Every time I wear my favorite t-shirt I get a lot of ‘I like your shirt’ comments. I always have to look down to remind myself which t-shirt I am actually wearing to read up-side-down ‘Dooo-Sooome-thing-Good’. Then I question whether I have actually done anything good at all that day besides wear a lousy t-shirt encouraging others to do something good. I’ve tried to think of all the reasons why people like my t-shirt so much and I truly believe it comes down to everyone just inherently wants to do something good. Good for others, good for their community, and good for them.
Doing “good” comes in a variety of flavors, but certainly one of the most popular of our time is participating in an event and raising millions upon millions of dollars for a cause near-and-dear to our hearts. I have always said, a person doesn’t simply roll out of bed one morning and think ‘I’m going to run a marathon!’. There are often much bigger motivators than oneself that drive individuals to dedicate themselves to the rigorous training required just to arrive on the starting line.
In the ‘busyness’ of everyone’s lives, people simply don’t have a lot of bandwidth to do something good that really moves the needle. Therefore, signing up for an event and raising money for a worthy cause is an excellent way people can really make a big difference – for others, their community, and themselves. And if you’re the person or team organizing the event, then you are doing something good by providing an incredible experience to your participants by which to raise money for a cause, giving back to your community in a meaningful way, and raising the self-confidence and self-esteem of your participants.
So as we ring in the New Year, think about how you want to position your event to do something good this year. There are many great models out there – which include both non-profit and for-profit events – that allow participants to raise money for a cause while creating a financially-sustainable event (yes, it’s ok for everyone to get paid). To name a few, there are wonderful charities like the Challenged Athletes Foundation that produce cause-related events and operate as a not-for-profit, there are events like the Boston Marathon that name a certain number of official charities and allocate bibs to these charities they in turn ‘sell’ for a minimum fundraise, then there are for-profit events like the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series that may name one ‘Official Charity’ and that charity receives exclusive benefits and access to participants for their fundraising efforts.
Whichever model you choose, it’s important to remember that your City officials (i.e. the people that approve your permits…wink, wink!) don’t just care about the economic impact of your event but also the social impact to your community. So even as you and your team are the ones busting your humps to pull off the event or are often taking the financial risks associated with producing the event, be diligent in tracking and reporting back to City officials (and letting them take the credit for!) the social impact of your event such as: revitalization to a particular neighborhood, ways you are supporting youth programs, or number of dollars raised for an incredible cause. Mayors love, love, love good news and to be able to talk about it in the media puts a smile on everyone’s face. Like I said, everyone wants to ‘Do Something Good’.
If you need assistance thinking through how to position your event to do something good, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help.
– Anton Villatoro, President & Co-Founder, RaceHQ