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Nonprofit Fundraising 101 by Darian Rodriguez Heyman

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Chapter 13 Runs, Walks, and Rides: Community-Based Fundraising

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”

—Anthony J. D’Angelo

Introduction

According to Running USA, 20 million adults in the United States participate in competitive runs. And they estimate that three times as many adults run recreationally, meaning approximately one-fifth of the U.S. population. You’ll hear me say this in other chapters, but it’s worth repeating since it’s so important: you have to meet your donors where they’re at. To build a base of individual supporters, typically you need to reach out to and engage the masses, and community-based fundraising events like runs, walks, and rides are a great way to do this.

Runs, walks, and rides are not only great ways to reach large audiences; they’re also a great platform to bring people together and create a powerful sense of community, pride, and accomplishment. Humans associate with one another through shared experiences. Participants in your events will associate their feelings of community with you, leaving a lasting impact and providing you with valuable future fundraising opportunities.

To learn more about organizing successful community-based peer-to-peer fundraising, I sat down with Jeff Shuck, founder and CEO of the nonprofit consultancy Plenty. Shuck believes that in today’s technology and social media–driven world, more and more of our daily lives are influenced by our peers. We check out restaurants on Yelp, buy things ...

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