Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Around the World: The Netherlands

Bicycles are ubiquitous in the Netherlands and bicycling events dominate peer-to-peer fundraising in the country, as well. Photo by Andrey Filippov via Flickr

Peer-to-peer fundraising isn’t just a phenomenon in North America. It’s also a popular form of fundraising in countries around the globe.

And while charities in the United States and Canada have developed sophisticated programs, programs in other countries can also offer lessons.

In the Netherlands, for instance, the top 20 Dutch programs raised about €40.4 million in 2017, or $48.2 million at current exchange rates, according to a survey by the fundraising company Peerworks

That number seems tiny when compared to the $1.27 billion raised by the top 20 U.S. programs, but it is somewhat less so when you adjust for the huge difference in population.

Quite interesting is how the Dutch top twenty programs differ greatly in character from their US counterparts:

  • Cycling programs dominate the top 20 in the Netherlands, with 14 programs involving cycling making it to their list.  Only 3 of the American top 20 involve cycling.
  • Whereas the American scene is still dominated by multi-chapter walks and runs (11 out of 20), many of which don’t have fundraising minimums, the Dutch programs mostly require participants to raise money.  This is typical of cycling programs in the U.S., which are logistically more expensive to run and often attract well-heeled cycling enthusiasts.  Many of the Dutch cycling programs are held outside of the Netherlands in Europe or Africa adding to their cost and complexity.
  • A few unusual events make it onto the Dutch top 30, including two swims and the combination skate and cycle program.  There are no swimming programs among the top 30 in the U.S.  The largest such program is Swim Across America, which raised $7 million in 2017, about half of what it takes to make it onto the top 30 list in the U.S.

Peerworks’ Jillian Stewart said she believes that the Dutch peer-to-peer fundraising pool will grow substantially in the next few years due to a few factors:

  • While cancer charities account for half of the top 20 programs in the Netherlands, Stewart believes that NGOs fighting other diseases are ripe to start programs.
  • Dutch programs are now dominated by extreme, exotic events.  Stewart expects lower impact mass participation events to emerge.

You can view the full dataset below, or see a PDF version.

More peer-to-peer fundraising rankings

United States: Top 30 campaigns in 2017

Canada: Top 30 campaigns in 2017


Dig Deeper

Lessons From Dutch Peer-to-Peer Programs (Forbes)