Running a race for charity is a fantastic way to do a good deed for others while also doing something fun and healthy for yourself. Read on for a quick guide to participating in a charitable race: from how to raise money, to what race to run, to why you should ask your workplace to get involved.
Choose a Race
When considering which race to get involved with, the first thing to check is the race date and length, to ensure you’re able to participate. Most races offer 5k and 10k options, while some take a “fun run” format which will be more casual. Then, look for a race that’s supporting an issue you find important or which has affected you personally—because it will be easier to stay motivated when you feel a strong connection to the cause. Upcoming races in Boston include fundraising for Parkinson’s research, suicide prevention, and Veterans.
Establish a Fundraising Platform
Many charity races automatically create an online fundraising platform for anyone who registers for the event. This makes it simpler for runners to approach their friends and family, and ask for donations. If the race you’re running doesn’t do this automatically, you can start a GoFundMe page to explain what race you’re running, what charity you’re aiding, and how people can support your efforts. The benefit of an online platform like this is that people can see how much money is being raised in total, which might encourage them to give more to help you meet your goal.
Ask for Donations
The success of a charity race depends on donations from runners’ wider networks. While it can feel uncomfortable to ask for money, remember that most people appreciate an opportunity to help. Asking for donations via email or social media networks is a good way to make your request, without risking any uncomfortable face-to-face refusals. You might ask people for a set donation, or let them give whatever they can—but it’s never a bad idea to have a suggested donation in mind, in case they’re unsure. And, regardless of how much money you raise, you’ll be spreading publicity about the cause.
Get Other People Involved
Running a race and fundraising are both more fun with more people involved. Call up a few friends and see if anyone is interested in making the race a team sport. You can train together and fundraise together, which will keep everyone more motivated and get the word out to a wider network of people who might want to donate. And don’t feel like you can only ask your most athletic friends to participate: friends who are less sporty or not physically able to run can still get involved in the fundraising side of things, or simply come to the race to cheer on everyone else!
Speak to Your Workplace
Many businesses have a budget set aside for philanthropic work, so check in with your employer and see if they’d like to match the donations you collect or support your fundraising efforts in another way. You could even make it a group activity for employees.
This may, join HUECU month-long challenge to take 500 million steps for The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in collaboration with other companies in the Greater Boston area. Participation is free. Simply download the MoveSpring app to track your steps and join the "Harvard Univ. Employees Credit Union" team to contribute to the community goal.