A Future to Fuel? – Part 2

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All of Our Dreams Can Come True if We Have the Courage to Pursue Them

Walt Disney

If you had to nail me down on whether Runners Doing Good exists in 2022, I would say yes it does.

My intent in this post is to explain where I’m coming from and my hope of what RDG can actually look like if it’s fully realized.

I think those last 2 words of the first paragraph are the most important when it comes to RDG….. Fully Realized.

Runners Doing Good started as Runnin’ Not Walken which was catchy and fun. Enough so that losing 2020 to the pandemic didn’t keep Jay, the emcee at Ragnar Trail Michigan, from forgetting us from previous years. We raised a lot of money as RNW and all combined, we’ve raised nearly $33,000. I feel we can do more but is what we’re doing, “Fully Realized?”

I don’t believe it is. What is something that is “Fully Realized?” To me, it’s something operating as the best version of itself. We operate very well and have earned a good reputation because of that but is there room for improvement? Of course! But what would a fully realized version of the team look like in 2022 and beyond?

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Keeping in mind that what we do is ultimately run by people with lives, families, and responsibilities, it’s going to be difficult to push this incredibly far quickly, however, I do believe that there’s an ability to achieve a tremendous lot for 2022 with an eye towards what lies beyond that.

At its simplest, the team would be organized formally so that it could perform all functions of the process, in-house. There may be some added responsibilities associated with that but the truth is that we’ve been blessed to be able to partner with great organizations who have let us operate under their umbrella and that means waiting on some things to come to fruition as their processes play out. That’s not a gripe but for us as a group, we could be more efficient working on our checklist if we were able to perform all functions.

Once set up as a Non-Profit, the potential is there for us to tap into different revenue streams that we’ve not had the opportunity to approach before. That will only allow us to strengthen our intake, which only expands the strength we have to do more.

Until now, we’ve raised nearly $33,000 in donations, since 2015, along with probably more than $10,000 in sponsorship dollars. We have kept $0 of that for our operations from year to year because of how our partnerships with our charities of choice were structured. Again, that’s not a gripe at all! With the ability to create some level of savings, we could position the team for future years in ways that we’d not be able to otherwise, while also making a difference for organizations, individuals, and groups within our community.

Speaking of impact…one of the biggest benefits of taking this to another level is the fact that we’ll be able to support organizations, causes, groups, and individuals directly through our fundraising.

Are we going to go out and start up a soup kitchen? No. Are we going to be building ramps and doing many of the things that organizations within our community are already doing? No.

We’re good at raising money and formally organizing our group allows us to pick and choose all of those above things to support in whatever ways we want. We can spread it around a bit but I can see us doing things like raising money to:

  • Support NeighborLink Fort Wayne for a specific projects
  • Buy books for Kate’s Kart
  • Purchase food from a local grocery store to give to the Food Bank around the holidays
  • Help fill some of the curbside food pantries
  • Purchase diapers for new moms who need assistance
  • Donate to individuals needing help covering the costs of surgeries
  • Help families experiencing tragedy
  • Donate to Brave Like Gabe who help fund rare cancer research
  • Support Run Freely which helps defer the cost of an Exosym Device to Vets to get them running pain free again.
  • And SO MUCH MORE!!!!

There’s a lot to be enthusiastic about if this step is taken but there’s certainly a lot to be a bit scared about too. Like everything else with this team, what if it snowballs? This was never meant to be what it is and here we are talking about formalizing the team as a non-profit in some manner. That’s crazy right?

It’s a good thing but it’s still rather daunting and for that, I’d ask for any good vibes, prayers, and thoughts you might have while I discern whether these next steps are right for our team.

Sincerely,

Gabe

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