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Championship Racing is an event management company owned and operated by Trish Portuese, an RRCA Certified Race Director with over 20 years of experience working with nonprofits, running clubs, and road race management. Championship Racing specializes in working with charity events, including many cancer-related runs and walks, and focuses on registration management for 10-15 events a year. The approach that Championship Racing takes to managing events is:
We are an event management company. I don’t own any races; what I do is help nonprofits put on their race. I take all the technology stuff and the operational components and consult and advise them of the different aspects of the road race...while they do what they do best - which is raise funds for their charity.
If you want to be on a team, once you hit that 5-member mark, the original four members will get their $5 discount, and then anybody else that registers receives that $5 discount. That’s a huge hit, and the way the system handles it is beautiful. I don’t have to do anything - you set it up once, and it works. For that race...it’s been highly successful because it encourages people to bring their friend, bring their family. We have people that sign up ten people just because they want them on their team.
Championship Racing specializes in what they call “participative events” - events that participants are drawn to specifically because of the charity it supports rather than the competitive aspect of racing. Trish has found that social teams - teams with no scoring connection and no size limit - are a great fit for participative events, helping to grow the event by encouraging people to bring their friends and family while creating a fun, social RaceDay experience.
To promote social teams, Championship Racing sets the Rumpshaker 5K race up to provide a discount of $5/participant for teams of at least 5 people. RunSignup is able to automate this process so that each member of the team can register on their own time: once the fifth team member registers, the first four will get an automatic refund of $5, while all additional team members receive the discount up front.
The best thing that ever happened is [RunSignup’s] link of donations to registration. For example, when I brought the Rumpshaker 5K onto the RunSignup system, we had $21,000 in donations - that was $10,000 more than we had from the previous online vendor.
With a focus on charity-oriented events, it should come as no surprise that the RunSignup’s fundraising platform is a key feature for Championship Racing. The integration of donations into the registration process captures donation dollars while a participant is engaged and thinking about the cause, rather than re-directing them or asking for money later.
Championship Racing has also had success with clients adding the “checkbox” donation option, allowing participants to add a quick, set donation amount ($5 is their standard) with a simple checkbox at check-out. Make it easy to donate, and people are more likely to do so!
Big money isn’t all simple, though: to capitalize on the personal connection between participants and charities, many events also enable more advanced fundraising features. For example, the Rumpshaker 5K inspired fundraising with:
For larger events with a highly engaged participant pool, advanced fundraising options can be used to motivate and empower participants to reach out and fundraise.
With the CheckIn App I know who’s checked in. Once you check that person in, you can go in and see how many have picked up so I can anticipate and expect my volume of pre-registered participants that have to show up race morning. I can adjust the number of volunteers, move them to another location, etc.
RaceDay is known for its inherent chaos, but Championship Racing is tempering that with its no paper, no lines philosophy. They employ two techniques to improve the accuracy of their data: first, they emails participants a link to their information ahead to encourage them to validate that it is correct, second, they utilize either the SignUp app or regular online registration on-site to eliminate handwriting-based errors.
RaceDay SignUp may be easy with RunSignup, but Trish’s favorite RunSignup tool is easily the RaceDay CheckIn App. With many events offering pre-race bib pickup, Trish is able to use the reporting from CheckIn to estimate how many participants will need to check in on race morning, and adjust her volunteer strategy accordingly.
[The Volunteer Platform] is easy to set-up, easy to use, I like it because it has the database and we can take that database, send that email and say “hey we need help for next year”. It’s an add-on and it’s a value-add to a race director.
One of the biggest advantages of RunSignup is the value of a single database. Championship Racing uses the Volunteer Platform for their volunteers because it is easy to use...but also because it keeps all the volunteer data in the same place as participant and donor information.
This makes it easy to use email marketing to remind volunteers to come back, to communicate key volunteer details, and even to add volunteers to any pre-race emails that are sent to participants.
At the end of the day, much of the value of RunSignup to Championship Racing is the flexibility it allows, ensuring that they can fulfill their promise of providing streamlined race management that is tailored to the event, freeing up the charity to focus on their top priority: raising money.