FAQs on running the Boston Marathon® for a charity.
Running the Boston Marathon is a dream of a life time. It's on almost every distance runner's bucket list. To many, the Boston Marathon is the most prestigious marathon in the world. Next year's Boston Marathon is the 127th running of the race. CharityTeams is proud to work with so many of the charities and be able to offer runners the opportunity to participate in the race through the Official Charity Program of the Boston Athletic Association and the John Hancock Nonprofit Partner Program. A runner can by pass the difficult qualifying standards through running for a charity and raising funds. We call our runners the OVERQUALIFIED. Running for a charity is a big responsibility and should be taken seriously. It's an opportunity for a charity to raise awareness and revenue. It is a commitment and all runners must sign an agreement to run and commit to a specified level of fundraising.
Specific to COVID 19
The B.A.A. encourages all participants to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to participating in the 127th Boston Marathon. At this time, proof of vaccination will not be required for participation in the 2023 Boston Marathon. However, all participants are expected to follow B.A.A. protocols and procedures related to COVID-19 mitigation and public health including, but not limited to, potential proof of negative testing, potential proof of vaccination, and wearing a face mask in designated areas. B.A.A. COVID-19 mitigation efforts will be guided by policies and procedures established by the CDC, state, and local public health officials in the lead up to April’s event.
1. What is the difference between the BAA Charity Program and the John Hancock Charity Program?
There are two charity programs in the Boston Marathon. We work with both and we work with Charity partners that get bibs through partnership agreements too! We get lots of bibs and therefore, your chances of running on a team are increased!
The BAA Official Charity Program is listed on their webpage and are a select group of non profits such as hospitals, sports team foundations and youth programs.
The John Hancock Nonprofit Program is a select group of community charities chosen exclusively by the sponsor. They are generally smaller nonprofits in the Massachusetts area.
Partner programs are 26.2 Foundation, Boston Public Library and Lingzi Foundation. All have teams.
2. How do I apply to get a charity bib?
First decide on a charity or cause you want to run for. Have a back up charity as well. Each charity has a variable number of spots. Each one is different. Research each charity you apply to and know alot about what cause they impact. It might be good to call or visit a charity as well. Once you choose your team, you can apply online. Each process varies, most charities have an interview process to ensure you understand the commitment you are making by accepting a spot. You must agree to raise the amount you have pledged and your credit card will be charged if you default on your agreement.
3. How much money do I have to raise and who pays my entry fee?
Each charity can set it's own fundraising minimum. ALL CHARITIES ARE VARY. They differ because some can generate higher fundraising based on the cause, popularity of a team or limited number of bibs. This is a valuable fundraising opportunity for non profits and retaining bibs in the future is based on the fundraising success of the runners on the team. This is a fundraising event!
Generally, charities will offer spots to runners with stronger fundraising goals. Don't just put down the minimum as a goal, If you believe you have the ability to fundraise more. Many people who never thought they could fundraise or say they hate to ask for money, often find out they CAN do a great job for a nonprofit. We encourage everyone to apply! We love reading people's stories and reasons for wanting to run The Boston Marathon and support a non profit. If you can't do the fundraising, you should not take on this responsibility.
You are fully responsible for paying your full entry fee for a charity spot into the race. This money is paid direct to the BAA through the offiical registration at the beginning of January. The charity does not pay your entry fee into the race.This year the entry fee is $375. and must be paid upon registration in January.
4. Can I apply to more than one charity?
Yes. Some do charge and application fee for applying. So read carefully. Some charge a team fee if accepted onto the team. All charities would rather someone connected to the mission of the non profit. We suggest apply to two charities.
Applying to every charity looks like you are just desperate for a spot and you don't really care about the charity you selected. Instead, pick something you feel you can really support and fundraise for. Do a great job on your application and hope for an interview.
