Running a Marathon for Charity –Interview with Kari Gormley

Kari Gormley at NYC Marathon (2) (1) (1)*[Audio Content Available For Members Only. Click Here to Join Now]

Kari Gormley is a fellow podcaster and long time listener to MTA.

Last year was she able to rase $8,000 for the charity Action for Healthy Kids while training for the Chicago and New York City Marathons.

Many runners choose to enter one of the big six marathons (Boston, New York, Chicago, London, Berlin, Tokyo) on a charity bib.

In this interview Kari gives fund raising tips for those running a marathon for charity. Get the $$$ without wearing down your friends and family. 🙂

Running for Charity

Most large marathons have a number of charity partners. In recent years, the Boston Marathon field had typically been made up of 27,000 runners—roughly 22,000 qualifiers (approximately 82 percent) and 5,000 exempt runners (18 percent) participating on behalf of a charity or a sponsor. [1]

The NYC Marathon typically fields between 8-9 thousand charity runners each year. Approximately 27% of Chicago’s 37,000 runners are charity participants. The London Marathon currently has the largest charity runners at 40% (or around 13,750 spots) of the field. [2]

Kari’s Top Tips for Fundraising

  1. Pick a Charity that you are passionate about because your passion will shine through.
  2. Talk with someone who has directly benefitted from the charity as you will be able to share their story with potential donors.
  3. Donate the amount of the registration fee since you would be paying race registration anyway.
  4. Set up your fundraising website given to you from the charity and go through the process yourself so you can answer any questions potential donors may have.
  5. Make a personalized letter/email brief and meaningful of why you are doing this and what/who will benefit from the donation.
  6. Ask for a donation in lieu of a gifts such as birthday gifts, holiday gifts, etc..
  7. Ask your running group, every little bit helps.
  8. Put on events such as pasta dinners or pub crawls.
  9. Ask a business to contribute a certain percentage of sales for a day to the charity.
  10. Auctions – silent, live – ask for donations from businesses and friends – friends could bake their famous cookies, etc. every month for a winner of the raffle.
  11. See if your employer matches funds for charity donations.
  12. Calculate the dollars per day you need to raise to reach your goal so you can stay on “track” with fundraising.
  13. Keep donors up to date with how your running is coming along.
  14. Ask friends on Facebook for donations.
  15. Follow up after the race with pictures of you running the race with the donors.
  16. Know that you’re making a difference and it’s a big deal what you’re doing.


Also Mentioned in This Episode

The Running Lifestyle Show -Kari’s podcast/blog

The Jabra Pulse Sport wireless earbuds. Sign up to their newsletter and be entered into a drawing for a free pair of the Jabra Pulse Sport. a free app that turns your phone into a virtual running assistant.

The New Jersey Marathon. Angie will be running this marathon on May 1st.

Kari and Serena before the NYC Marathon

Kari and Serena before the NYC Marathon

You can catch our 2014 interview on the Running Lifestyle Show here.

3 Responses to Running a Marathon for Charity –Interview with Kari Gormley

  1. Kari Gormley April 23, 2016 at 4:47 am #

    Thank you for having me on MTA. It was an honor. 🙂 Running for a charity really makes a difference in the lives of so many people.

    • Trevor Spencer April 30, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

      Thanks for sharing with our audience!

  2. Marcus October 11, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

    I agree with you in that it is important to remember to keep donors up to date on how the rase is going when doing a charity run. It makes sense to think that taking the time to do this can help them be willing to help next time and provide the support you need. My brother was talking about how he wanted to do a charity run, so I wanted to learn more about them.

Leave a Reply