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Enthuse launches Google Maps-powered Virtual Journeys to help charities increase fundraising revenue

Enthuse, a UK-based fundraising, donations and events registration platform, today announced the launch of Virtual Journeys, a set of map-based challenges to help charities build fun ways to excite their supporters about virtual events. The product is the first of its kind and provides charities with both pre-made and bespoke maps, powered by Google Maps, and combats virtual event fatigue by providing a fresh challenge for supporters. 

Virtual Journeys launches with a range of pre-made maps, including courses for the London Marathon, the Inca Trail, the London to Brighton Cycle Ride, and Lands End to John O’Groats. Charities can define how participants take part in the challenges – whether it’s a run, walk or cycle – as well as how long the challenge lasts for and if it’s a team or individual based activity. Charities will also be able to work with Enthuse to build their own bespoke maps for courses and fundraising events. 

The map will be displayed across the charity’s event page as well as all individual and team fundraising pages, so supporters can keep track of their progress visually, and event leaderboards encourage healthy competition. Event leaderboards will show who has finished the route, sorted by the fastest finisher, giving charities new ways to incentivise and reward supporters. The team pages will also show how much distance has been covered by everyone, and how many members have completed the route. 

Key route milestones will be displayed on the map, such as Big Ben or the Cutty Sark for the London Marathon, to help keep participants motivated, and can set custom start and finish pins for the route. Progress along the route can be automatically tracked via a linked Strava account or participants can upload manual activities if they are using a different fitness app. 

Speaking about the launch, Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Enthuse Founder and CEO, commented:

“Virtual events have proved a crucial lifeline for charities throughout the pandemic to maintain their fundraising income. We know supporters want more though – two thirds of Gen Z and half of millennials tell us they are interested in map and milestone based-challenges, and the launch of Virtual Journeys will help charities deliver this. When physical fundraising events start to come back, Virtual Journeys will also allow charities to broaden participation by opening up their events to supporters wherever they are based, as well as creating unique virtual events where supporters team up to try and run a distance together like the length of the British coastline.” 

Guy Aubertin, Director of Fundraising and Operations for Walk The Walk said: “We’re delighted with this new innovation from Enthuse. The development of their virtual event capability is allowing us to launch a new version of our London Moonwalk. We are creating a 52 mile version of the event using the Virtual Journeys product, and are delighted to be able to bring this new challenge to our supporters, under our own brand.” 

Many charities seem set to follow Walk The Walk’s lead on building virtual map based challenges. 79% of charities stated they would use this new capability in the next three months according to Enthuse’s own customer research. 

Virtual Journeys also provides flexibility to charities when planning events. Currently, if supporters are concerned about the health risks of travelling to an event, they have little alternative but to cancel and request a ticket refund. Virtual Journeys provides an alternative way for supporters to take part locally and mitigate the risks of cancelled events for charities.