Sometimes, everyone needs a little extra motivation when they’re exercising. People use several different methods to get themselves off the couch, many of which are self-rewarding. But what about finding inspiration to exercise instead? Something that will inspire you to make a difference and involve others in your efforts to benefit a greater cause might be just the push you need.
That is exactly what Charity Miles does. It’s a free app for iPhone and Android that allows you to earn money and raise awareness for charities by doing all of the exercises you already do. Users can select whether they will be walking, running, or biking and then select the charity they would like to support. In addition to tracking time and impact, the app’s GPS tracks your distance as you exercise and converts miles completed into money raised: 25¢ per mile for walkers and runners, and 10¢ per mile for bikers.
There’s just one catch: users must share their activity on Facebook or Twitter in order for the charities to receive the donations. This is the company’s unique way to connect with current and new consumers.
Charity Miles has an initial $1 million corporate sponsorship pool that is funding the app’s first users. The company hopes to gain as many athletes as possible in order to compel future corporate sponsors.
There are currently 26 charities to choose from including Autism Speaks, Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, Wounded Warriors Project, and Stand Up To Cancer. There are endless possibilities as to which foundations you can help and raise awareness for.
Prior to creating Charity Miles, Gene Gurkoff worked with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to raise money for Parkinson’s Research. From his experience, he developed the idea to create a tool that harnesses the power of the people behind charities. He built off of the existing community of runners and bikers who have been donating their mileage to charities for ages — like those participating in the ING New York City Marathon, the AIDS Walk or Tour de Cure. Gurkoff saw his app as another way to help do the same thing on a day-to-day basis.
Apps like Charity Miles help these serial fundraisers with “donor fatigue,” which is a problem all charitable racers experience. When corporations sponsor runners, walkers, and bikers on the app, they are able to reach more people through multiple different outlets.
“Nobody walks for charity in secret. It’s something you do to make a statement and to raise awareness.” says Gukoff, “When you’re done, we hope you will share on Facebook and Twitter. That has a very valuable market value.” We agree, not only only does it get word out for the app and charities, but it gives you the chance to set the standard between you and your friends. If you can do it, why can’t they, right?
Gone are the days where you have to muster up every last ounce of motivation in order to go for a run. Charity Miles will inspire you to exercise for someone other than yourself — for someone or something out there that will greatly benefit from your hard work, sweat, and sore muscles.
Now that’s a reason to get your sneakers on and ready to go. What are you waiting for?
- Tracks mileage, time, impact
- Tons of charities to choose from
- Double the “feel good” post-workout effect
- Doesn’t work indoors on a treadmill or stationary bike
- Distance can be affected if the phone is bouncing around in your pocket
Will you run for charity?
Images via Katie Hiddleston and Thinkstock