The Blue Line Charity Program

Charities from around our community are encouraged to use the Akron Marathon as a fundraiser and means of raising awareness.  Since it is freed from the time it takes to organize an event,  a charity organization is able to focus on fundraising and raising awareness for their organization.

For the 2014 event, the Akron Marathon will choose 10 local non-profit organizations to be a part of its annual Blue Line Charity Program.  Charities, groups and individuals that are not chosen as one of the 10 official charity partners for the program are still encouraged to use the Akron Marathon as a fundraiser by utilizing CrowdRise.


As part of the Blue Line Charity Program, official charity partners are asked to recruit runners, recruit volunteers and fundraise for their organization.  In return for these efforts, the Akron Marathon will promote the official charity partners on the Akron Marathon website, through social media, press releases and other marketing materials. All charities involved in the program that reach one of the designated levels (see below) will also receive a donation from the Akron Marathon.

Per Level
Helping Hands
Record Setters
# of Volunteers
# of Registered Runners
Money Raised
Donation from Akron Marathon


Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply for the Blue Line Charity Program?

To apply for the Blue Line Charity Program, the charity must fill out an application by March 14, 2014.  Applications are posted on the right.

Is there a cost involved in this program?

There is no cost to the charity to participate in the Blue Line Charity Program.

My organization is not a 501(c)3, can we still participate?

Organizations must be a 501(c)3 to participate in the Blue Line Charity Program.

When is my application due?

Applications are due March 14, 2014.

When will I find out if my charity has been accepted?

We will announce the charities for the 2014 Blue Line Charity Program on April 2, 2014.

I was part of the program last year. Do I need to apply again?

Yes, each charity must apply annually.

Is there a limit to the number of charities accepted into the program?

Yes, 10 charities will be accepted into the 2014 Blue Line Charity Program.

How will the charities be chosen?

Charities will be chosen based on their application, their 501(c)3 status, their service in our local community and at the discretion of the Akron Marathon staff.

My organization was not chosen to be a part of the Blue Line Charity Program; can I still fundraise through the Akron Marathon?

Yes, the CrowdRise fundraising tool is open for all organizations and runners to use.  Check out the Akron Marathon’s CrowdRise page to create your own fundraising team or donate to an existing team.

What will the Akron Marathon do to promote their Charity Partners?

The Akron Marathon will promote Charity Partners on the Akron Marathon website, on the Akron Marathon Facebook page, on the Akron Marathon Twitter feed, through email blasts to runners, in the event guide that goes out to 100,000+ people in the Akron Beacon Journal, and on race day at the Finishers Festival on the score board.

Getting Started

Does the Akron Marathon keep any of the money my organization raises?

No, all funds raised go directly to the charity. Charities are encouraged to use the online fundraising platform CrowdRise to collect donations online as well as record offline donations.

Do I have to sign up for a specific Charity Program level?

No, when you fill out your application simply state what your fundraising goal is. The donation from the Akron Marathon will be based on the actual number of runners, volunteers and funds raised.

Does my organization have to use CrowdRise?

No, if you have your own website or a contact with a platform you prefer to use, you may use that. We partner with CrowdRise for those charities that are not set up to take donations on their own website.

Are there fees associated with using CrowdRise?

Yes, CrowdRise charges 5% + credit card fees (2.9% + .30). These fees cover the administrative costs and credit card fees that CrowdRise incurs for providing this service.

Some of our donors prefer not to donate online, do their donations by cash or check still count?

Absolutely. You are able to log those donations on CrowdRise so they are reflected in your total or you can keep a record of offline donations to provide to the Akron Marathon with your final report.

Is there a minimum that has to be raised?

Anyone is able to do fundraising through the Akron Marathon for their personal causes. To be an official Charity Partner, there are fundraising requirements that must be met for each level of the program.

What if my organization doesn’t meet the minimum requirements?

There is no penalty for not meeting the requirements. If you are unable to meet the minimum requirements, your organization will still keep all money raised. However, in order to receive a donation from the Akron Marathon, the minimum requirements must be met.

How should my runners fundraise?

The Akron Marathon has partnered with the online platform CrowdRise for all fundraising efforts. CrowdRise provides runners and charities with an easy to use website to collect donations. With CrowdRise, a fundraiser is able to email potential donors, post to social media sites and keep track of the funds they have raised.

Do my runners have a fundraising requirement?

Fundraising requirements for runners can be set by the organization. The Akron Marathon only sets overall fundraising goals for the organizations participating in the Blue Line Charity Program.

When do fundraising totals need to be turned in?

A final report with fundraising totals, runners, volunteers and increase of organization awareness will be due to the Akron Marathon by October 13, 2014. A template will be provided to organizations participating in the Blue Line Charity Program. This report will be used by the Akron Marathon to determine the donation each organization will receive from the Akron Marathon.


I’ve been accepted to the Blue Line Charity Program. How do I get started?

The first thing to do is set up your CrowdRise page so your runners and supporters are able to donate to your cause. Next, recruit runners and volunteers!

What’s the best way to recruit runners and volunteers?

A great place to start is with your existing support system. Encourage your board members to run or volunteer and have them encourage their friends and family to do the same. Talk to your loyal volunteers and get them involved.

How do my runners sign up to run for my organization?

When your runners register to run, they will simply choose your organization’s name from the drop down box in the Charity Partner section of the registration page.  If your runners registered without choosing your organization, send Katie Kline a list of registered runners and we will note that they are running for your organization.

When do all of my runners have to be registered by?

All Charity Partner runners must be registered by September 1st.

How do my volunteers sign up to volunteer for my organization?

Volunteers sign up online under the Volunteer Section of the Akron Marathon website. When your volunteers sign up to volunteer they will simply choose your organization from the drop down box in the Charity Partner section of volunteer registration. If your volunteers signed up without choosing your organization, send Katie Kline a list of registered volunteers and we will note that they are volunteering on your organizations behalf.

Is there a training session for Charity Partners?

Yes, there will be a training session in the spring for all Charity Partners.  The training session will include best practices, a demo of the CrowdRise platform, a distribution of materials and a Q&A.

What is the best way to promote our partnership?

Any way you can! Promote your involvement in the Charity Partner program through social media, your website, email campaigns, word of mouth and any way you can think of.

Can we promote our partnership on Social Media?

Of course! When promoting on social media make sure to tag Akron Marathon so that our followers get your message as well. This way you will reach two audiences with one message. You can find the Akron Marathon on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter (@akronmarathon, #runAkron) and Instagram (akronmarathon, #runAkron).


For Blue Line Charity Program questions or to apply, please contact:

Katie Kline

Project Manager

Photos courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve