Something powerful happens when you connect fitness and fundraising. In effort to understand more about the connection between economic and social behaviors of runners who participate in running events, Running USA, Race Partner, and Achieve partnered up to conduct The Millennial Running Study. Millennials in general are noted for having an affinity of doing good, but the study found that is not the main reason why most participated in the event. Most runners indicated that they participated due to the positive effects of exercise, while only 34% indicated they registered in because of the cause – but 58% were primarily interested in the event itself. While this may not look promising – there is hope! 


The numbers are on our side: 
  • 86% of respondents said they participated in a running event that supports a cause or charity in the past year, and 77% of respondents said that they plan to sign up for one in the next 1-2 years.

It is also important to note that running in the events is not the only way that millennials give back. 

Volunteering presents another opportunity for causes & charities to engage Millennial runners.

These Millennial runners volunteered for three predominant reasons:

  1. Being passionate about the cause the event supported
  2. Receiving an incentive (e.g., t-shirt, gift, name recognition or free or reduced entry fee)
  3. Being encouraged by a friend to volunteer

What matters the most for millennials is the overall experience. So while running and exercising is a priority, it does not satisfy them as a whole which is where we come in! Overall experience was the second most common motivator for Millennials choosing to participate in event. Millennials put high importance on digital communication and streamlined approach. So when planning your next race remember these facts! 

Charlotte Woodward

Charlotte Woodward

Demand Generation Marketer at Blackbaud
After graduating from the College of Charleston in 2013, Charlotte joined the Blackbaud family right out of school. She really enjoys connecting with nonprofits and their missions, and developing content that powers social good.
Charlotte Woodward