How a 20 Year Old On-The-Ground Ride Went Virtual

For more than 20 years, The Hill Country Ride for AIDS (HCRA) has been an iconic on-the-ground fundraising event in Texas. Rather than cancel the 2020 ride and disrupt critical funding for many local health organizations, the team decide to take “the ride” virtual.

It was important to support their mission to raise funds for their beneficiaries providing HIV/AIDS services and prevention efforts to help their patients stay healthy in the face of this pandemic. They knew they had to take action.

Online Fundraising Activities

Online Fundraising Activities

Ready to pivot virtual for their mission, Hill Country Ride for Aids was able to bring their in-person peer-to-peer fundraising activities online. These included:

  • Virtual Challenge
  • Team & Individual Fundraising
  • Competitive Elements

What made this event unique

What Made This Event Unique?

Hill Country Ride for Aids P2P Site

To replicate the fun and competitive atmosphere of the road ride, the team created 12 weeks of fun challenges.

The challenges ranged from cycling to fundraising to sharing a favorite carb-loading dinner. They alternated weekly between physical and fundraising goals.

Each physical challenge had two options so everyone could participate — a challenge for avid cyclists and one for the “athletic supporters.”

They also hosted Matching Gift days, offered challenge prizes, and recognized sponsors supported the Virtual Ride.

Virtual Fundraising Strategies

Virtual Fundraising Strategies

Shifting a peer-to-peer road ride virtual needs a good fundraising strategy to create the same competitive atmosphere. HCRA drove donor engagement and motivation to give with these fundraising strategies:

  • Transformed traditional event in a Virtual Ride
  • Weekly physical and fundraising challenges
  • Matching gift days
  • Showcased sponsors throughout campaign
  • Challenge rewards and prizes
  • Leaderboards, Donor Walls, and Fundraising Activity Livestream

Best Practices/Lessons Learned

Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Download Hill Country Ride One Sheeter

Download the HCRA One Sheeter

HCRA implemented these best practices to make their virtual peer-to-peer event a success:

  • Use of Mission messaging and impact in light of COVID-19
  • Clear Impact Statements
  • Interactive photo & video gallery to bring challenges to life
  • Digital sponsor visibility on fundraising site
  • Used a variety of participant tools to empower fundraising (FAQs,
    Fundraising Tips, Social Media Points)
  • Leveraged Strava for people to track activities



Fundraising results are in! With their virtual campaign, HCRA has raised over $430,000. They are excited about the level of  participation and fundraising impact that their virtual peer-to-peer ride created.

Moving a peer-to-peer event virtual can be done, and learning from HCRA, putting your mission first, embracing innovative and bringing fun challenges to your campaign can help increase fundraising success. That’s some #FearlessFundraisers!

Connect with a Cause

You can learn more about Hill Country Ride for AIDS and support their mission by visiting their website.

Wrapping Up!

More fundraising resources are just a click away.