Note from Keren:
I met Danny at an event and was seriously impressed by his story – how he literally lost everything and was homeless, and how he turned his life around and got his life back on track. Read on (in Danny’s words)
The Story behind Crowdrunning
Following the death of two family members in Germany 2007, I went through the traumatic experience of losing my home and all my belongings. The following few months were some of the hardest in my life and what kept me going was my daily early morning run. After months of tough times and hard work, and with support of very good friends, I got my life back on track.
In 2012 I found an exciting job that took me to New York City for half a year. During this time I would go for an early morning run almost every day. My running route would take me across the Williamsburg Bridge, and at the foot of the bridge I’d routinely encounter the same homeless man – some days we’d exchange hellos. I’d then run through the Lower East side in Manhattan, passing through cramped streets with public housing blocks and boutique hotels sitting side-by-side. On my way back into Brooklyn I’d pass other keen runners; most would follow the same route and see the same scenes as me.
Seeing this everyday made me realize how fortunate I was. I loved running but I was fed up with running just for the sake of it — I wanted to combine my passion for running with helping others.I would start a social enterprise that would focus on making dreams happen from the bottom up by bringing people together through running. This would be different from large and anonymous running events that happen once a year — this would empower runners all over the world to be able to support a cause whenever they want and wherever they happen to live.
Now we are at a stage where we are building a global community of Crowdrunners who want to use their passion for running as a way to make a difference in the world. Our Crowdrunning Video 2013 showcases Crowdrunners from all over the world (anyone can participate and represent his/her city and country). We also started a blog blog.crowdrunning.com in which we write about charities and projects worth running for. Many of these charities are excited about our idea and are keen to join the platform once it gets started. We’ve talked with the Beirut Marathon Association and Changify about organizing international and local running events. We’re having our first tester Crowdrunning Meetup in London soon on meetup.crowdrunning.com to give everyone the chance to raise awareness for causes through running.
Our vision is to unite people around the world to support causes and projects through running. We achieved a lot but we still have a lot ahead of us.
Connecting a global community of runners to run in support of charities and grassroots projects, anytime and anywhere around the world.
Running for charity has become hugely popular: over 5 million Britons are estimated to have run for charity over the past year, each having raised an average of £280 for their favourite cause (Charities Aid Foundation). However, running for charity has its frustrations: running events are one day only and difficult for runners to access. It’s also much much easier to run in support of big charities that can afford to buy slots in major running events. In addition, fundraising and running for charity can be a lonely process: few charities can afford to provide social and training support to runners. Finally, runners who support the same cause at a major running event rarely keep in touch after the event.
We asked, what if we took a typical major running event and made it accessible to all runners all over the world so that they could run in support of a cause or grassroots project with local, like-minded runners? What if individuals could run as a group in support of their favourite causes on a regular basis and not just once or twice a year? These running groups would not be large and anonymous like many running events tend to be — they would be more fun and accessible.
We decided that we could make running for charities and grassroots projects easier, more fun and accessible by combining three things into one space: 1) a global database of charities and grassroots projects to run for, 2) a fundraising platform, and 3) a global network of runners (Crowdrunners) that provide support for each other by running together in local running groups (Crowdrunning meetups) or donating money to each others’ favourite causes.
The idea is to provide support for charities and grassroots projects by bringing people together all over the world through running.