5. Exploring Charity Miles, A New & Innovative Mobile Fundraising Tool

On their website, She’s the First recently announced it’s newest campaign to raise money for girls’ education! The campaign is called “Run the World with She’s the First” and asks that supporters grab their neon workout clothes (since we’re widely recognized for our love of tie-dye) and commit to run a race this spring as a way to get sponsored donations from friends and family. According to the organization, this is their “most energized, active campaign to sponsor girls’ education yet!” I couldn’t agree more—what a perfect way to engage their followers, encouraging them not only to be healthy, but also to think creatively about how to fundraise.


While researching the campaign, I came across a Facebook post from someone involved in the organization mentioning that they had just finished running 8.044 “Charity Miles,” and that each mile contributed to feeding a child through The World Food Programme.

Realizing that Charity Miles could be a great potential partner for She’s the First’s national Run the World campaign, I wanted to do a bit more research. Charity Miles is a smartphone application that allows users to sign up and get moving… while also raising money for one of their chosen partner charities.


A more thorough description from the application’s website says, “Ready to become a sponsored athlete? Simply turn on the app, choose a charity, and press start. As you exercise, we’ll track your distance and the money earned. When you’re finished, accept your sponsorship, spread the word, and we’ll send you a note confirming your good work.” Bikers currently earn 10 cents a mile and runners/walkers earn 25 cents.


Kind of genius, right? Get people to raise money doing the things they already love… or motivate those of us who need a little help getting out of bed for our morning workout. Who can say no to your tennis shoes knowing that you could feed a child by 10 am?!

I was so excited about the possibility of raising money (and living a more active lifestyle), that I immediately signed up to start logging my own miles to raise money for the (RED) movement (fighting for an AIDS free generation).


What intrigued me so much about the application was how much it relied on mobile smartphone technology to empower individuals to make donations, without requiring them to do much more than just a normal workout. This speaks to several of the readings we have done that call attention to the importance of investing in mobile technology as a way to fundraise and solicit donations. All users have to do is share their success with Facebook and Twitter followers, telling their networks about their impact through a simple smartphone app.

I sincerely hope that She’s the First can partner with Charity Miles in the future. With the strength and power of it’s energetic and passionate social media followers, She’s the First could help spread the message and reach of Charity Miles to a younger generation—college students who are already signing up to train for races this spring! Seems like the perfect match, right?

Bravo to Charity Miles for building such an incredible application and for the innovation it presents in mobile fundraising! I can’t wait to take my first long jog for (RED) later this week!


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