9 Easy Ways to give back as a runner

What ways to give back can you think of to really make a difference as a runner?

I'm going to assume that running is a big part of your life! If it wasn't, you probably wouldn't be reading this.

It's true that running can actually change lives!

Has it changed yours? Has it shaped your life differently?

I know it has for me. 

Running is just part of me. It's just what I do. My go to. My stress relief. My way of keeping myself fit and active and healthy for me and my family.

I know it has impacted you in ways as well.

A lot of runners naturally will want to give back to the sport that has meant so much to them.

We just need to put a little thought into what we can do to actually make a difference!

I want to share some easy, simple, and actionable ideas that you can do to give back to your running world.

You don't have to be a go-getter, have a huge social media following, or have a surplus of money to do these things.

They don't cost anything except an intention to give.

Love is in the will.

9 Super easy ways to give back to your running world:

1.Donate your lightly used shoes to Soles4Souls to help those in need.

You can send your running or other shoes (since you probably live in your running shoes you might have more of the other kind to donate) to them for free through Zappos for Good.

If you are in contact with a lot of runners, consider doing your own shoe drive by asking at your running club or posting on your social media account.

2. The absolute easiest way to run to support a charitable organization is to download the FREE app called Charity Miles.

This app donates 25 cents to the charity of your choice for every mile that you run. All you have to do is load the app before your run, take your phone with you, let the GPS track how many miles you have run and then decide where you want your mileage rewards to be donated. It makes giving super easy!

3. Volunteer at a race.

We all know how amazing those volunteers are at races who take their time to help us have a great race!

This is one of the most impactful ways you can give back to the running community as volunteers are always greatly needed and an essential part of having a good race day experience!

4. Support your local running store.

Instead of buying off of Amazon (although very convenient and having limitless options!) think about making your purchase at a local running store.

This will help to support them and the entire running community in the area. Besides it will help to keep your money in the area as well.

5. Pick up trash on your next run or on your favorite running trail.

Bring a trash bag or two and pick up trash at your favorite running locale or trail.

All runners will appreciate this as who is excited to run in an area littered with trash?

6. Support another runner who is fundraising or working towards an amazing goal, organization, or cause.

There are so many people out there running for awesome causes.

Tell them you are proud of their efforts by donating to them. Even if it's just $1-$5 it really does mean a lot to them and makes a difference!

7. Smile, wave or give a big hello when you pass another runner out on the roads.

This is the absolute easiest way to give back!

How often does someone else's cheery "hello" brighten your day?

Think about it! 

A bright smile and happy greeting can change your mood in an instant.

Do the same for someone else! You never know how it will impact the rest of their day.

8. Ask your employer if they have any gift matching programs.

A lot of companies offer to match your donations to a non-profit organization up to a certain amount.

If you want to support a running charity then simply look into your company's policy of gift giving.

Some are incredibly generous!

9. If you are training for a race, set a goal to raise a certain amount of funds before race day to be donated to a cause that you are passionate about.

Here are some tips for getting donations:

  • Donate to yourself first. If people see that you have already donated they will be more apt to realize that this is something you are passionate about. Or if you are running an online campaign (maybe over at Go Fund Me) you could always leave an “anonymous” donation of a $50-100 and people will be more likely to donate and(if competitive as runners tend to be) might try to give more than that.
  • Send out personal emails to your friends and family telling them why this is important and where they can donate whether through you or directly to the organization. 
  • Leave posts on social media about how much you have raised and how far you have to go. Make it fun for your donors and think of creative ways to create excitement  to increase your donations.
  • Always acknowledge and thank anyone who has helped support you in any way. Everyone wants to be recognized for their generosity, no matter how big or small.

IN Conclusion:

There are so many ways to give back as a runner and make a difference to the running community. It just takes a bit of thought and the will to make it happen.

As you can see from the 9 ideas above, it can be something that takes a couple of seconds, or minutes, an hour or maybe longer.

It doesn't have to be anything grand or out of the ordinary.

It just has to be done with purpose.

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