'Tis the Season for Fundraising Walks
'Tis the season…to start walking (or running or biking) for charity! Fundraising walk season is in full force and I’m sure you’ve already noticed an uptick in advertisements, posters, along with friends and family asking for donations for an upcoming event.
In fact, just a couple of Sundays ago, on May 6th, my fiancé and I were just two out of the 41,000 people who participated in the Walk for Hunger in Boston. The Walk for Hunger is a 20 mile walk to help raise funds for Project Bread. This walk alone raised a much needed $3.6 million dollars which will help a range of community hunger relief programs throughoutMassachusetts.
It’s been noted that fundraising walks/run/etc can be great way to not only raise money, but also increase awareness for the non-profit running it. According to a 2011 Run Walk Ride Foundation study, the top-thirty “thon” programs raised $1.69 billion in gross revenue for the charity. The top charity was The Relay for Life, raising $415 million. The same study also showed a 1.76% increase in participation too.
Since middle school, I’ve participated in many fundraising walks and runs, my first being the AIDS Walk in NYC. Then when I started running, I also started participating in 5Ks and other charity fun runs and races. (My first 5K ever was the M.O.M.’s Run in Somerville 3 years ago.)
I enjoy participating in these walks and runs because not only am I exercising (which we all know I love), I’m also helping a non-profit with their fundraising efforts, and the events are usually pretty fun! Many of them offer incentives for raising certain amounts of money (I got a nice shirt from Project Bread for raising over $500.), as well as snacks and entertainment during and after the event.
I think that’s why fundraising walks and runs have gained so much popularity in the non-profit world and with its participants: it’s pretty fun way to spend a day (or 3 depending on the event) all while raising funds for a charity you support…and you might even get a cool shirt.