March 28, 2020
Mass. Nonprofits Were Ready and Set to Go via the Marathon

April 21, 2015 — Some fielded runners for the first time. For others, it was their fifth or sixth return to the world famous endurance sprint. But all—hundreds of Massachusetts nonprofits—had people running for them in the 119th Boston Marathon yesterday to collectively raise millions of dollars to support a broad range of missions.

Many nonprofit runners gained entry through the Official Charity Program of the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), which runs the annual event, and John Hancock’s Marathon Non-Profit Program, which provided guaranteed entry numbers (“bibs"). And many other organizations raised funds in tandem with the Marathon, but not through these two programs.

Last year, Marathon participants running on behalf of nonprofits raised a record $38.4 million, through the BAA and John Hancock programs, nearly double the $20 million raised the year before.

The final total raised by nonprofits has not been tallied yet, but here’s how a number of them fared:

AFC Mentoring, based in Boston, raised funds in the annual 26.2 mile footrace for the first time yesterday. As of this morning, it had raised $14,109 from 216 donors, well on its way to reaching its $15,000 goal. Ten volunteers supported two runners.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay (BBBS), based in Boston, was on track to raise more than $26,000, with 139 donors supporting three runners. BBBS, which has run in the Marathon for more than 10 years, this time around raised funds by recruiting a team of runners and supporting and motivating them to reach their fundraising and training goals

Boston Cares, headquartered downtown, expected to raise $17,500 from 120 supporting two runners in its first Boston Marathon fundraiser. The nonprofit raised funds through runner outreach, a fundraising luncheon on race day, and email solicitations. Donations were also solicited at two Masonic Lodges to which one of its runners belongs. Nearly all donors were new to the organization.

Casa Myrna in Boston surpassed its $35,000 goal to raise $36,894 as of yesterday, participating in the historic footrace for the ninth time. The 2015 Team Casa Myrna included five runners, 385 donors, and eight volunteers, including board members. Each runner, who has personal and professional ties to the issue of domestic violence, set a goal of raising $7,500, primarily from friends, family, and colleagues.

The Children's Room, based in Arlington, for the sixth time had runners—six this year—in the annual sprint, raising nearly $70,000 from more than 500 donors. Most of the funds were raised by the runners via Crowdrise, with additional funds contributed by its board of directors and other major donors. The Children's Room also hosted a Marathon Auction event.

College Bound Dorchester, based in Dorchester, fielded five runners, supported by 10 volunteers, who raised $25,000 from 160 donors. This marked the third time the nonprofit participated in the world’s most prestigious marathon. Funds were raised by runners' individual solicitations by email and social media, events held at the Wormtown Brewery, and via pledges.

ELLIS, heaquartered near the Marathon finish line, joined the friendly fray for the first time this year, raising $20,000 through the efforts of two runners, who received Marathon numbers through John Hancock. More than 100 donors contributed through an online portal, bake sale, and matching company gifts.

Friends of the Public Garden , based in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, fielded two runners to raise $13,000 from 82 corporate and individual contributions for the care of the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. This was the third year that Team Friends participated in the John Hancock Nonprofit marathon program.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, based in Boston, anticipates bringing in $90,000 from more than 1,000 donors, who supported 15 runners, who received bib numbers from the BAA. This was the third year the scouting organization was a BAA Charity Partner.

Brookline-based Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, took part in the Marathon for twenty-second time, putting together a 70-runner Team With A Vision, including four charity waivers from John Hancock to raise at least $105,000 to support in-home occupational therapy and support services, and low vision clinics. On the team were two celebrity sighted guides, Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, and Ultra-Marathon Legend and bestselling author, Scott Jurek.

Prior to race day Museum of Science in Boston had raised $65,900 toward its $80,000 goal. Fielding a Marathon team for the sixth time, the Museum connected with 698 donors to support 15 runners to generate funds for its outreach programs to schools, libraries, and community organizations. Over the last six years, the Museum’s marathon runners have raised more than $548,000.

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, raised about $11,400 from 100 donors via its fourth running. Two runners, each of whom sought to raise $5,000, collected the funds personal solicitations and special events publicized through social media.

Jamaica Plain-based Summer Search ran with the pack from Holliston to the Prudential Center for the fifth time on Marathon Monday, raising $33,000 from 315 donors, supported by one staffer. Its four runners raised a minimum of $7,500 each by reaching out to their personal networks.

Cambridge-based TargetCancer Foundation, as of today had raised $35,563, just about reaching its goal of $38,000, the first time it organized a Marathon fundraiser. Two runners and more than 500 donors helped out. Funds were raised through direct donations to the runners from friends and family, sale of marathon-related merchandise, and three fundraising events.

Team Brookline, running for the third time, aimed to raise $230,000 through its network of 1,811 donors and 60 volunteers who supported 32 runners. Team Brookline runners commit to raising a minimum of $5,000 through their own networks and events. The Team also raises additional funds through corporate sponsorships and third-party fundraising by local Brookline businesses. Funds will benefit Brookline Community Mental Health Center, the team’s managing organization; Brookline Teen Center; Brookline Education Foundation; and the Brookline Library Foundation.

Understanding Our Differences in Newton was represented by one runner yesterday—its debut in the Boston Marathon—and by mid-day today had raised $11,221, cheered on by board members and a supporting cast of 150 donors.

Victory Programs (VPI), based in Boston, expected to pull in $45,000 in donations from more than 350 donors. A total of seven runners ran for VPI, including four who ran with bibs from John Hancock. Each runner raised money with personalized fundraising pages through Crowdrise, with some holding fundraisers at restaurants and breweries. VPI supported its team with e-newsletters, Facebook and Twitter posts, and donor incentives.

YMCA of Greater Boston, which operates 13 Ys throughout the region, projected that it would raise $45,000 from more than 300 donors. It had four runners in the race, supported by 25 volunteers, the second year the Y received bib numbers through John Hancock. The runners raised funds from family and friends and through special events, supported by a corporate sponsor.

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