If you have chosen to represent a charity partner for the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon weekend, congratulations! There is no better feeling than crossing the finish line of a marathon, but knowing you did it to bring support and awareness to a cause is priceless.
You may be asking yourself if raising money during your training is the right choice for you. Before you hit “Register,” there are a few things to consider.
Pick a Cause That's Meaningful To You
I have run two races in support of a charity that is near and dear to my heart.
My mother was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2020, and shortly after that I decided to sign up for the 2021 Twin Cities Marathon with the American Cancer Society (ACS). With that organization’s mission bring to rid the world of cancer, what better motivation to get me through those grueling 18-20 mile Saturday long runs?!
It was so meaningiful, actually, that I ran again for Team ACS in the 2022 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.
Choosing a cause that is meaningful to you will go a long way in your fundraising efforts, as well as your training. Learn as much as you can about the cause, who it benefits, and what the funds go toward. People are a lot more likely to donate to your cause if they know you have a connection with it!
Know the Fundraising Minimum
I remember being really nervous as the fundraising minimum for Team ACS was $500. If I did not raise that, I had to pay the remaining balance myself. Fortunately, with the power of social media, it is not hard to share your fundraiser and convince people to donate.
Within 12 hours of my first fundraiser going live, I had met the goal of $500. 12 hours!! All I did was share the fundraiser on Facebook with my family and friends and they took care of the rest. This was a huge motivator for my first marathon. And that leads me to my next tip…
Promote, Promote, Promote
Social media is your biggest friend when it comes to promoting your fundraiser and getting people to donate. By sharing a link to your fundraiser along with some short language about why the cause is important, you can rack up funds pretty quickly!
Facebook was the biggest catalyst for my fundraisers. I could post training updates and photos for my donors to see and share. Don’t be afraid to post your fundraising link 2-3 times a week. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so the more exposure you can give your fundraiser, the better.
If you’re on Instagram, that can be a great place to promote your race as well. I recommend posting photos in your story that way you can also put a direct link to your fundraiser.
Don't Settle for the Minimum
If you quickly meet your fundraising minimum, don’t stop there! I encourage you to keep raising your goal until the deadline to make the most out of your fundraiser. If I had settled for the minimum, I would have missed out on over $5,000 going to the American Cancer Society for both of my races. That’s $5,000 closer to ridding the world of cancer.
Money goes a long way for the Grandma’s Marathon charity partners, and you’re doing a huge service by raising funds and awareness.
Send Thank Yous
Be sure to thank your donors for their generosity and support of your marathon! Whether it’s through snail mail or a nice email, they will want to see that you conquered your goal.
Don’t forget to post lots of post-race pictures as well and tag your charity partner. They’ll be able to share it on their social media and celebrate right along with you!
Have So Much Fun
Raising money for a cause I cared so much about gave me purpose for every single mile. There will be Saturday mornings that you wake up and don’t feel like running your 18-mile long run. I always took a look at all of my donors for the week before I laced up. They kept me going each and every mile!
If you are running for a charity in the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon weekend, be sure to tag me in your social media photos and posts with my handle, @kellyhinseth. I would love to cheer you on to the finish!