Unless you are a world class runner or can place top 10 in a notable marathon, you probably aren't going to make a living from running. But you can, however, raise money for charity organizations through running with some careful planning, grassroots organizing and the ability to follow through with commitments. Running for a cause, as some call it, can really improve the lives of those less fortunate in the world, and several things must be remembered in the process.
Find an organization to support and an event to join. Brainstorm injustices or issues in the world that really get you fired up, and get behind a movement you are passionate about. Most organizations like this have annual or quarterly fun runs or marathons to raise money. Look at the organization's calendar and decide which event you will run.
Set up an online fundraising page. This is a tech-savvy and convenient way for your friends and family to donate. No stamps, no envelops, no checks--just a debit or credit card donation on your fundraising site. Many organizations have pages you can personalize to accrue donations. Set one up before you begin raising money.
Send out mass emails to friends and family about your efforts. Include lots of information about your chosen charity, as well as your plan to run for a cause. If running a marathon, include information about the training process. Include links to your fundraising page, as well as links to more information. Tell them exactly what you plan to do, when you will do it and your goals. Spell it out clearly for them so there is no confusion.
Encourage supporters to send money directly to the organization with a note that says it's through your fundraising effort, and make sure online donations go straight to the organization. Sending funds straight to the charity makes people feel more comfortable about the process.
Send out an update email or letter after you run the race, letting them know that you reached your goal, finished the race and couldn't have done it without their support. Show your supporters courtesy by following up and let them know that the organization will continue to need their support if they want to keep giving.
Mitchell Holt has a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Abilene Christian University and has been freelancing since 2009 with work published in various newspapers and magazines like "BostonNOW" and "The Abilene Reporter-News." Holt also writes sales copy for small businesses. His clients include The Kyle David Group, ITNewton, 18 Vodka, RoboQuote and more.