There are many roads that lead to Rome as you begin raising money for charity. You can look at it one of two ways: money that is given to you and money that is earned. Depending on where you are in your stage of life will influence your split of true donations vs earned money allocated towards charity. I’m about to turn 29 and my sphere of influence is still in that +/-5 year age range, so our discretionary income is not a ton. After fundraising on a team of my parents (ages 58 and 64) it was clear their sphere was more well to do and had discretionary budget to donate.

If the idea of earning money is a bit… cringey…. then I suggest you keep an open mind!

Between myself and my parents we were able to raise $21,355 for JDRF as part of the NYC Marathon JDRF Charity Team. Our breakout of where the money came from as follows:

As you can see, it hustled for 41% of my charitable donation through odd jobs or selling things (more on that below) and my Mom hustled for a mere 10% of her total donations since her Facebook friends came through on donating for her. My Dad’s percent doesn’t really consider the whole picture, as he owns a small business and was able to make a charitable donation on behalf of the business.

By combining two concepts of raising money (earned vs given) you will be able to maximize how much you raise. At the end of the day more money and awareness for your cause is the goal, regardless of where the money came from. Assuming it’s legal, yall. See below many of the routes we took to get to $21K and see if you can start to implement some of the below ideas for your own charity effort!

30 Ways to Raise Money for Charity

  1. Share your personal story about why the cause is important and set up your fundraising portal to make it to give
  2. Email Friends and Family
  3. Post on Social Media (more to come on how to best leverage each platform!)
  4. Ask people who you have donated to in the past to donate to your cause
  5. See if your employer matches contributions
  6. Sell miles for names (e.g. mile 12 of the marathon for $12)
  7. Sell old stuff on Facebook Marketplace (iPhones, airfryer, bed frame)
  8. Run or walk dogs in your neighborhood
  9. Adjunct teaching, substitute teaching ($100 a day!)
  10. House and pet sitting
  11. Airbnb hosting
  12. Sell items (physical or digital) on etsy
  13. Teach music lessons (or other lessons based on your talents like swim, tennis, art)
  14. Allocate cashback on credit cards
  15. Host a bake sale
  16. Host a fitness event (we have a yoga & tacos event each year with a suggested donation of $30 per person to attend)
  17. Check NextDoor or Facebook Mom groups for odd jobs supporting neighbors
  18. Babysitting
  19. Seasonal things (wrapping gifts, dressing up as Santa for pictures and donations, delivering chocolate covered strawberries for valentines day, etc.)
  20. Suggest donation amounts that tie to your cause (insulin price, medical technology, etc.)
  21. Host a grill out or pizza night with a suggested donation cover
  22. Coordinate a neighborhood 5K
  23. Hold a cocktail happy hour and play your instrument for entertainment
  24. Snail mail letters with your story requesting donations.
  25. Treat your fundraising like a small business, how would you make money? Think of service based businesses like power washing, knife sharpening, yard work, pool cleaning, grocery delivery, uber
  26. Allocate any existing side hustle money (yoga teacher, decorating houses, etc.)
  27. Allocate bonuses or commissions received from work towards donations
  28. Commit to a 10% tithe of your paycheck
  29. Raffle or auction items from local businesses
  30. Make and sell shirts, caps and other fun swag

Running for a charity team is a truly transformative experience. I wrote a whole article on why it is the best decision you will ever make. Let me know if you have any pro tips on how you raised money for charity in the past, I’d love to hear how we can make this world a better place!

Why Running on a Marathon Charity Team is the Best Decision You Will Ever Make

New York City Marathon 2021 Race Recap

What to Bring to the Start Line of the New York City Marathon

New York City Marathon Long Weekend Itinerary

Posted by:Allie

3 replies on “30+ Ways to Raise Money as a Charity Runner

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