Local fundraising example:
Mumbai marathon

Main characteristics

Fundraising method
Fundraising with corporations, Sports event


Net fin result (€)


Time investment
2-3 months

Gathering of participants before the start
Bollywood actor Juhi Chawla lending support to Smile kids that take part in the run
Geared-up supporters before the start
OrganisationSmile Foundation India
SuitabilityMore experienced
Funding needed forWork of Smile Foundation
Period of action19 January 2014
In-kind donations raisedN.a.
Types of donationsCorporate donations, selling of running slots
Types of donorsCorporates and their employees


The Mumbai Marathon is an annual international marathon held in Mumbai, India, on the third Sunday of January every year. It is the largest marathon in Asia as well as the largest mass participation sporting event on the continent. It is the richest race in India with a prize pool of USD $350,000. There are six different race categories: marathon (42.194 km), half marathon (21.097 km), Dream Run (6 km), Senior Citizens Race (4.3 km), Champions with Disability category (2.4 km) and DHL Corporate Champions (42.195 km, 4-person relay). The marathon is an event where people from all walks of life participate including Bollywood celebrities, sports personalities, business tycoons and amateur athletes. Smile encourages corporates and their employees to take part in the Mumbai Marathon and thus raise funds for their work.

Tips and lessons learned

1. Fundraising is an innovative and evolving process. One needs to continuously brainstorm to come out with newer ideas. For the Mumbai Marathon 2015 Smile needs to work out strategies which are more viable and economical and at the same time which can be implemented smoothly.
2. Initially some over-commitment was done to the corporate which later proved to be tough to implement (delivery of a morning snack).
3. Pre-blockage of running slots could have been done without waiting for confirmation from the corporate. The amount spent to procure running slots after confirmation was higher. Pre-blockage could have saved more on expenditure.

Review by Wilde Ganzen Foundation

Such a big event can also be interesting for smaller NGO's. In the Mumbai Marathon the smaller NGO's can also participate. The registration fees is Rs. 2500. The new NGO’s can buy and sell running slots at the same prices as the other. Thus investments are not prohibitive. From the second year onwards the registration fee is Rs. 1000. Also smaller NGO’s can approach the corporates based in and around their area to support them with a Corporate Challenge Team to participate in the Marathon. The amount depends on the team size. Investment is minimal. Time investment is mainly required in the first and second year.


1. To raise funds, by approaching 150 corporates.
2. To spread awareness about Smile Foundation among 50.000 participants of the Mumbai Marathon.
3. To reach out to more corporates.

Targeted donors
150 corporates.


Cost/benefitNational currency (INR)Euro
Total amount raised2,360,00028,320
(-) Total amount invested900,00010,800
Net amount raised1,460,00017,520

Result comments
Qualitative results:

Direct interaction with employees of the corporate who supported Smile Foundation and making them aware about Smile Foundation.

Smile Foundation name reached out to the approximately 50.000 participants of the Mumbai Marathon.

To be able to be noticed by 100 + corporates participating in the Mumbai Marathon.

Coverage in media (print and electronic media) .

Description of preparatory work
1. Meeting with the team internally to discuss the strategies to be implemented for the Mumbai Marathon.
2. Making of PowerPoint presentation.
3. Drafting of letters and proposal.
4. Identifying corporates to approach (new and existing).
5. To call and initially speak to the person handling the Mumbai Marathon on behalf of the corporate.
6. Sending out letters and proposal to various corporates.

Description of implementation
1. Follow-up on proposal through calls.
2. Meeting with the corporate after triggering first interest to explain about Smile Foundation and its activities.
3. Registering Smile Foundation with United Way of Mumbai (organising partner for marathon).
4. Blocking of available running slots. Smile buys running slots for a base price of Rs. 1,000/- and sells them to participants at a minimum price of Rs. 8,000/-.
5. Attend meeting with United Way of Mumbai for other activities like donation pages.
6. Once the corporate sends a conformation to support Smile Foundation under the corporate challenge category, assisting the corporate to register for the Mumbai Marathon.
7. Planning with the corporate on other deliverables like making of T-shirt, creating online pages for employee donation, addressing employees who would be participating in the marathon or any other activity to enhance Smile Foundation and its activities.
8. Selling of running slots (also see 4).
9. Submission of duly filled in forms to United Way of Mumbai.
10. Meeting with Program International, organiser of the Mumbai Marathon Cheering Zone.
11. Finalising of the spot for the cheering zone.
12. Registering of the same.
13. Listing out activities like flash mob, songs, etc. to be conducted on cheering zone.
14. Making of all arrangements for the same.
15. Collection of goody bags 3 days before the event.
16. Delivery of goody bags to the corporate.
17. One day prior to the event Smile Foundation employees are instructed about their responsibilities and the route.
18. On the day of the event ensuring all the arrangements and delivery of the commitments to the corporate (balloons and snacks).
19. Executing activities on the cheering zone.
20. Post event distribution of mementos and certificates and any other items committed to the corporate.

Follow up: Donor appreciation and acknowledgement
Smile's follow-up can serve as an example for everyone. First of all they gave certificates to each participant and a framed certificate to the corporate. Also they published an article in their Newsletter, which was presented to the corporate. Thank you letters were also sent. Smiles organised project visits to encourage the employees to also participate in the next marathon.

Plans to repeat the action
The Mumbai Marathon is a yearly event.

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