USATF study: Charity fundraising through running sees marked increase


Jill Geer
Director of Communications
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - Marking a trend of continued growth, road runners and walkers raised $656 million for charity in 2005, USA Track & Field (USATF) announced Tuesday. The figure marks a 14 percent increase over 2005 and is the biggest single-year increase since USATF began its annual charity survey in 2002.

The J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series has been named the 2005 USATF Charitable Race of the Year, while the Arthritis Foundation was honored as 2005 Charitable Organization of the Year.

Conducted internally by USATF, the national governing body of track and field, long-distance running and race walking, the study revealed that approximately $656 million was raised for charitable causes by runners in 2005, with 83 percent of races nationwide raising money for charitable causes. USATF gathered data from more than 25 national charitable race series/organizations and a sample of nearly 200 running/walking races, including many of the country's 100 largest races.

"This impressive total for 2005 is indicative of the health of our sport as well as the generosity of its participants," said USATF CEO Craig A. Masback. "Having done this study for the last four years, certain trends have become very clear, including the continued upward climb of funds raised, and also the increasing participation of women in these efforts, accounting for more than 50 percent of fund-raising participants."

JPMorgan Chase a trailblazerCurrently celebrating its 30th year, the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge was the first race series to activate corporate and employee involvement and to tie that involvement into charitable giving.Started in 1977 in New York as an extension of the Bank's sponsorship of the New York City Marathon, the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge is a worldwide series of running events in which teams of runners representing corporations go head-to-head in a friendly, 3.5-mile competition. Events in 2006, which are held exclusively after work on weeknights, are scheduled for Sydney, Johannesburg, Singapore, Chicago, Frankfurt, Rochester, Buffalo, Boston, New York, London, Syracuse and San Francisco before the Championship race on New York's Park Avenue. More than 200,000 entrants from over 7,000 companies take part annually in a Series owned and operated by JPMorgan Chase.

The mission of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series is to provide a night of healthy competition and camaraderie for the full-time business community, with the primary objective of encouraging tens of thousands of normally sedentary workers to adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Layered on to that is the fact that JPMorgan Chase makes a donation for every entry to worthy not-for-profit organizations in the community, with a special emphasis on organizations that support education and the arts.

"There's nothing more fulfilling that hearing about somebody who felt a real sense of accomplishment participating in the Corporate Challenge," said Barbara Paddock, Senior Vice President, Strategic Event Marketing at JPMorgan Chase. "We have been fortunate to turn thousands and thousands of workers into regular runners and fitness walkers through the years, all the while also making an impact in the community through donations to very worthy organizations. To be recognized for our efforts by USATF makes our 30th year very special indeed."

For more information on the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series, visit

Arthritis Foundation raises money, awareness

Raising a combined $9 million in 2005, the Arthritis Foundation's three programs - Arthritis Walk, Jingle Bell Run and Joints in Motion - work to raise money to battle arthritis while also making a positive impact on the lifestyles of their participants.

The annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk is the Arthritis Foundation's oldest event. Founded in 1984, the events are held in cities across the country in the November and December holiday season. Fundraisers choose from a 5 km fun run or 5 km walk.

Joints in Motion is the Arthritis Foundation's athletic training program and is designated to guide people of all ages and fitness levels through an extensive training program to complete a marathon. Approximately 80% of all Joints in Motion athletes have never run or walked a marathon before, but nearly all of them complete their races. Participants who raise pledge funds for their races are sent by the Arthritis Foundation to some of the country's most desirable races, including the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon, Honolulu Marathon and Oahu Hike, and Durango Marathon, Half Marathon and Hike/Trail run.

Arthritis Walk is the Arthritis Foundation's newest program and kicks off National Arthritis Awareness Month each May. The Arthritis Foundation hosts hundreds of 1-mile and 3-mile Arthritis Walk® events nationwide raising needed funds to prevent, control and cure arthritis, the nation's leading cause of disability affecting 66 million Americans and costing the U.S. economy nearly $86 billion annually in medical care and indirect expenses including lost wages. The Walks also serve as a starting point for exercise programs that can limit the affects of arthritis.

"Arthritis Foundation events like Arthritis Walk, Joints in Motion and Jingle Bell Run raise crucial funds to forward the mission of the Arthritis Foundation," said Becky Burkett, Arthritis Foundation chief development officer. "It is an honor to be recognized as the charitable organization of the year by USA Track and Field, and we invite people to take the first step toward a healthier lifestyle by participating in one of our walking or running events."

For more information on the Arthritis Foundation, the Arthritis Walk, Jingle Bell Run and Joints in Motion, visit

For more information on USA Track & Field, visit

USATF Charitable Race of the Year: 2005, J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series; 2004, Rock & Roll Marathon; 2003, Marine Corps Marathon; 2002, Boston Marathon

USATF Charitable Organization of the Year: 2005, Arthritis Foundation; 2004, American Heart Association Heart Walk; 2003, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure; 2002, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training

Charity running totals: 2005, $656 million; 2004, $575 million; 2003, $560 million; 2002, $520 million