Introducing Wander Project!
We are so excited to tell you about the latest development in our efforts to give back to the parks and lands that we love. We started raising funds in 2015 through our charity bib program to support the National Park Foundation. While we still love NPF, in 2018 we decided to steer funds donated directly to the National Park friends groups like Yellowstone Forever, Yosemite Conservancy, and Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains. In 2019 we had 129 people successfully raise $185,610.02.
In 2018, we also decided to apply for a non profit status (or 501c3) and create a nonprofit organization. This organization was created to continue to grow the charity bib program for Vacation Races and also to expand to include other racing events, more athletes and ultimately have a bigger impact supporting local communities.
While Wander Project’s 501c3 status is still pending (yay bureaucracy!), we are growing and officially hired our first Executive Director. Amy Ben-Horin has worked in the nonprofit sector for the past 13 years wearing many hats from Program Director, to Volunteer Coordinator and even started her own organization in 2014 where she was the Co-Founder and Executive Director. She is excited to be a part of a growing organization that supports athletes and endurance racing events in raising funds and awareness for community organizations in and around some of the most special places in the world!
Spread the Love with our Charity Bib Program!
We still have charity bibs available for most of our 2020 races and we invite you to join us in raising money for the areas that inspire us to run and of course, wander!
How it works - When registering for a race, click the Charity Bib button and your race entry fee will be waived! You will be directed to create a fundraising page to raise a set amount of funds (or more) for your race. The fundraising commitment does depend on the length of the event. For example, we have a $1000 minimum for our half marathons, and a $2000 commitment for our 100 milers. Once you are signed up, you can attend one of the online meet-ups to help get you started. There is support for athletes along every step of your journey to help make sure you can reach your fundraising goals!
Raise funds, earn rewards - If you are not inspired yet, we have even more incentives for you to join the charity bib program. This year, for each race, the top fundraiser will win an entry into next year’s race. It doesn’t stop there, if you are the top fundraiser for the year (across all 14 Vacation Races events) will win airfare, hotel accommodations and a race entry to the half or ultra marathon of your choice!
Introducing Fundraising Teams - We know how much fun running, training and competing with friends can be so we have also added an option to compete as a charity bib team. Teams need to be a group of at least three plus a team captain. The team captain's entry fee and personal fundraising commitment is waived since their job will be to motivate the team to reach their fundraising and training goals, a value of $1,000. And if your team reaches their fundraising goal at least one month out from the event, we will get you all Wander Project t-shirts with your team name and motto on the back!
Where the money is going - The biggest incentive of all is that throughout 2020, Wander Project will continue to donate 100% of funds raised to support the specific community partners, in and around where your race is held. We are also expanding our reach to offer hands-on stewardship days after many of the races in collaboration with the National Park and/or our community partners. These stewardship days will provide athletes and their families a chance to learn even more about the areas where the races are held and local issues these areas are facing along with new ways to help!
Other ways to contribute - Not ready to sign up for a charity bib yet? You can still spread the love by joining AND inviting your friends and family to join our social media sites or by donating to those we are raising money. We post important information about upcoming events, share the inspiration of our fundraisers, highlight our community partners and even try to add in some “just for fun” posts as well. We are on Facebook and Instagram.
Check out our new website for more information on how to get involved!
Amy is always happy to help, answer questions and support our athletes in reaching their goals. Reach out to her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.