Fundraising is a big part of operating a successful non-profit organization. But what’s the best way to raise funds? Most organizations often turn to more traditional fundraising methods like silent auctions, galas, and annual appeals. More and more organizations, especially health-focused organizations, are launching charity running races as a way to raise money and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Charity races, such as 5k, half-marathons, and triathlons, are among some of the highest profitability events for non-profit organizations. Look at the Boston Marathon. Every year the Boston Athletics Association offers 6,000 charity bibs for runners who raise over $38.7 million for local Boston organizations. The annual Tri for a Cure in Portland, Maine raised over $2 million for the Maine Cancer Foundation this past year. While you may not net hundreds of thousands of dollars from your first race, as the popularity of your event grows, so will your profit.
There are many benefits to holding an annual charity race for your non-profit organization. Not only does it raise awareness of your organization, but it also promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. Running is one of the most popular sports in the world with over 60 million people in the United States participating in running, jogging, and trail running activities in 2017. The running community is very engaged and it’s not uncommon to hear one runner tell all their friends to sign up for the next local 5k. It’s some of the best free advertisement that you’ll get for an event!
A charity race can raise money through two different methods. The most common method is just through the race registration fees. A typical 5k registration fee is about $25-35 per race. As the distance gets longer, the registration fee typically increases as well to accommodate the higher expenses to manage a longer distance race. This method is great as it keeps the cost of entry low for many race participants, but your net profit at the end of the day may not be as high.
The second option is through race registration plus an additional required fundraising minimum. Those who run the Boston Marathon with a charity bib are required to raise a minimum of $5,000 each. This method often yields greater profits as the race registration fees will go towards paying the race management fees and all the additional fundraising money can go directly to the organization. However, when you add a minimum fundraising amount, the number of race participants may be lower. Either way, a charity race is a great way to raise money for your non-profit organization.
Not sure where to begin? Hiring a race management company like Total Image Running is a good first step. Over the years, we’ve helped hundreds of non-profit organizations run successful charity races raising thousands of dollars. Often time organizations get stuck when it comes to the race logistics. There’s a lot that goes into advertising, managing, and running a charity race. If you have an idea, we can help you bring it to reality.
Not only will a race management company set up your race registration webpage, but they can also help you set up and manage individual and team donation pages to make the fundraising process as easy as possible both for you and your race participants. A good race management company will also do all the not-so-fun stuff like permits, route mapping, and race day logistics. The most successful races are the ones who bring out lots of volunteers. Volunteers are essential when it comes to race logistics, but they also bring excitement and support that runners are always grateful during after the race.
Do you already have a successful charity race? Perhaps it’s time to level up and host a race series! We’re finding that more and more non-profit organizations are partnering with other non-profit organizations or companies to host a race series throughout the year. A race series is a great way to create relationships and partnerships within the community. For example, our Greater Manchester Race Series is sponsored by multiple New Hampshire-based companies. The proceeds from the four races support four different Manchester non-profits.
Over the years, we have helped numerous non-profit organizations across New Hampshire manage their charity races. In 2018, the Boys and Girls Club raised $42,000 from their Fun Fall Frolic 5k and 2-Mile race. The Ugly Sweater race raised over $32,000 for the Manchester Animal Shelter. Tito’s Vodka is a major sponsor of the race and covered the event management fees allowing all the registration fees to go to the organization.
Charity races are a great way to fundraise for your non-profit organization. They often raise more money than golf tournaments and other fundraisers and encourages people to be active and healthy. Whether you want to organize a 5k race or a marathon, we’re here to help you make your charity race become a reality.