6 Foolproof Ways to Fundraise for Charity Runs

Susan Johnston

marathonWith Thanksgiving right around the corner, the Turkey Trot—a race that’s held across the country leading up to the holiday—is a great way to work off some of that pumpkin pie you’ve been indulging in while also raising money for a worthy cause.

But when you pit running up to 26 miles against begging friends, family and Facebook contacts to sponsor you, the feat of physical endurance almost seems easier than asking for money.

Want to run a charity race but hate the idea of hitting people up for cash? Smooth the way with these six tips from real people who have been there, run that.

1. Pay Yourself First

Before asking others to donate, kick-start your fundraising page with a little of your own money to show your commitment. Kirsten Stearns, a 31-year-old Chicagoan and the National Field Staff Director for Team World Vision—an organization that recruits teams of runners to raise money at athletic events for children in poverty-stricken areas around the world—suggests making the first donation and then telling five friends: “I just donated $100 to my fundraising page. Will you match that?”

Once you have a few donors, then move onto more casual acquaintances. As she explains, “Nobody wants to be the first to donate—they want to know that it’s a cause others believe in.” Stearns also practices what she preaches: Last December, the avid marathoner raised over $13,000 for Team World Vision through the California International Marathon.

RELATED: Training for a Marathon Helped Me Pay Off $15,000 of Debt

  • shubbsie

    I would like more information on how Yi Shun Lai did what she did. It sounds like a great idea but I wouldn’t know where to start.

  • Valerie Van Dyke

    I like Matt Allyn’s tactic the best. Everyone has a cause (or 10) these days. We’re always inundated with people asking for money or time for any given obscure or giant cause. Matt keeps it classy by showing people what he’s up to and letting them make the call.