of the Year Award is sponsored by Eventage, a national event production agency serving businesses and nonprofits. ”AIDS/LifeCycle is one of the most successful and iconic events in the nation, and we’re thrilled to give Tracy Evans and her staff the recognition they so greatly deserve,” said Matt Glass, Partner and Chief Creative Officer at Eventage. “Having been on the event both behind the scenes and as a participant, I know just how powerful and life-changing the experience can be.”
Past winners of the peer-to-peer fundraising organization of the year honor include Pan-Mass Challenge, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Children’s Miracle Network Research Hospitals, Terry Fox Foundation, ALS Association, Dana-Farber Cancer Research Center and NAMI.