official charity partner info and best practices

Charity Requirements

  • Must be an approved charity by the Cleveland Marathon.
  • Must be a non-profit organization with 501c3.
  • Be willing to promote the Cleveland Marathon through social media channels.
  • Must actively recruit runners or walkers. The goal for each charity is to recruit 50 runners/walkers.
  • Provide volunteers during race weekend (optional). The goal for each charity is to provide 10 or more volunteers for race weekend.


In addition to promotion and awareness by the Cleveland Marathon, charity partners receive the following benefits:

  • Registration discount code for participants (includes online registration only). The code can be applied to any of the events including Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K and is applied to whatever the current fees are at the time of registration. There are no refunds if a participant already registered and then joined the charity team.
  • Complimentary online team fundraising page on Cleveland Marathon’s registration platform – Race Roster.
  • Logo, link and bio on the Cleveland Marathon Official Charity page on the website.
  • Use of Cleveland Marathon logo for promotions.
  • Complimentary insert of a promotional item in runner goodie bags (optional). Due April 1, 2024.
  • New Charities - Featured “Charity of the Week” in e-newsletter (if timely)
  • Promotion through Cleveland Marathon social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).
  • Complimentary tent/space at Charity Village in the finish line recovery area on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19,2024. (includes tables and chairs).
  • Health and Fitness Expo - Discount on exhibitor booth (optional). Includes standard 10x10 booth only.
  • Exclusive invitations to promote charity at scheduled Kick-Off Runs and Pub Runs.
  • Opportunity to promote your charity at assigned water station or cheer station along route.
  • Invitation to the VIP Reception on the Friday before the race.

charities: best practices success

After becoming an Official Charity Partner, we are committed to supporting your success from start to finish - no pun intended. Below, you'll find best practices and guidelines to help you achieve your goals effectively.

Fundraising Coordinator/Team Leader

  • Start by setting clear objectives for your Charity fundraising and team-building efforts. Craft a compelling mission statement that can effectively convey your message on the Race Roster fundraising page.
  • Come up with a distinctive team name for the Cleveland Marathon and create it on Race Roster. Look to other Charity Partners like "Sunflower Striders" or "City Dogs Cleveland Team" for inspiration. This will help your team establish a strong identity and increase awareness among participants and supporters.
  • Determine your target audience! Identify the individuals or groups you wish to engage with, and consider potential candidates who would be a great fit to participate in the Cleveland Marathon.
  • Develop informative materials that can be distributed via email or other means to attract potential recruits for your Cleveland Marathon team. These materials will serve as an effective way to reach out and encourage individuals to join your team.
  • Communicate regularly with team members (you will have access to their contact information). Inform them of group runs or other team building incentives leading up to the race.
  • Share any communications from Cleveland Marathon staff that is sent directly to you. This could include upcoming pub runs, or specific race weekend information.
  • Use your social media platforms to promote the race and your team. The Cleveland Marathon will provide you with logos and photos that you can use to promote race weekend as well as your cause - get creative with your messaging!
  • Share your inspiring runner stories with the Cleveland Marathon staff. We are continuously seeking motivational tales of perseverance, endurance, and triumph over challenges. Your stories will help us inspire others and create a more impactful and uplifting marathon experience.
  • Be THANKFUL! Get personalized with your thank you messages to donors - they will appreciate it!

Use our hashtags on social - share, share, share!! 



Once I submit my application, when will I know if I am accepted into the program? Cleveland Marathon staff will contact you within two weeks of submitting your application.

What is the registration discount charity runners? Charity Partners will recieve a unique Promo Code for charity runners. The discount is for 20% off registration fees, applied to the current fees at the time of registration. If someone is already registered, the discount cannot be refunded.

Can I contact participants who select to fundraise for my charity? The Fundraising Coordinator for your charity will create a profile in Race Roster and gain access to runner data, payment information, and fundraising reports.

Do any proceeds go to the Cleveland Marathon? No - all donations will go directly to the charity partners via Race Roster.

Are there fees for fundraising within Race Roster? Yes, the fees are 6.5% + .85 for administrative/credit card fees.

When and how often are fundraising dollars received? Funds are dispersed directly on a weekly basis via your bank through electronic fee transfer.

How can I recruit runners and encourage them to fundraise? We will help you promote your charity/cause through our platforms, but encourage you to utilize your database, social media and email correspondence to recruit runners by sharing the registration promo code we provide as well as any incentives you would like to offer as an individual charity.

Is there a minimum requirement for the number of runners I should recruit? No, there is no specific minimum. However, it's important to note that the more runners you can recruit, the greater the fundraising opportunities and team-building potential for your cause.

Is providing volunteers on race weekend mandatory? It is not mandatory, however, we strongly encourage you to contribute volunteers as it can significantly boost your charity's visibility. By volunteering for the race, you get the chance to proudly showcase your charity by wearing your own branded t-shirts. Additionally, if your group is on the course, we welcome banners and other promotional materials to help raise awareness for your cause.


 Other Questions? Please contact Joan Freese: