How Do I Raise Money for Charity While Training for a Race?

Fundraising for a cause you’re passionate enough to run for should be rewarding not stressful.

Fundraising for a cause you’re passionate enough to run for should be rewarding not stressful.

STEP #1: Establish benchmark goals.
Don’t let the final amount intimidate you—break it up into manageable pieces (just as you would with training!). Choose goals to reach at the end of each week or month. This approach will not only ease your nerves, but it will also allow donors to see more tangible results from their donations.

STEP #2: Donate to yourself.
True story! Set the bar high—donate three figures—and make it anonymous (always an option on major donation platforms). People will take your lead and give higher amounts if they see big numbers already on the board.

STEP #3: Be creative with your engagement.
Don’t repeat the same request for money with every letter, email, tweet and Facebook post about your campaign. Add a dash of personality or relevant info so your donors can feel the cause and understand the impact of one donation. Look up stats about the charity and its mission, and translate those to dollar amounts. If 100 people are affected by the disease every day, make it a goal to raise $100 in 24 hours. If you’re fundraising for a marathon, ask for $26.20. Go for the $13 on the 13th approach—it becomes an ongoing promotion for your fundraising every month on that day!

Related: 2 Charity Half Marathon Plans

STEP #4: Hold a fundraising event.
Unless you’re a seasoned nonprofit supporter with a handful of hefty donors on tap, oftentimes repetitive asks aren’t quite enough. Pull a few buddies together and host a fundraising party. Charge people at the door and find a venue that’s willing to provide discounts on food and drinks to attendees. Don’t be afraid to approach local restaurants, spas, coffee shops and attractions and request raffle items—most of the time people are more than willing to hand over a must-have prize!

STEP #5: Get personal.
Don’t send out a generic email to 500 people in your address book. Group people together—co-workers, friends, family, runners—and craft a message that speaks to them. Heck, bring it to the next level and send out an individual email to every single person—it’s less likely to be filed as spam if it has a personal touch!

Related: Running Apparel for a Cause

Triple Digits
Three ways to more $$$!
1. Leave a fundraising “tip” jar at an establishment you visit weekly— owners are often generous to their loyal patrons!
2. Seek out friends who work for corporations that match donations.
3. Tag your contributing friends with heartfelt thanks and let the Facebook ripple effect do the rest.

Related: Real Runners- Running with Crohn’s

Great Causes
Here are some charities that run in sweet destinations and have organized training programs to help you as you help them:
>> Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training
>> Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s Team Challenge