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Did you know that you can fundraise for charities and socially conscious organizations – just by exercising? Yes, you can exercise not just for your health, but for a good cause.
You can do it just by downloading any of the following free apps onto your phone. Click on the app each time you walk, run, or cycle, and corporate sponsors will contribute to the organization of your choice based on how long you workout! How great is that?
Fundraising While I Walk My Dog
The ingenuity of some people just really impresses me. I recently found out that there is a smartphone app that will fundraise for animal organizations every time I walk my dog! You know, that’s something I do several times a day – every day. What an easy way to do some good for my favorite charitable organizations!
I love the idea that I can do some social good while doing my body good.
It’s also a great motivator when I don’t feel like taking that extra lap around the block (“the puppies in the shelter are counting on me!”)
The app I discovered is called Walk for a Dog by WoofTrax. In the short time I’ve had it, I really like it. But it got me thinking – if I can fundraise for animal shelters just by walking my dog, it stands to reason that there are other smartphone apps that do the same for other organizations.
I decided to do a little research. I found four more apps that will help you raise funds for various organizations just by following your regular workout. If that gives you a little extra motivation to go out and run a 5K (or just walk around the block), then it’s worth doing.
Working out is good for your body. Raising funds for charitable organizations is good for the world. Win-win.
5 Apps that Help You Exercise for a Good Cause
Walk for a Dog
Walk for a Dog – Download the app (for free), fill out a little info (such as your pooch’s name), then click “start walking”. The app will track your steps and distance, and map your walk using GPS. You can use it for everything from a quick stroll around the block to a day-long hike. The more you walk, the more funds you raise (paid by ads and sponsors – not you!)
Walk for a Dog lets you choose which organization you want your fundraising to go to. If you don’t have a preference, it will default to a shelter or rescue group in your area, so you are giving back in your own community.
My donations go to Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Paws right now, which is an organization that trains support dogs. But I will also donate to The Animal Pad, which rescues street dogs from Mexico and finds forever homes for them in the US. I’ve got personal ties to each of these organizations – my son’s girlfriend has worked extensively with EENP and my daughter rescued her pup through The Animal Pad!
Does the app work? According to WoofTrax, 50,000,000 walks have been logged, benefiting 8500 shelters in all fifty states. That’s a lot of animals helped.
AtlasGO Charity – This app works pretty much the same way as Walk for a Dog, except you don’t need the dog. Download the app and cue it up before you go for your morning run. Every mile you log earns money for various non-profits that have registered with AtlasGO.
You don’t have to run with this app, either – walking, jogging, and cycling will work just fine. You have the ability to track your stats and create group challenges, as well.
Currently, there’s a variety of good causes on the recipient’s list, including organizations that fight homelessness and hunger. The donations are funded by corporate sponsors such as AT&T, so again, no cost to you.
Charity Miles – donations can really add up through this app, considering that you’ll earn 10 cents per mile cycling and 25 cents per mile walking and running. According to the website, you can earn funds “every time you walk, run, bike, skip, dance or do any human-centered activity.” I like that!
I walk at least 2 miles a day with my dog. Just by turning this app on for those walks ( that I’m taking anyway), I can fundraise $182 in a year, effortlessly.
This app lends itself particularly well to challenges. Try a weekly step challenge among your family, friends, or coworkers, choose one charity for everyone to contribute to, and watch the funds add up!
Like the other apps, funds are paid by corporate sponsors, and you can choose to contribute to a wide range of charities, including The Nature Conservancy, Wounded Warrior Project, Habitat for Humanity, World Wildlife Fund, and Stand Up To Cancer.
The highest use of capital is not to make more money but to make money do more for the betterment of life.
SoleMates for Girls on the Run
SoleMates for Girls on the Run – this app is geared to those who are training for a fitness event such as a marathon, half-marathon, or 10K. As a “SoleMate”, you raise funds specifically for the Girls on the Run program in your community as you train.
What does Girls on the Run do? They “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.” Programs are for girls in the third through eighth grades. To date, nearly $5 million has been raised through the SoleMates program.
Budge – A bit of a twist here, this app is best for those who enjoy challenging others and putting their own funds on the line. Essentially, you and your friends make a bet, such as who can run 5 miles the fastest. Loser donates to the charity chosen by the winner via the app.
Creativity comes into play, as you can choose whatever you want as your bet. It doesn’t have to be exercise-related, either. For example, you and a friend could challenge each other to give up smoking for a day or lose five pounds. You choose the activity and the dollar amount that motivates you.
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Final Thoughts on Exercising for a Good Cause
And there you have it – five new ways to encourage yourself to step up your exercise game, and do some social good while you are at it. I really do believe that this is such a smart idea, and I know it gives me motivation to get moving.
The hardest part is remembering to start the app when you start the exercise!
What do you think – do you feel motivated to try one of these apps? Are you familiar with any others that combine exercise with charitable fundraising?