Tue 20 Jun 2023 • Nick Kershaw
Run the Extra Mile: Impact Marathons and the Journey to Social Change
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We obsess on the social impact story of all our races. This is what makes our events unique, it is what keeps us up at night, and it is what drives us to keep going through all the ups and downs involved in development work.
At Impact Marathon Series, our mission extends far beyond organising marathons. We believe in the transformative power of running to drive social change and make a tangible impact in communities around the world. In this blog, we will explore our meticulous approach to achieving our impact goals, how we make The Global Goals tangible, and the blend of long-term systemic change and short-term impact that defines our races. With our detailed, obsessive commitment to creating lasting change, we are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.
A Holistic Approach to Impact:
We recognise that tackling global challenges requires a multifaceted approach. That's why our impact strategy goes beyond simply raising funds. We meticulously select two organisations for each race, each focusing on different aspects of change. One organisation is dedicated to long-term systemic change, aiming to address the root causes of The Global Goal we are focused on - 'prevention is better than the cure' if you will. A great example of this is our partners in Guatemala, SERES. The female-led organisation is solely focused on developing young leaders in communities across Guatemala and El Salvador. The process involves identifying leaders, helping them to find their voice, coaching them to use their voice, and moving their ideas into action. We have seen amazing entrepreneurs, passionate community activists, indigenous women stepping into leadership, and so many more stories. But this progress has been over the 7 years of races in Guatemala, it has not been instant and, during an Impact Week, benefits from the experience of a more 'tangible' organisation that places the work of Seres in context.
This brings in our shorter term impact project. These partners are exemplified by our team at Burns Violence Survivors in Nepal. The fundraising we do directly supports the surgery, treatment, and recovery of survivors of burns in Nepal. We have funded over 400 such programs since beginning this partnership - every single person has been fully documented and shared with us as a team. It is emotional, powerful, challenging, but immensely satisfying to know the direct impact our runners have today. These shorter term partners focus on creating immediate, tangible impact, saving lives, and making a difference today.
By combining these approaches, we ensure that our impact extends beyond short-term relief to sustainable transformation. And what is more, we offer fully unrestricted grants: we place full trust in the hands of great partners and allow them to use these funds as they see fit. This means they can allocate funds to overheads, salaries, as well as the projects themselves. This is vital, core costs have to be covered for the projects to be sustainable and delivered effectively. We believe strongly in this, and is a unique element of our fundraising goals.
Making The Global Goals Tangible:
The Global Goals provide a framework for addressing the most pressing issues facing our world. However, we understand that translating these goals into tangible realities can be challenging. We might have come across them through work, or maybe seen online storytelling, or heard about The Global Goals through the campaigns from the United Nation themselves. The main challenge with The Global Goals is taking them from the boardroom, and the UN offices in New York City - to the communities on the frontline of their achievement.
That's where our obsessive attention to detail comes in. We work closely with local communities in each race location, immersing ourselves in their unique context and understanding their specific needs. As a team, we have lived in every single location. We spend time listening, learning, and developing a powerful way to bring the Global Goal to life. This allows us to showcase how The Global Goals manifest differently in different regions, making them relatable and understandable to our Impact Runners.
The Charity Narrative:
At the core of our organisation is a deep understanding of the power and potential of charity. We have set out to put the narrative in the hands of our partners - the story of survivors of burns violence in Nepal should be front and centre of the storytelling on where your fundraising goes. Our role, as a team is to facilitate this exchange, then stand back and let the conversations flow forth. Our founder, Nick Kershaw, holds a Masters in International Development and has dedicated his life to driving positive change, he obsesses on how to create a platform that is truly helpful to great organisations. This means letting go of the narrative, allowing the local team to bring their community to life, their challenges to life
The narratives on charity are central to who we are and shape every decision we make. We believe that by showcasing the stories of the communities we work with and the transformative impact of our races, we can inspire our Impact Runners to become agents of change in their own lives and communities.
Impact Marathons are more than just races; they are catalysts for social change and transformative experiences. With our obsessive approach to impact goals, meticulous selection of partner organisations, and blend of long-term systemic change and immediate impact, we strive to make a tangible difference in the world. By engaging with The Global Goals, embracing the narratives of charity, and leveraging the power of running, we invite those who believe in the power of running to join us in running the extra mile towards a more equitable and sustainable future.
Together, let's make an impact that goes far beyond the finish line.