Instead of spending time fundraising, which is especially difficult during a recovering economy, many non-profits are running for-profit arms to generate revenue, and to spare more time to serve the mission. Greg Woodburn, the founder of Give Running is starting a for-profit arm of running camps to do just that. In high school, Woodburn experienced a stress fracture in his hip that temporarily took away his first love: running. The experience prompted him to collect and donate 100 pairs of running for the Christmas of 2006. But in two months he collected over 500 pairs of shoes. So he started the non-profit Give Running to share the friendships, camaraderie, good health benefits and sense of accomplishment that running gifts to him. Since its founding, Give Running has collected and cleaned over 9500 pairs of shoes to donate to disadvantaged youth in inner city communities and in third world countries.
This year, Woodburn is starting Youth Running camps to help generate revenue for Give Running, but also to promote leadership development and community service. He hopes the positive skills learned in the running camps will help the participating kids in life and in their communities. Pyramid Running Camp is piloting this summer in Woodburn’s hometown of Ventura, California.
Connie Kwan is a GreenTech Marketing professional based in Silicon Valley, CA. She is pursuing an MBA in Sustainability at Presidio Graduate School and blogs about sustainability and business at Sustainable Thinking: Applied. Follow her on Twitter @ConnieMKwan.