If you’ve ever heard of a faith-based non-profit that was so flush with cash that it didn’t need a donation, or one that had all the volunteers and equipment that it desired to further its mission, then you have found a true outlier.
Fundraising for all the other ministries out there may feel like a full-time occupation. Raffles, garage sales, online appeals, cake walks and virtually every other means have been employed to help sustain their good works.
This week, we’ll have an expert explain how to put together a fun run for such a non-profit and provide a living example you can attend.
5K is about 3.1 miles
League City’s Anchor Point is what might be termed a multivalent ministry to babies, women and families. Their 5k Fun Run (see box) is one of their most importance funding activities.
By day, Siok Hong Chen-Sabot, is an environmental scientist with advanced training. But, once each year, she’s responsible for putting together this Anchor Point fundraiser.
“Sustaining a 5K needed lots of commitment, passion, reason and volunteers,” she told Our Faith. “It requires detail coordination between vendors, runners, packet pickup, registration portal, crew setting up and breaking down.”
She used both paper (the runner’s packets) and computers (an online web registration/donation site) to concoct this year’s run.
“The key to sustaining all this is the mission of the race director, or a leader on the helm whose mission is to get runners on the course, tools/software to execute the event, and a team,” she added.
She didn’t learn how to coalesce all these factors from the web or even a newspaper, but from her late husband, David Sabot.
“I worked closely with David for eight years as his spouse and partner in crime,” she said. “We were at the event one time at 2:45 a.m. to get started before anyone showed up. The race starts at 7:15 a.m. His mission is to start the race on time, every time.
“They always did.”
Chen-Sabot explained that David fought a two-year battle with a virulent form of leukemia, losing that struggle in 2021. This year’s race is being held in his honor.
“Help us honor David’s legacy,” she said. “Our goal is to have 1000 runners this year. In past years, David’s run has raised over $60K for Anchor.”
Behind the scenes
Several websites offer specific flowcharts and checklists for fun run creators. The basic map for such generally looks like this:
1. Pick a date likely to have good weather. One that doesn’t overlap any religious holidays or major sporting events.
2. Plan your route for safety. You may need to ask local authorities for help. They can block off sidewalks or roads for the run.
3. Use media and social media to reach sponsors, volunteers, donors and runners.
4. Educate runners who sign up early on how to secure donors for their run. A running packet and website for the run can help with this.
5. For runs, long or short, have T-Shirts, wristbands or other promotional materials, place awards and hydration stands set up well before race time.
6. Be sure to clear all traces of the run from its location promptly so the venue might be feasible again.
7. Thank everyone who helped.
8. Take a vacation!
Michelle Marx, an avid runner, offered praise for the end results.
“I am always on the lookout for great local races, and I look forward to the Run for Health 5K each year,” she said. “My husband, kids and I have all enjoyed running in this race. It is a great, certified, flat course with an awesome top prize of $300 plus age group trophies. It is a beautiful, well-marked course. The volunteers are amazing and the race crew gets it started on time each year. Plus, I love supporting this organization that helps families in my area.”
But you don’t need to be fast to engage with the run. Babies in strollers, toddlers in wagons have also been welcome on the course with their parents.
Dr. Aaron Chapa represents a key part of any charitable run. His business, Living Well Clinical Nutrition, is a sponsor.
“Run for Health is a great family-friendly activity for competitive runners to beginning walkers,” Chapa said. “We are excited that the proceeds of this run go to support the work of Anchor Point in our community. We have watched Anchor Point’s impact on our community over the last eleven years and seen the thousands of lives that have been positively impacted for eternity. As a community, we are stronger when we take care of those that are struggling around us.”
The last word
We’ll give the last word this week to Debbie Simmons, the CEO and founder of Anchor Point.
“As a non-profit, we must raise money to keep our doors open, the electricity on and most importantly to be here for our clients,” she said. “We do not want any family that is struggling to not have a place to go and receive assistance to help their family thrive. The Run for Health, started by David Sabot, is a great way to raise needed funds while having a great time with our families and friends.”
And how are the monies raised to be used?
“They will go to provide for our Obria Medical Clinic, our Hope Family Center, our Hope House Maternity Home and our newest education division, Hope Community,” Simmons said.
Next week in Our Faith: Faith at Sea, part one.