More and more races tie a charity to their events, and if you help raise funds to support that charity, it can make crossing that finish line much more meaningful. Whether it's a 5K or an ultra-distance bike race, knowing that you put your body through something challenging to help support a cause is very rewarding.
For some events, the registration fee is your donation to support the charity. However, for other events, like the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, you're asked to raise a significant amount of money. Avon Walkers are asked to raise $1,800. Team Challenge, which supports Chron's and Colitis, asks participants to raise anywhere from $1,900 to $7,500 (depending on location and travel expenses).
More: 10 Fundraising Tips
With these large numbers, how are you supposed to reach your goal? Eloise Caggiano, program director, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and breast cancer survivor, says, "It's a lot easier that you may think."
It's always intimidating when you see that big number. But, when you break it down and give yourself time, it's not impossible to reach your fundraising goal. Caggiano, who gets asked all the time how to approach fundraising, offers her advice to help you achieve your goal.
More: Run for a Cause
Most Successful Method
The easiest and often most successful method of fundraising is simply emailing everyone you know. Most events help you set up an online webpage so your friends and family can donate online.
The big fundraising rule to remember is that you have to ASK. If you don't ask, you don't get. You'll likely find that people are eager to donate because in one way or another they're close to the cause. For example, people are willing to donate to Avon Walk for Breast Cancer because, with a new breast cancer diagnosis every three minutes, chances are their lives have been touched in some way by the disease.
Think differently. Host fundraising parties, bar nights, karaoke contests, raffles and auctions. Utilize social media, too. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer has a Facebook application and an email badge that links people right to the walker's donation page. Many organizations do similar things; so get involved in the social media world.
Fundraising is part of the experience. Whether you're walking 30 miles or doing a spring triathlon, every dollar you raise helps support a cause, and saves a life.
Sign up for your next race.