July 26, 2021

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Virtual Pan-Mass Challenge Tops 2020 Fundraising Goal By 22%

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As nonprofits confront the challenges of pivoting to virtual fundraising options, organizers of the largest single athletic fundraiser in the U.S. have revealed promising results.

This weekend, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute announced a $50 million gift from the Pan-Mass Challenge, exceeding a pandemic-tempered goal of $41 million. The contributions came from more than 9,600 individual fundraisers, who were encouraged to “move forward with individual activities on or off the bike.”

Even without the physical ride, PMC boasted its most successful weekend of fundraising ever, bringing in more than $4 million from Friday, July 31 to Monday, Aug. 3. Since 1980, the PMC has now raised more than $767 million.

“The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to many aspects of our daily lives this year – but cancer stops for nothing, and the PMC refuses to stop either,” said PMC founder and executive director Billy Starr. “I am incredibly proud of our community’s resiliency and dedication to our mission, which resulted in a very impactful $50 million gift that will support lifesaving cancer research and treatment as we continue to navigate this public health crisis.”

The PMC is the nation’s most successful single-event athletic fundraiser and Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor, accounting for more than 64 percent of its Jimmy Fund’s revenue.

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“This year more than ever, I am extremely grateful for the unwavering commitment from the Pan-Mass Challenge and its riders, volunteers and donors,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO of Dana-Farber. “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unexpected challenges for the cancer community and this incredibly generous gift will make an unparalleled impact on our work in the fight against cancer.”

In 2019, the PMC raised $63 million for Dana-Farber. Dates for the prospective 2021 Pan-Mass Challenge have not been announced.

This article was updated to correct the cumulative fundraising total for the PMC. The total is more than $767 million, not more than $800 million.

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