Posted by: pointlenana | November 30, 2012

Running and Fundraising Extravaganza

This is mostly intended for people who are supporting me in my running-and-fundraising efforts, but might be of interest to the couple other people who actually read this stuff.

Next April (and maybe May) my running-and-fundraising calendar is pretty full.  Monday Apr 15 I’ll be running the Boston Marathon, again with the Dana-Farber team and again with my wife Janet.  Sunday Apr 21 I’ll be running the London Marathon, for a group called Whizz-Kidz and with my college friend Paul who figured out how to get us into the event.  Sunday Apr 28 Janet and I will run the Big Sur Marathon, just for fun.  And if I get lucky in a lottery where I have maybe a 40% chance (January update – I did get “lucky” and got in), on Saturday May 4 I’ll run the Miwok 100k in the Marin headlands, within 10 miles of where I grew up.  For sure, 3 marathons in 14 days on two continents and 3 “coasts”, with the possibility of a bonus 62 miles a few days later.  I’m pretty confident that I can get through the 3 marathons – I did 3 in 4 weekends this year.  If I get into Miwok it will be different and my training this winter will take on a totally different tone.

I’m a bit less confident about fundraising successfully for two groups at one time, mostly because it’s tricky figuring out who to ask for which group both from the standpoint of the people I’m talking to and from the perspective of the group.   I again set a goal of $26.2K for Dana-Farber (for basic cancer research), and have a goal of 2000 pounds (a little more than $3000) for Whizz-Kidz which helps get wheelchairs to mostly-low-income kids who need them, so they can have a more kid-like experience.  In total the goals are less than I raised last year for Dana-Farber but just about everyone (including me) probably thought of last year as a one-time thing.  When I come around for a second time, I don’t expect the same success.

As I mentioned, the big challenge/dilemma/question is who I ask for which cause.  I’m sure each non-profit would like me to focus on their work.  On the donor side, since giving is personal it doesn’t feel exactly right for me to decide that person A should be asked for non-profit B.  My basic approach is to ask people at work for Dana-Farber and people outside of work for Whizz-Kidz.  There are two main reasons for this.  First, my company has a generous matching program to encourage employee donations – Dana-Farber is eligible for matching (US 501c3) whereas Whizz-Kidz is not (a UK charity).  Second my Dana-Farber goal is quite a lot larger and the match will help a lot in getting there.  My work/non-work approach is obviously not a rigid one, e.g. a friend outside of work just went through cancer treatment and her personal interest is more likely to be cancer research.  Sometimes I just give people the whole story and let them decide, what if anything, they’d like to support.  The challenge then is balancing a bunch of things: being brief, giving enough information, honoring the reality that giving is personal based on the interests of people I’m asking, honoring my commitment to the groups, not letting this interfere with personal relationships, and staying zen about the whole thing (I think Janet burst out laughing as I typed that – I’m not sure I’ve ever been “zen” about anything).  Oh, and Janet also recently signed up for the Dana-Farber team too, so in our house we have 3 fundraising efforts going on in parallel.

It’s gone reasonably well so far – I’ve raised 1080 pounds for Whizz-Kidz (a bit over halfway) and somewhere around $11.5K for Dana-Farber (almost halfway).  Whizz-Kidz feels more difficult, probably because I’ve chosen to limit who I ask, but also because it’s something people think less about (whereas unfortunately most people have experience with cancer) and it’s foreign in a very literal sense – different currency, no tax deduction, etc..  That said, movement is obviously important to me (no weekend is complete without hours of running – or occasionally biking) and it feels good to help these kids be more mobile.

For any of you donors reading this, that’s the full story and thank you very much for supporting both me and the work.



Janet and I are about to travel to Sacramento to run the California International Marathon this weekend.  We’ve had some real luck with weather this year.  Current forecast for Sunday morning is downpours with a 25 mph head/crosswind, with flood warnings.  I’ve trained very hard and hoped to run a personal best on a course that is somewhat downhill and mostly flat.  Even though the forecasters have nailed this storm so far, I’m hoping very very hard that they are off by about 12 hours and the storm finishes by 7am.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: