How to Fundraise and Run for Charity

Yesterday felt kind of surreal as I woke up and saw that the Marathon Training Academy had released an episode where I discussed how to fundraise for races.


I adore hosts Angie and Trevor Spencer (you can totally hear that throughout our conversation on the podcast), and I was honored to have the opportunity to share how to fundraise for a race. We discussed how Serena Marie, RD, and I raised $8,000 for Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the TCS New York City Marathon.


We discussed fifteen top tips on how to fundraise for races.


  1. Pick a charity that you are passionate about because your passion will shine through.
  2. Talk with someone who has directly benefitted from the charity as you will be able to share his or her story with potential donors.
  3. Donate the amount of the registration fee if you are not required to pay it, since you would be paying race registration anyway.
  4. Set up your charity fundraising website (most charities offer templates), and go through the donation process yourself so that you can answer any questions that potential donors might have.
  5. Make a personalized letter/e-mail brief, and include the reason why you are running for a charity. Make sure to note what/who will benefit from the donation.
  6. Ask for a donation in lieu of gifts, such as birthday gifts, holiday gifts, and so on.
  7. Ask your running group for donations, because every little bit helps.
  8. Host events such as pasta dinners or pub crawls.
  9. Ask a business to contribute a certain percentage of sales for a day to the charity.
  10. Facilitate silent or live auctions, and ask for donations from businesses and friends. Family or friends could bake their famous desserts every month, and you could pick a winner via a raffle.
  11. See if your employer matches funds for charity donations.
  12. Calculate the dollars per day that you need to raise to reach your goal so that you can stay on “track” with fundraising.
  13. Keep donors up to date with how your training plan is progressing.
  14. Ask friends on Facebook for donations.
  15. Follow up with donors after the race with pictures of you running the race.


You can hear the episode at


Know that when you decide to run for a charity, you’re making a difference. What you’re doing is a big deal!
Are you thinking about running a marathon for charity? Check out AFHK for the Chicago and New York City Marathons. If you didn’t get into picked in the Chicago lottery this year, you can run with AFHK if you register by Monday, April 25, 2016.

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