Client Success Story

Batten Disease Support and Research Association

How the BDSRA Foundation achieved unprecedented fundraising success with its peer-to-peer campaign, exceeding its goal by five times.


Founded in 1987 by a group of devoted parents united by a shared purpose, the Batten Disease Support and Research Association, known today as BDSRA Foundation (BDSRA), has grown into North America's foremost organization dedicated to funding research, offering family support, and advocating for legislative changes.

In 2020, BDSRA joined CharityEngine, initially drawn to its comprehensive fundraising solution that promised to centralize data, eliminating the need for manual data imports and cross-tool matching. However, it wasn't until 2023 that they fully harnessed CharityEngine's peer-to-peer capabilities, leveraging them for the successful execution of their International Batten Disease Awareness Day fundraising campaign.

Before this transition, BDSRA had relied on RedPodium for P2P fundraising. Noah Siedman, Database Manager at BDSRA, emphasized the advantages of CharityEngine, stating:

"CharityEngine's integrated peer-to-peer functionality saved time by streamlining data management and campaign communication within a single platform. All our data was already in our CRM, saving us time by avoiding many steps of Excel.”

Noah Siedman, Database Manager  |  BDSRA


BDSRA's purpose transcended fundraising; it was about community, awareness, and hope for those affected by Batten disease. “The event has historically brought together smaller communities of people who were actively caring for or dealing with the disease, and seeing all the people come together helped them feel less isolated,” explained Noah.

However, the organization also faced the task of raising $10,000 for its International Batten Disease Awareness Day campaign. BDSRA's peer-to-peer campaign was intricately tied to a virtual 5K walk/run. The challenge lay in creating tools that empowered their families, leaders, and team captains to amplify advocacy and raise funds effectively.


"The event has historically brought together smaller communities of people who were actively caring for or dealing with the disease, and seeing all the people come together helped them feel less isolated."

Noah Siedman, Database Manager  |  BDSRA


BDSRA's journey to success began with meticulous planning. They identified key individuals and teams poised to make a difference. These champions were given early access to CharityEngine to familiarize themselves with the platform. In the 10 days leading up to the event, BDSRA launched a heartfelt engagement campaign, rallying their community to share their personal stories. The peer-to-peer platform became more than just a fundraising tool; it was a forum for support and unity.

As the campaign unfolded, BDSRA initiated a T-shirt design contest, processing submissions through a CharityEngine form. Subsequently, they engaged their community in voting for their preferred designs. Eventually, they transitioned into handling T-shirt orders and event registrations. CharityEngine's robustness as an all-in-one platform was instrumental in efficiently managing all campaign interactions for BDSRA.



The results were nothing short of astonishing. BDSRA not only met its fundraising goal of $10,000 but exceeded it, raising a record-breaking $53,000 -- a staggering five-fold increase. More than 400 runners registered for the event, forming 35 teams, and generating over 770 donations. The campaign also welcomed 140 new donors. Beyond the numbers, BDSRA's campaign transcended borders, with donations pouring in from all 50 states. The Batten disease campaign, historically not a major fundraiser, has now become a source of inspiration and a benchmark for future endeavors.

What Other Nonprofits Can Learn

In the eyes of BDSRA, the journey to a successful peer-to-peer campaign is paved with preparation. Here are three things that nonprofits can learn from BDSRA’s success and implement in their peer-to-peer campaigns:

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Identify Top Supporters Early

BDSRA identified key individuals and teams before their campaign launch. They held joint sessions to review the campaign roadmap and CharityEngine, allowing key supporters to prepare effectively.

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Empower Participants with Content

BDSRA empowered campaign participants by curating a library of pre-written messages and posts that facilitated seamless sharing. 

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Generate Enthusiasm

BDSRA encouraged their community to share personal stories on social media, showcasing favorite family activities, t-shirts, and support from friends, family, or healthcare providers.

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