Think about your friends and family — how many people have run a race for charity within the last year? The number may be larger than you’d anticipate, yet that’s no surprise. Running races for charity — from 5Ks to marathons — has become a common thing to do, for both amateur and advanced athletes. In fact, Running USA estimated that road races in the United States pulled in $1.2 billion for nonprofit organizations in 2012, more than double the amount from a decade ago. If you’re seeking to do the same, there’s a plethora of options out there — so just how do you begin?
Choosing a Race
One of the best ways to pick what cause to run for is to seek one out that you have a personal connection to or feel passionate about. That will factor into motivation when it comes to both fundraising and training for the event. There are plenty of resources online to search for races close to you, such as coolrunning.com and runforcharity.com.
Also be sure you fully understand the message of the cause you’re running for. That way, you can pass the same message on to those who will help you reach your desired fundraising goal.
If you’re the type of person who likes to see the impact you’re making firsthand, consider sticking with a local or smaller charity. If you’d like to find out more about where you money is going, CharityNavigator.com helps inform the public about the fundamentals of non-profit organizations, including ways in which money is dispersed.
Don’t Do It Alone
Even if you absolutely love to run, there will be times that the longer routes will get boring. Make it go quicker by getting a running buddy — or two, or three. Before you know it you’ll be on your way to a team to run with you in the race of your choice, and to also help raise funds for the cause.
Never be afraid to ask a person directly to join you; the worst you can get is a “no.” Also appeal to the person’s sense of fun. In a study done by NonProfitTimes.com, researchers found that if people believed the experience would be enjoyable they were more likely to do it.
A lot of this fun could be had through fundraising efforts: issuing challenges among teammates to see who can raise the most money, holding events such as bake sales or tag sales that a team can do together to bond while making money, or even small tasks like allowing friends to pick songs to add to your race playlist for a certain dollar amount donation.
Overall choose something that won’t seem like a chore, but rather an event that will motivate and invigorate you to help improve not only the charity and the lives of the people it helps, but your own way of living as well.