Dropping the F-bomb

Fundraising. Did you wince a little when you read the word? Did your eye begin to twitch? Whether it is asking or being asked to make a donation, fundraising is the F-bomb that some people will argue can make a conversation just as uncomfortable as that “other” F-bomb.

But it really shouldn’t. If you believe in what you’re asking people to donate their money towards, and you’re asking people who know you enough to know the cause is important to you, it shouldn’t be uncomfortable at all.

The benefits I’ve received fundraising far outweigh the negatives. Yes, fundraising takes work, time and energy. And while training for a marathon, there’s not always a lot of that to spare. I can’t write a check for $10,000 and call it a day. Like many, my fundraising is made up of A LOT of smaller donations. But that actually makes it that much better because I’m not just raising money, but awareness too. So the more the merrier.

The most amazing thing to me though has been the outrageous support I have received from friends and family. I will be running my 9th Boston Marathon next week, and each time I have run the race through a charity team. The last 7 have been for the Alzheimer’s Association Run to End Alzheimer’s team. I run for my grandfather who passed away on 2005, and gave me my first close up experience with the disease.

By now, I sort of have my routine down and each year go into the marathon fundraising season with a plan. But just because I could make my goal last year does not mean I’m not anxious about this year. And let’s face it, I’m a runner, so each time I do this, I try to beat my last race.

Nerves and all, I’ve never not reached my goal. Some years it took more emails, fundraiser events and creativity, but I’ve always done it. And in that time, I’ve never had a person respond to an email or Facebook post and tell me to stop asking for money.

In fact, a few years ago when I was injured and didn’t run, I had friends email me and ask if they had missed my emails, because they wanted to donate. And I’m pleasantly surprised each year when I get donations from folks I haven’t talked to in ages. High school classmates or colleagues from 3 jobs ago, who I wasn’t sure even remembered my name made donations and send messages of encouragement that offer a boost, sometimes at times when they are so desperately needed.

When I interview applicants for jobs at work, I always ask what’s the accomplishment you are most proud of in the last year. If I was asked this today, I’d have to say surpassing my goal of raising $10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Will I feel prouder of this accomplishment than running a marathon PR? Hopefully I can answer that next Monday.

I am grateful to all the friends and family that have donated to the Alzheimer’s Association this year. If you would like to make a donation, please go to https://www.crowdrise.com/alzheimerassociationboston2015/fundraiser/chrissyhoran

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