Honda LA Marathon Announces $4 Million Charity Challenge

Edward Norton, Crowdrise join effort to push race-related fundraising to new heights; Runners utilize social networking platform to raise money for charity

Jan 06, 2011, 11:00 ET from Honda LA Marathon

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Marathon officials today unveiled an aggressive charity fundraising campaign designed to raise $4 million in connection with the March 20, 2011 Honda LA Marathon Presented by K-Swiss.  Through a new partnership with Crowdrise, an innovative fundraising website launched in 2010, the Marathon is making it easier than ever for runners to support the charity of their choice as part of the largest fundraising effort in the Marathon's 26-year history.

"Crowdrise is all about giving people the right tools to raise money for their favorite cause in a new, fun and compelling way," said actor and activist Edward Norton, who founded the online platform.  "The Honda LA Marathon is an event that truly connects the entire city, and it has the potential to be an incredible fundraising force as well.  We are thrilled to be on board this year to help unite the entire LA Marathon running community."

The $4 million fundraising target would double charitable totals from the 2010 race – which was already the largest in the race's first 25 years.  The expanded charity program is in line with the vision of Marathon Owner Frank McCourt, who directed Marathon staff to make the charitable component of the race a much higher priority.

"The marathon is not only a great running event, it is a civic asset for all of Los Angeles, and an opportunity to do a lot of good for our community," McCourt said.  "This partnership moves us one step closer to the day when every participant will raise funds for the charity of their choice."

Crowdrise utilizes cutting-edge ideas about crowd sourcing and combines them with the power of social networking to create a fun and captivating environment for fundraising and volunteerism.  Any runner, for example, can set up a fundraising page, and reach out to a network of friends, family members and colleagues in a matter of minutes.  Even those who are not running can take part – by supporting a friend who is running, or by setting up a fundraising page of their own.  The goal is to make it easy for runners, volunteers and other passionate supporters to raise money for their favorite causes.

Through incentive prizes, the website drives participation and creates viral fundraising campaigns, while Crowdrise's signature sense of humor and irreverence keep runners and their social networks coming back to the site regularly.

Norton and his partners at Crowdrise realized the power of online fundraising two years ago in preparation for the 2009 ING New York City Marathon.  As part of Norton's effort to raise money for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, he launched a website using many of the tools now available on Crowdrise and raised nearly $1.2 million in less than eight weeks for the wilderness conservation non-profit.

By enabling runners to support the charity of their choice, Marathon officials hope not only to raise more money, but to engage more runners than ever in the community spirit of giving.

"For the past two years, we've been working aggressively to expand the charity program here at the Honda LA Marathon," said Ginger Williams, Director of Community Relations for the Marathon.  "Crowdrise has proven itself as an exciting and engaging new fundraising platform, and we believe it will help bring added life to our fundraising effort.  Our partnership with Crowdrise will make it easier than ever for runners to raise money for whatever cause they support, and help them have a lot of fun in the process."

The new partnership builds on the Marathon's official charity program, in which 65 non-profits receive special designation by the Marathon, as well as assistance to grow their Marathon-related fundraising efforts.  Many of these charities, including Team in Training and ThinkCure!, will be featured on the homepage of the LA Marathon's Crowdrise website.

For more information about the program, visit

About LA Marathon LLC

We inspire athletes and connect communities.  With thousands of volunteers, tens of thousands of participants, and hundreds of thousands of spectators, the Honda LA Marathon presented by K-SWISS is one of the largest organized road races in the world.  Registration for the 2011 race is open, and the race is expected to sell out.  Sign up at:

About Crowdrise

Crowdrise is an innovative new web platform that brings the power of crowdsourcing and the fun of social networking to fundraising and volunteerism.  Co-founded by actor and activist Edward Norton, the site was created with online retailers Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe, the same team of viral marketing and emerging technology experts who founded and helped Norton turn his Maasai Marathon website into one of the top fundraising successes of the 2009 New York City Marathon.  Crowdrise utilizes cutting edge ideas about crowd-sourcing to create a community-based, participation-driven platform.  Both individuals and organizations can build highly compelling, personalized, online fundraising campaigns which will spur their friends, supporters and members of the Crowdrise community into action.  Much more interactive than other online fundraising platforms, Crowdrise offers a point system and prizes to incentivize participation and a signature sense of humor and irreverence.  Crowdrise additionally introduces the concept of sponsored volunteerism. Shauna Robertson, another Crowdrise co-founder, brings her unique brand of humor and her loyal band of comedic performers to the site.  Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell and Will Ferrell are amongst the celebrities who use Crowdrise as an effective new tool for mobilizing fans to support their causes in a viral and interactive way.  For more information, please visit

SOURCE Honda LA Marathon