The idea of people walking in the cold to get a hint of what it might be like to experience homelessness isn't unique. Charities across North America have been doing variations of this fundraiser for years. CNOY merely took the concept and built on it for the benefit of many more charities.
The CNOY Story
2011: CNOY launched in two locations supported by three charitable partners, including Ann Barnard Ball at Yonge Street Mission, Greg Paul at Sanctuary Ministries in Toronto, and Harry Whyte and Scott Brush at Ray of Hope Community Center in Kitchener/Waterloo. The trust these charity leaders placed in us was critical to our fledgling first year and their support and endorsement in the years to follow were priceless. We went live with the website and promo material on January 18th, with the modest goal of raising $40,000. By February 26th - a mere 40 days later! - 405 walkers on 55 teams helped raise $111,800.
2012: We added sixteen additional locations across the country in 2012, and by February 25 celebrated the participation of 3,075 walkers, lead by 470 team captains. Together, these 18 early (and very brave) charities raised $668,062. All but one of those partners remain with the event to this day!
2013: We added 20 new locations in 2013, bringing the total number of participating cities up to 38. On Event Day, 1,071 teams with 8,183 walkers came together to raise a remarkable $1,636,000. We kept raising the fundraising goal as new levels were exceeded over and over. It was wild!
2014: CNOY welcomed 26 new locations, and we were speechless when 12,500 walkers across the country raised just over $2,500,000. We couldn't believe the buzz that year! #amazing
2015: Another banner year saw 15,850 walkers raise an extraordinary $3.3 million in support of 80 charities. Local sponsors really added to the results with both investment and the addition of new teams.
2016: 20,226 walkers powered CNOY to $3.88 million in revenue, supported by ever-increasing media support, community sponsorship, and general goodwill. Major kudos to the 4000+ volunteers who helped with hours of much-needed support.
2017: We had a year of significant growth in 2017 with the addition of 28 new locations, bringing our nationwide total to 113, while raising a remarkable $4.6 million. Somewhere along the way, CNOY was tagged as the "Fastest Growing Peer-to-Peer Event" in Canada!
2018: What a campaign! More than 21,000 walkers and 1,250 community sponsors helped push the grand total to just under $5,000,000. Incredible.
2019: Both new and returning locations did exceedingly well: in the end, 23,785 walkers, 3,365 team captains, 83,771 donors, 1,467 community sponsors, and 5,102 volunteers helped deliver $5.8 million to charities supporting people experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger.
2020: In 2020, we dodged the covid slowdown by just three short weeks, ending up with 144 locations that raised a record $6.25 million dollars. Highlights of the year included the strong corporate challenge results, 1600 local business sponsors, the fun new Get5 Campaign, and a sharp rise in matching fund donations.
2021: Despite the uncertainty, last year was outstanding for our partners and the event generally! CNOY grew a whopping 54% to finish just shy of $10,000,000. Against a backdrop of unpredictable pandemic restrictions and perpetual bad news, our partners and their participants just gritted their teeth and recruited, fundraised, and gave! Local businesses joined the party too, and supported CNOY with nearly $1 million dollars of sponsorship support. It was #amazing #humbling #inspiring!
10 Years of Growth
Here are the year-to-year results of CNOY from 2011 through to 2020. We kind of pinch ourselves when we look at these numbers! CNOY works because of the fearless dedication and passion of thousands of charities, participants, captains, volunteers, and donors – we love you all.