How L’Arche Ottawa rallied the largest number of fundraisers in the first-ever virtual Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

L’Arche Ottawa is a non-profit that creates homes and day programs for people living with developmental disabilities. They’ve been participating in Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend since 2015, using the opportunity as a key fundraising and promotional event for their organization. Usually, the run is L’Arche Ottawa’s time to bring their group together and engage with the race weekend community to strengthen their presence in the city. 

This year’s restrictions called for a virtual event, which L’Arche made the most of, using the opportunity to increase participation as runners could join from wherever they were located over a larger period of time. As a result, they were able to rally a large group of participants, securing the 1st place win for the largest number of fundraisers in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge

“Because we were holding small scale races close to our homes, we had a much higher rate of participation. With the traditional format of the Tamarack race, many of our members cannot or do not want to participate because of effort and logistics to get to the race, their discomfort with crowds, etc.” said the L’Arche Ottawa team.

The virtual race weekend format gives organizations the flexibility to make it uniquely work for them and their runners. “We actually divided into smaller groups/teams and raced/walked on several different days, not just one day. This meant those with different capacities could go at their own speed. One group created a song they sang at each stop.  One person visited all the l’Arche homes and a few others along her route. This created a lot of excitement, even for those not racing that day.” 

Beyond the actual race, L’Arche Ottawa, maximized social media and email marketing within their community to raise funds, as well as directly reaching out to member friends and family. 

As virtual events continue to be the norm, it’s an opportunity to make the event unique to your organization and team. Find ways to make the run uniquely appeal to your group, and mobilize runners to use digital tools to engage their friends and family for fundraising.  

Join the Scotiabank Charity Challenge and raise funds for a local charity that needs your help now!