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American Heart Association Named Organization of the Year by Peer-To-Peer Professional Forum

AHA produces two of top five national peer-to-peer fundraising programs: Heart Walk and Kids Heart Challenge

It’s particularly exciting to recognize the American Heart Association in 2024 which is the group’s 100th anniversary.”
— David Hessekiel, President, Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, USA, February 22, 2024 / -- The nonprofit behind America’s largest peer-to-peer fundraising event was honored as the Organization of the Year at the annual Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum conference today.

The American Heart Association not only produces the Heart Walk, the country’s largest peer-to-peer fundraising program by dollars raised, but also organizes the Kids Heart Challenge, the fourth largest.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is the practice of having a nonprofit’s supporters take part in an activity such as a walk, bike ride or other real or virtual challenge and reach out to their network of friends, family and colleagues for donations. Collectively, peer-to-peer fundraising programs raise more than a billion dollars annually for thousands of nonprofits nationwide according to the just released Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Top Thirty study.

Founded in 1993, The Heart Walk raised $106 million in 2023 at events in 220 cities. The Kids Heart Challenge, started in 1978, raised $80 million last year by engaging students in fundraising activities such as shooting hoops or jumping rope.

“It’s particularly exciting to recognize the American Heart Association in 2024 which is the group’s 100th anniversary,” said David Hessekiel, president of the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. “You get a sense of the association’s peer-to-peer fundraising prowess when you realize that its two top programs raised nearly $900 million between 2019 and 2023 according to our annual Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Top Thirty study.”

“What an honor it is to be named Organization of the Year” said Kim Slone, executive vice president of development strategy and effectiveness with the American Heart Association. “There are many donors, volunteers and staff committed to our pursuit to save and improve lives from heart disease and stroke. Our mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives is not over.

“As we celebrate our 100th birthday, we know that our future is about improving yours. Through meaningful activities like Heart Walk and Kids Heart Challenge, we will continue to engage people where they are with purposeful experiences that will ultimately drive our vision of advancing health and hope for everyone, everywhere.”

The Organization of the Year Award is sponsored by Eventage, a national event production agency serving businesses and nonprofits.

“Sometimes we forget how pervasive heart disease is, as just about everyone knows someone whose life has been changed or ended due to it,” said Matt Glass, Partner and Chief Creative Officer at Eventage. “That’s why I’m so happy that the American Heart Association is being recognized for their innovative and live-saving work. We’ve been proud to work with them and now we’re honored to present this recognition to them.”

Some past winners of the peer-to-peer fundraising organization of the year honor include the ALS Association, Alzheimer’s Association, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Pan-Mass Challenge, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NAMI and the Terry Fox Foundation.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION: The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

ABOUT EVENTAGE: Eventage is a boutique agency that does big things. We produce live events nationwide for the world’s most famous brands and the world’s most inspiring nonprofits. We pride ourselves on being able to accomplish just about anything -- and do it all in our uniquely smart, friendly, funny and dependable way. We really are good people producing great events. Learn more at

ABOUT THE PEER-TO-PEER PROFESSIONAL FORUM: The Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum professionals who manage peer-to-peer fundraising events. The P2P Forum, which started in 2007, provides resources such as its annual conference, monthly webinars, timely data and information, and a vibrant online community that help peer-to-peer fundraisers gain access to best practices and support. To learn more visit

David Hessekiel
Peer to Peer Professional Forum
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