Racing for Good Causes
Planning on running a marathon in 2014? Why not combine your love of running with the opportunity to help someone who needs it? Even if your marathon isn't until next spring, it's never too early to start organizing your fundraising events and the holiday season is the perfect time to do it.

With so many online fundraising sites raising money has never been easier. Kickstarter and Indiegogo may be the most recognized but Crowdrise is definitely growing in popularity with runners. In fact, it's become one of the most popular fundraising sites for marathons and other races.

Crowdrise was founded by actor Edward Norton (Fight Club, American History X, The Hulk), producer Shauna Robertson and Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe, the two brothers who founded Moosejaw. (By the way, Edward Norton isn't the only celebrity hanging around Crowdrise. Barbra Streisand, Zooey Deschanel and David Cook all have profiles for their own charities.)

One thing that makes Crowdrise different is the ability to link directly to your social networking sites, making fundraising that much easier. In fact, Crowdrise itself works similar to a social network site: you create a profile, add friends, comment on your friend's pages, send messages, etc. However, you can also include offline donations to keep track of anything given not through the site.

There are also promotions, sweepstakes, prizes and other incentives to get donors to stick around the site. Basically, you can earn points to exchange for free stuff.

It is free to use Crowdrise; however, there is a 5% fee of all donations plus a $1 transaction fee for donations under $25 and a $2.50 fee for donations for donations $25 and over.

The New York Marathon and Boston Marathon are just a few of the marathons that had many groups raising money for fabulous causes on Crowdrise. The 2014 Across the Bay 10k is also populating their Crowdrise page with many groups already getting started for the November 2014 race. It's almost a year away and the donations haven't really started to flow yet but it's nice to see these groups getting started.

The next time you are raising money for charity by running a marathon, check out Crowdrise. You're sure to find many like-minded people who believe in the same things you do. Plus, it's just one more way to make your next marathon more fun!