Running for a Reason: Spotlight on BCRF Fundraisers


We caught up with our top fundraisers post-race to talk more about their connections to running, Durham Habitat and hear their secrets to successful fundraising. 

This year, there were over $14,000 in donations made to Durham Habitat through fundraising efforts and donations made at Bull City Race Fest registration! This provides enough funding to build a strong foundation and fully frame a Durham Habitat home. There's still time to give. If you'd like to join and support adding a roof and siding to this fundraising campaign, CLICK HERE.  

 Our TOP FUNDRAISER for 2016, Sarah Carroll (center), raised over $1,100 for Durham Habitat! She's pictured here with two other fundraisers from this year's race, Andy Dwyer and Susie Hansley. 



Why do you run?


I run to keep fit and healthy, both physically and mentally. Running has lots of health benefits, but the ones that are the most important to me personally are improving cardiovascular health, staying fit/in shape, and relieving stress. Running is one of my favorite forms of exercise because I can do it outdoors, which is especially nice at this time of year, and because I can do it either alone or with friends.   


What drew you to signing up for Bull City Race Fest?


I knew I wanted to run a half marathon this fall because it had been 6 years since I had run one, and it felt like time to get back out there and challenge myself to run some longer distances. The Bull City Race Fest was an obvious choice for me. In fact, I've been wanting to run this race since I moved to NC three years ago, but this is the first time the dates worked out for me. There are many great races to choose from in the Triangle, but I had consistently heard really great things about Bull City Race Fest. Not only is it a beautiful (and challenging!) course through some of really nice parts of Durham, but the food truck rodeo and post-race festivities are so much fun! Most importantly, it benefits Durham Habitat, which is a really great cause. I definitely prefer to run races that have a charity partner or otherwise benefit the community.


As our top fundraiser, what were your keys to successfully raising funds for Durham Habitat?


I think there are a few things that help when fundraising. One of the main things is letting people know why you are passionate about the cause that you are raising money for. There are so many worthy causes that people can give their money to, and they are only going to be moved to give money to your cause if you let them know why it's a great cause and why it's personally meaningful to you. If you're fortunate enough to have wonderful and supportive friends and family, which I am, they will want to donate to a cause just because they know it's really personally important to you, even if it's a cause they might not have chosen to donate to otherwise. 


You also need to be persistent in your fundraising efforts, but not overbearing--it's not enough to just send one email or make one post on social media, but it's definitely important not to reach out so often that you are harassing or annoying your friends and family. On a similar note, I think it's important to be tactful and humble when asking for money. Let them know that you understand they could choose to donate their money to any number of excellent causes, and that you would be very grateful if they would consider donating even a small amount to you.


Finally, it helps if you have been generous with your friends in the past when they have been involved in their own fundraising efforts. I always try to donate even a little in support of any friend or family member who asks, and I think that tends to be helpful when it's my turn to ask for donations. 


Why Habitat?


Of course I had heard about Habitat for Humanity before, but I really got to know more about the organization when my company, Castle Worldwide, chose Durham Habitat as our charity partner last year. Anna Benfield came and talked to us about Durham Habitat and I was so impressed when I learned more about how the organization works. Not only is it wonderful that Habitat helps families purchase affordable homes, but the repairs program, the emphasis on building green homes, and the focus on revitalizing urban neighborhoods are all truly wonderful things about Durham Habitat that I didn't know about before. It was also an amazing experience to get out and work on a Habitat site, and really get a chance to be part of the process. Dan, our site supervisor, was the best! I was so excited when we chose Durham Habitat as our charity partner again this year, and it just made sense to raise some additional money as part of the Bull City Race Fest. 


Why do you run?

I started running years ago to support Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure – I’ve done that race 12 years in a row now. Now I run to stay healthy and really mostly as a way to connect with other runners – that social factor is the driving force. Our area has a great, supportive community of runners and local companies that support us.

What drew you to signing up for Bull City Race Fest?

As a new resident to Durham I was excited to find a race in the city. It also a reputation for its free beer, food trucks and involvement with local non-profits.

What were your keys to successfully raising funds for Durham Habitat?

Key to fundraising was connecting people to Habitat and what it offers. I live in East Durham, where Habitat has a big presence so I used that to my advantage. Safer neighborhood means safer home for me and my girlfriend. That’s what our families want for us.

Why Habitat?

My involvement in Habitat is all about what it means to the kids, who wouldn’t otherwise have their own room or a warm home to grow up in. 

Habitat Success Stories

Anita and her sister thought they were experiencing night sweats but realized that it was raining inside their home. Habitat partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield to replace their roof. "I used to go to bed every night and the rain would be all over my face but not anymore. Thank you."