Elsewhere online
June 14, 2011

Though Costly, Sports Fund Raisers Explode in Popularity

As “fun runs,” walkathons, and other athletic fund-raising events  proliferate, The Wall Street Journal notes that such efforts are among the most expensive ways to solicit donations.

Since their inception in the late 1960s, walks, runs, bike races, extreme-sports challenges, and other, often whimsical, variations have exploded in popularity, with the largest–the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life–bringing in more than $400-million last year.

But between supplies for participants, amenities for crowds, security, and other expenses, the cost of putting on such events typically eats up 47 percent to 50 percent of proceeds, more than twice the rate for direct mail and soliciting major gifts.