More than a few of us felt a sense of disappointment and loss this week as we read about Reach Out Rocky Mount’s decision to suspend its popular Fun Run for Charity.
Tough decisions such as the one undertaken by Reach Out’s board of directors usually come on the heels of an event that has begun to wane in terms of participation and fundraising success. But that wasn’t the case with the Fun Run.
As Telegram staff writer John Henderson reported Wednesday, the Fun Run raised more than $2 million for area nonprofit groups during the past five years. Event coordinators distributed more than $400,000 to those groups just a couple of months ago in July. The Fun Run was a healthy event that generated donations large and small. It lived up to its name.
But more than one Reach Out official noted the difficulty in coordinating a race that draws hundreds of runners as well as undertaking a fundraising campaign that seeks thousands of dollars in matching funds for the donations brought in by race participants.
“Donor fatigue” can hamper fundraising even in the best of economic times. The funds raised by hundreds of volunteers during the worst economic period since the Great Depression speaks volumes for their commitment and dedication behind the scenes.
Reach Out Rocky Mount vows to press on with its unique effort to help nonprofit groups in the Rocky Mount area. It’s a shame to leave the race behind, but we’re heartened to know the organization will continue to work to meet the needs of folks in our community.