Running a charity race is a great way to both challenge yourself as well as support a nonprofit or cause near and dear to your heart. With warmer temperatures and longer days propelling charity race season into full swing, you might be thinking of taking part in one soon. Don’t miss this quick list of tips for successfully participating in a charity race:

Choose from the heart

While the 5k sponsored by the local micro-brewery might offer perks in the way of free beer, it will be harder for you to make the hard sell to friends and family when you go raising money. If you’re truly looking to use your running superpowers for good, make sure that you are picking a charity that means something to you. Not only will you feel more accountable to keep up with training and fundraising, but when you do help spread the word about it, you’ll be able to speak openly and honestly from the heart.

Involve a friend or family member

Don’t go at it alone. If a specific disease or event has impacted your family or group of friends in a close way, get them to join in with you to raise awareness and run together. Charity races are also a great way to share your love of running with your kids. Plus having another person ‘in it to win it’ with you can provide the motivation and accountability you need to stay on track!

Be a Smart Goal-setter

When it comes to both training and fundraising, setting goals will play an important role in helping you succeed. While you might want to raise loads of money for your favorite cause, you need to be realistic and take into consideration the amount of time and effort you have to put into fundraising (on top of your training). You also want to approach goal-setting in more incremental milestones that help you build momentum over your fundraising period. Waiting to do one giant push right before the deadline as opposed to hitting smaller goals throughout the lead-up to the race will likely leave you scrambling.

Share your journey

Sure, asking people over and over again on social media to sponsor your fundraising efforts might seem like the easiest way to go about raising money, however, it is far from the most impactful. People will be more inclined to support you when they hear about your journey, your hard work, and why the charity you’re running for means so much to you. Utilize email and word of mouth in addition to social media to share your story through text, photos, and videos.

Have a back-up plan

Depending on the intensity of your training, there may be a chance that you experience an injury that prevents you from following through with running the race. That’s ok, life happens! Even if you find yourself wearing an orthopedic wrap, brace, or splint after a run gone bad, there might still be ways for you to pitch in at a charity race that don’t involve running. Volunteering at registration, to hand out water, in the first aid tent, or simply to cheer on other runners can still be a great way to dedicate your time at the event.

Ask your employer

Do you know if your employer matches employee fundraising efforts? It doesn’t hurt to ask! One great way to look good at work and hit your charity race fundraising goals is to get the company you work for to match the money you raise for your favorite nonprofit, effectively doubling your efforts.

Go the Extra Mile

If time allows and you think your support network would be up for it, host your own events like a spaghetti dinner or themed party where you can share more information about the charity you are running for as well as talk about your training. A live in-person experience could be just the kick your fundraiser needs to really top the charts!