The average goodwill race has been drawing 1,000 participants in major metropolitan areas. This participation level is experiencing spectacular growth since the early 2010s when the races drew 400 to 500 participants.
So, what is driving more people to partake in charity drives and community races for awareness?
In the past, races for awareness and charity were almost exclusive to big cities like New York, Boston, and San Francisco. However, with the advent of modern social media, people are seeing their friends and family sharing these amazing experiences, and they are inspired to participate in droves.
During the year 2015, over 17.1 million people finished races in support of their favorite causes. This phenomenon is similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge where people felt inspired to make a small sacrifice of their comfort for charity. For this reason, you may ask yourself why people spend money and run lengthy races to support causes. According to a recent psychological study, there are three major motivating factors.
Among those who participated in a case study conducted in Arlington Heights, IL the primary driving factors were:
Personal or Community Connection: Those who run races for good causes have had an experience with the issue directly, or they know someone who has suffered from a lack of support in a specific area of society. For example, Lake Bluff School District 65 in Lake Bluff, Illinois raised over $23,000 with an army of runners who felt compelled to improve the conditions and supplies for students.
Social Media Sharing: More than 80% of those who participated in these events felt it was necessary to share their accomplishment on social media. Almost every racer felt that their efforts were spreading much-needed awareness to the community.
Competitive Racing or Exercise: Greater than 50% of those that engaged in the events felt the desire to enjoy some friendly competition and meet new people. There was a consensus among racers that these events are an excellent way to meet good and like-minded people.
Each year, there are more national races hosted in various cities simultaneously. These massive events have fascinating themes that involve wearing flashy clothing and offbeat colors. In every successful race, it seems that the more fun people can have at the event, the more success it will achieve. And with the number of participants growing 120% in the past few years, the races are expanding at a record pace.
Growth Of Charity Races Benefits Runners and Nonprofits Alike
Dan Shalin - http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/elmhurst/sports/ct-nhh-charitable-road-races-tl-0714-20160715-story.html
11 Incredible Charity Races That Give Back