This is the 2nd entry in a 3 part series about running on a charity team. Check out the first part right here!
The first step is choosing a charity team. This is usually done one of two ways, either by choosing a cause that is important to you or by first choosing the race you would like to participate in. Most race websites will have a list of partnering charities to participate with. Each group has different fundraising minimums & different incentives. Some will require $500 minimum and some $5,000. Some will only offer race entry, others will provide hotel and occasionally airfare for top fundraisers. Most provide a team shirt for race day. It is vital that you choose a team that you feel you are comfortable raising the minimum. Committing to a cause will mean that you will be responsible for paying the difference if your goal is not met. That being said most charity teams have a recommitment date where you can opt out of the program if you are not on pace to meet your goal. There are several nation wide teams that are very popular including the Lukemia/Lymphona Society’s Team in Training and American Cancer Society’s Team Determination. Both of these teams have multiple race locations to select from including New York Marathon, Boston Marathon, Chicago Marathon, and Marine Corps Marathon. Almost every race has the opportunity for you to act as a fundraiser for organizations big or small.
For example the Houston Marathon is held in January. Race entries are limited to a number of time qualified participants and a lottery for the remaining slots. However, a number of slots are reserved for charity runners. You can choose any of 60 charity teams to participate in, some global and some are very local based in the Houston area. Choosing the right cause is important as you begin to hunt donations. Working for something that you and others can relate to makes donors more likely to help than if you are raising money for the West Hawaii Special Olympics purely for the trip to the Kona Marathon.
Joe Rainone is currently raising money for the Tourette Syndrome Association through his participation in the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Tourette Syndrome, an inherited neurobiological disorder, is characterized by involuntary sudden movements and vocalizations, known as tics. A common misconception is that those affected curse. In fact, less than 10 percent of those affected have what is known as coprolalia. What causes TS is not yet fully understood, and to date, a cure has not been found. It is estimated that one person out of a hundred has a mild form of the disorder and one in one thousand has a severe case of TS. He is closing in on his goal of $3,000, but still needs more support. If you can assist, feel free to help out.