Running to raise funds

29 Apr

As the weather gets hotter, the last thing on your mind might be running, or for that matter, any form of physical activity that’s more taxing than switching on the fan. But, across Bangalore, hundreds of amateur and professional runners are gearing up to do the World 10k in the middle of May! All out of the goodness of their hearts. Sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it?


Photo: HOPE foundation

If you’ve never run except to chase down an auto, no fear. Most people running to raise funds for a good cause during the World 10K are doing it for the cause. Yes, some of them are runners, but most are not. The braver souls are attempting the 10k, and for the rest of us, there’s the 5.6k Majaa run, which is – as the name implies – a lot of fun!

(You don’t have to be a grim, determined 5 am-er to crack the Majaa run. Run as much as you can and walk the rest. What you do have to do, though, is raise funds.)

How does the marathon fundraising gig work?

It’s simple. You run for a cause, and you ask everyone you know (friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, the man who smiled at you across the road, the woman whose kids go to your school – everyone) to support your run. They can give you anything from Rs 100 upwards (while contributions below that are also welcome, it gets a bit difficult to monitor.)

You make a list, write out an appeal letter, and send it off. But that’s not enough. You will have to make phone calls, talk about the run to people you meet, and if you’re on Facebook, promote it to the whole world.

It’s a few weeks of effort – but worth it. It has cool value and it’s for a good cause!

What target should you set for fundraising?

Most people are likely to set off without a target – but that’s like getting out of home without knowing where you want to go. Put a number – and make it a little tough to reach. The biggest target looks simple when you have a strategy to make it work.

Five tips for marathon fundraising success

  1. Ask every person you know – not just the people that you think will give. I’ve received donations of Rs 50 from people who would have had to think carefully how to spend that money. And they chose to support your cause. That’s powerful.
  2. Be specific with your ask – Don’t just say, “Support my run.” Tell them exactly what you want.
  3. Tell people why you’re running – a life that’s changed, a village that now has water, a child that lived beyond her fifth birthday, a woman who now has her own savings.
  4. Infect people with your enthusiasm. If you’re passionate about why you’re running, others will be too.
  5. Thank every person. Remember to keep a record of every single person who donated, and thank them – many times and in many ways.

If you have a great marathon story to tell, send it to us. Thanks in advance, and keep writing in.


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