There are numerous reasons why people run for charity: a personal connection, the good feeling of giving back, or because they didn't qualify via time or get a spot via a lottery for a popular race. In this last case, running for a charity may be the only option to run a race like the Boston Marathon.
For many, the idea of raising money is just as (if not more) daunting as their training plan. If you're running for charity here are some tips to help you reach your goal as easily as possible.
1. Start Early
Don't think that you can start a few weeks before the race and reach your goal without a huge time commitment and stress on your part. The earlier you start fundraising, the less stressful and time intensive it will be.
2. Asking for Donations
When you ask for donations, tell people why you are running for your charity. If you have a personal connection, let them know about it. The more personal you can make your appeal, the more people will be willing to support you. Even if you don't have a personal connection there is a reason you chose your charity out of the numerous choices. Tell people about the foundation and what their money will go toward.
3. Sponsor a Mile
If you're running a half or full marathon, ask people to sponsor you per mile you complete during the race. Especially if this distance is new for you, people may be willing to donate several dollars per mile just to help push you to run the entire race. You may not raise all the cash pre-race using this method, but you will know how much to expect post-race, assuming you finish. The added bonus is that when you're getting tired, you'll have an incentive to keep going.
4. Sponsor Based on Time
If you're running a 5K or 10K, or you're an experienced runner, ask people to donate based on how many seconds or minutes faster your time is than your current PR (personal record). So if you're gunning for a three-minute PR in a 10K ask people to donate $10, $20, or $50 per minute you run faster. Then train smart and go for it on race day.
More: 5 Ways to Race Faster
5. Reach Out Through Email
Write a personal email detailing what you are doing and why—and email everyone you know. It's highly recommended that you send individual emails to your perspective donors because people tend to ignore mass emails. Make sure to include a link to your personal charity web page so they can donate online.
6. Facebook Is Your Friend
Post your web page link on Facebook and ask for donations. You will need to post fairly regularly to garner significant donations as not everyone will see it every time you post, and it takes several viewings for most people to donate. Make sure to include a little blurb about what the charity means to you.