We are asked pretty much weekly whether our runs are for charity, the short answer is, some are, some are not, however, because it's a question asked of us regularly we though we would share our view on this very special subject. We are, after all, driven by our passion for running, and it's almost impossible to run for any period of time without being inspired to support a charitable cause or two. Add to the this, the fact that we are driven by our community therefore enjoy being open and challenged by our members because it has always resulted in changes for the better. So please, if this is something you feel passionately about, take a couple of minutes to read about our reason for being and please do share your thoughts with us, RW x
Is Running Woman a charitable organisation?
To start to answer this, we must first be clear about exactly why Running Woman exists in the first place, we address this on our "About RW" page, our reason for being has never changed. However, in summary, Running Woman was established to promote running because we believe running can change your life! That is it, in it's simplest sense... If you have to have a mission in life, to promote something which can positively change someone else's life, has to just be the most rewarding ambitions out there doesn't it?
So why is that so important to understand as part of the answer to the question of charity?
Well that is to do with accessibility. We want to make as much of what we do, accessible to as many women as practically possible. All our private groups are free to join, we do not check our members have entered or purchased anything, this is not about exclusivity, we are all about inclusivity, we want as many people to be part of our community as possible, whether that be on Facebook or Strava, it is open to any woman, all we ask for in return is as much positivity, compassion, encouragement, inspiration as an individual can give, whatever our community can share that will motivate someone to feel better today than they did yesterday.
This same philosophy is applied to our events, we challenged ourselves to achieve the lowest possible cost we felt we could sustain, in order to fulfil the quality & service we know our community enjoy and receive such reward from. Ideally motivating our members to share their experience with others, in order to spread the love further or repeat it themselves. For the majority of our events, we have set this target at £10 as we feel this makes it one of the lowest cost, best value events out there. The challenge for us is to also ensure that no part of what we do feels like we're one of the cheapest events our there. We genuinely believe we have the best quality, most beautiful finishers medal available (however, we completely acknowledge we're totally biased and have no scientific evidence to substantiate this claim). We absolutely thrive off the feedback we get every single day when our events inspire someone to start, to carry on or to run even more. That is what we are about, that is why we exist and that is makes us jump out of bed in a morning even if we haven't got a run planned.
Every penny more that we charge, is a penny closer to someone having to make a choice between entering or not entering, by now, you can guess what our preference is. So whilst we appreciate that there are many incredibly generous women within our community and beyond, who can afford an extra pound or two and would welcome us including charitable donations within all our event costs, there are some for whom it would mean they could not, and therefore it goes against our primary ambition of making what we do available to as many women as physically and practically possible. For those of you whom it would make no difference, we implore you to give to charity, as we all know, there are many reliant on the amazing generosity of our members.
It genuinely makes us feel terrible when we are openly criticised for not supporting charities with all our events and we have been on occasion compared to events that cost £5 more, but donate £2 to charity, and yet somehow, we are left feeling like the guilty ones. It seems obvious to us that we could do that and be charitable, maybe even be profitable too, however, it is not our primary goal, it's not why we exist and we believe part of the incredible feedback we see daily, is in some degree down to the fact that we remain true to our reason for being.
That said, we are charitable at heart, we have raised thousands of pounds both personally and professionally, and will continue to do so, we have collaborated and will continue to collaborate with charities where we are not simply taking our community members money and forwarding it to a charity, but we are contributing our own money too, and where we do this we will be really clear about how much will be going to charity for each entry.
We are also actively looking at ways we can make donations optional with every entry or purchase, maintaining low cost of entry for everyone, but for those who can afford to donate, making that option available.
As always, love to you all, we hope this goes some way to helping anyone with a question, to understand why we take the approach we do, but if you have any questions, comments, ideas of how we can strike the perfect balance, please let us know, RW x