So you want to pay it forward this Giving Tuesday, but you don't exactly have the funds to make that happen? You can turn your workout into a way to raise money for charity—or to help someone in need. It's the perfect double-whammy. With these apps and organizations, your workout can really make a difference.
If you usually track your walks, runs, or bike rides on a GPS watch or app, you'll love Charity Miles. The phone app lets you select a charity from a list to "donate" your miles to. Activate the app whenever you lace up your running shoes or hop on your bike, and exercise as usual. Then, for every mile you walk or run, corporate sponsors will donate 25 cents to your chosen charity. For every mile you ride, they'll donate 10 cents. So the more you sweat, the more you give.
This site is just what anyone trying to exercise more regularly needs. On Workout Mission, you set a minimum weekly workout goal and choose from one of five featured "missions" (think: charities like The Special Olympics or Big Brothers Big Sisters) to donate to. When you work out—whether it's by lifting weights or doing a fitness class—you log it in the calendar. Once you complete 10 workouts, you can donate $10 to your selected mission. You'll get a receipt for every donation you make.
Calling all racers and runners! Hitting a new PR in your next race might just help you donate money to a good cause. With CharityBets, you enter an event you're training for and select a featured charity for which you'd like to raise funds. You'll enter your goal time for the race and the amount of money you want to raise. Friends and family can then wager whether or not you'll hit your goal time. After you finish the event, your supporters will have to donate more or less, depending on your performance. (So if Aunt Sally wagered that you would hit your goal time, she would have to donate less if you succeed. But someone who wagered against you would have to donate more.)
Sweat for STF
She's the First sponsors young girls around the world—like the cuties in Kenya pictured above—and helps them gain access to education. With their #SweatforSTF campaign, you can create a fundraising page as you work toward a fitness goal, whether it's to run a marathon or complete 100 days of yoga. You'll set a fundraising goal and invite friends and family to make donations. When you hit your fundraising goal, you'll be matched with a girl whose education you've sponsored. You can also create a fundraising page as a team and fundraise with coworkers or in memory of a shared loved one. (Fun fact: It only takes $360 a year to sponsor the education of a young girl in Nepal!)
Get your entire office in on the sweaty charitable giving by using Plus3. This tool is designed to help companies motivate their employees to live healthy lifestyles through donation goals and friendly competition. You and your coworkers can download the app and sync up your fitness trackers to compete for leaderboard standing and donation goals. You'll track your nutrition, fitness activities, and more to earn points toward prizes and donations.
Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run leads programs to empower young girls across the country through volunteer-led programs that instill confidence in girls, help them develop life skills, and promote the positive impact of physical activity. By volunteering as a Coach within your local council, you'll work with a group between grades 3 and 8 for regularly about 10 weeks. The Girls on the Run program curriculum is all about self-worth, team-building, and decision-making. The programs also include exercise and activities to foster a healthy lifestyle and culminate in a 5-K fun run. You can also volunteer to be a Running Buddy at one of these Girls on the Run 5-Ks. You'll be matched up with a girl to hop, skip, or jog the three miles with.
Runner's World Shoe Donation
Okay, so you support this cause after you sweat, but we still think it's pretty great. If a new pair of sneaks has caught your eye or your old pair just isn't supporting you like it used to, Runner's World has compiled a list of organizations looking for used shoe donations. These organizations send your shoes to the needy both here and abroad and even recycle some of them to make them into playground surfaces.