5. What is the selection process and when can I expect to hear back if I was chosen for a CharityTeams nonprofit?
All applications are read thoroughly by CharityTeams and the relating non proft. The most desirable candidates are then called and interviewed further. A desirable candidate is one that can fundraise and has a great network, can complete a marathon in 6 hours or less, can be a great ambassador for a cause and is of strong moral character. Often applicants have a direct tie to a cause such as Homelessness or Cancer. Each charity maintains a waiting list and while waiting to see if you might be selected, You should continue to train for the marathon and have good fundraising plans in the event that you are called for the team. You may train with CharityTeams if you are on a team's wait list. Always be ready as many runners are taken off the wait list and they get the opportunity to run. Charities generally let runners know if they have been selected by December.
6. Do you take out of state or international runners? Due to COVID -19 travel restrictions this might change.
YES! We love out of state runners and international runners! We take our of state and international runners very seriously and we encourage out of state runners to apply. We call them our OOTS -Out of Towners and provide an adoption service to our OOTS so they feel like they know their team well when they arrive in Boston. We even do an OOT BRUNCH on race weekend in celebration of Out of State runners. International runners must pay the required funds in advance upon acceptance to a team. The required funds can vary from team to team and is generally based on the average fundraising minimum which is $13,000 but that varies from team to team and is at the discretion fo the non profit. One charity might require $10,000 -$13,000 but another might require more. It depends on how many spots are on the team and a variety of other things. This is a fundraising event for charities and they are hoping to raise as much money as they can with this opportunity.
All international runners must follow the Covid guidelines for testing and quarantine prior to the event. There are no refunds on any prepaid donations or fundraising if the event is cancelled or you are chosen and unable to attend.
There are no deferrals into future races if you cannot run the Boston Marathon for any reason. This applies to all runners. The Boston Marathon does not have a deferral program and charities cannot do this either.
7. Is there a training program and group runs?
We run from the Under Armour Brand House in Boston on Saturday morning starting about 20 weeks out from race day.
We also have monthly meetings on training, fundraising and guest speakers. Our SuperHero 17and HOP 21 training runs are popular with all charity runners - both are costumed runs on the Boston Marathon course. Runners are bused out onto the course CharityTeams is the premiere management service for small non profits in athletic fundraising. Our goal is to help you achieve success in all areas of your Boston Marathon opportunity and have a life changing experience doing it.
The date for the Superhero 17 training run is Saturday, February 25th, 2023.
The date for the Hop21 training run is Saturday, March 25th, 2023.
Virtual CharityTeams runners will be able to train in our in-person runs as well.
8. Will there be fundraising support?
YES! We give you consistent communications and strategies including event planning. Each runner will have a fundraising page and be provided information pertaining to the charity they run for. CharityTeams runners successfully raise an average of $12,000 each for the Boston Marathon because of the incredible support and expertise of the CharityTeams network.
9. What if I don't meet my fundraising obligation?
Runners who don't meet the fundraising minimum will be contacted and their situation will be discussed. A runner's credit card will be charged if the runner defaults on the commitment they set. Each bib is a valuable opportunity for a non profit. It puts a program in jeopardy if a runner fails to fundraise. Please do not apply or commit to a charity if you cannot meet the fundraising commitment you set.. Charity entries are valuable assets to non profits. They cannot be replaced. If you fail to fundraise, you will put the acceptance of the charity back into the Boston Marathon program in jeopardy for the following year.
Please read the terms and conditions in the charity application carefully. You will be held responsible to all milestones and minimums.
10. When should I book my travel and what dates should I plan for?
Travel can be booked through MarathonTours.com and should be booked well in advance. Hotels fill up quickly. CharityTeams has limited blocked rooms through MarathonTours.com for information email Susan@CharityTeams.com. Hotels in the Copley Square are of Boston are closest to the morning buses and finish area. Dates to book depend on your schedule and budget.
11. What other things should I expect from my experience?
Just ask any of the CharityTeams veterans who want to return year after year. CharityTeams is a memorable life changing experience. If you want to find out more ask on the CharityTeams facebook group. Join our run crew.