Charity running has become an integral part of the Chicago Half Marathon, and we want to continue to your programs and the causes they support. Training for a half marathon is a challenge, and finding the right motivation is a great way to keep it fun and help athletes stay committed.


Team World Vision
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In Africa they say, “Water is Life.” About 768 million people in the world lack access to safe drinking water. Children and women often walk five to 10 miles a day to gather water that isn’t even safe to drink; water that can make them sick. More children die from diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation than almost any other cause — more than AIDS and malaria combined.

Team World Vision empowers people to experience radical life transformation through endurance races, community advocacy and social giving for the sake of clean water in Africa. World Vision activates partnerships and community engagement to bring clean water to people around the world — helping create fullness of life for children in need.

American Cancer Society
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DeterminNation is a group of walkers and runners who are committed to creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays! We raise money for the American Cancer Society, the only organization to find ALL cancers on every front in every community. Our participants receive many benefits for the Chicago Half Marathon including FREE race entry and FREE training. Email for more information.

Big Shoulders Fund
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The Big Shoulders Fund is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1986 by a group of corporate and civic leaders to sustain the inner-city Chicago Catholic school system. The mission of the Big Shoulders Fund is to provide support to the Catholic schools who serve the poor and disadvantaged in the neediest parts of inner-city Chicago. For more than 26 years, the Big Shoulders Fund has provided support to 90 (75 high school and 15 elementary) inner-city Chicago Catholic schools, which currently educate nearly 24,000 children – 80% minority, 61% living in poverty and 32% not Catholic. 100% of funds currently raised go directly to the schools for scholarships, special education programs, instructional equipment, facility improvements, faculty support, operating grants, hearing and vision screening programs, leadership awards, a Patrons program and a leadership development program. The impact of this investment is significant with 97% of students graduating high school and 90% entering college.

Bright Pink
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Thinking about running a half marathon in 2016? Sign up today and join 2016 Team Bright Pink where we can help you cross the finish line through our free FFC Training program while fundraising to educate and empower young women to be proactive with their breast and ovarian health. Practice a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and fuel Bright Pink’s life-saving program for young women. “Run with Sole” with Team Bright Pink! For further information, please visit or email

Camp Ramah in Wisconsin
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Camp Ramah in Wisconsin is 150 acres of sacred space, tucked away in the heart of Wisconsin’s Northwoods. Within this space, campers and staff from throughout the Midwest and Israel unite each summer to create a joyful Jewish community. Ramah Day Camp, located in Wheeling, Illinois, is a warm and nurturing environment where kids come to make great friends, grow socially, have fun and learn Jewish values.

Cornerstone Community Outreach
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Cornerstone Community Outreach has a long-standing commitment to providing shelter and finding homes for families and individuals who are at the greatest risk of being excluded from necessary services. It is our great privilege to work alongside homeless families and individuals to find and secure stable housing.
Training: Team CCO is excited to announce a partnership with Seth Kopf, owner of Kopf Running, an endurance coaching company that specializes in working with charity athletes.

Cure SMA
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Cure SMA is dedicated to the treatment and cure of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) — a disease that takes away a person’s ability to walk, eat or breathe. It is the number one genetic cause of death for infants. Since 1984, we’ve directed and invested in comprehensive research that has shaped the scientific community’s understanding of SMA. We are currently on the verge of breakthroughs in treatment that will strengthen our children’s bodies, extend life and lead to a cure. To join Team Cure SMA, please email

Debbie’s Dream Foundation
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Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about stomach cancer, advancing funding for research and providing education and support internationally to patients, families and caregivers. DDF seeks as its ultimate goal to make the cure for stomach cancer a reality.

Destiny Rescue
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Destiny Rescue is an international Christian based, non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing children from human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Destiny Rescue rescues the sexually exploited and enslaved, restore the abused, protect the vulnerable, empower the poor and be a voice for those who can’t speak up for themselves. Being a part of the Destiny Rescue team give people the power to free a child from sexual slavery or exploitation and put them into a safe home. Being a part of the Destiny Rescue team means being able to go into the darkness and pull precious children into the light. You can be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. You can be the light in a dark place. You can rescue a child and give them their dreams back.

FriendsforMichael-logoFriends 4 Michael Foundation
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The mission of the Friends4Michael Foundation is to support children like Michael and their families, to keep alive the memory of Michael and his spirit, to increase awareness of the devastating effects of brain tumors on afflicted children and their families and to continue to “Fight for a Cure” for this horrible disease.

Gilda’s Club Chicago
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Gilda’s Club Chicago supports anyone living with cancer – men, women, teens and children – along with their families and friends, as well as those who have lost someone to cancer. Our innovative program, including more than 350 free activities each month, is an essential complement to medical care and offers support groups, educational lectures, healthy lifestyle workshops, resource referrals and social opportunities. Become a member of Team Gilda and raise funds to take our mission to the streets – to ensure that anyone impacted by cancer is empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community.

Have Dreams
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Since 1996, Have Dreams’ mission is to help individuals with autism learn, function independently and socialize so that they may realize their full potential and develop into contributing members of their communities. Have Dreams offers programs for individuals diagnosed with Autism from the age of 16 months through young adulthood. They also serve individuals across the autism spectrum, affording priority to those with greater challenges as there are fewer alternative options available to them. Team Have Dreams will be a first-year charity for the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K! We are looking to recruit runners to in order to help raise awareness, as well as fundraise to provide much-needed services for children, teens, and young adults with autism. Please click on the above link or our logo to learn more about Team Have Dreams!

Illinois Environmental Council
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The Illinois Environmental Council serves as the environmental community’s eyes, ears and voice in Springfield. For 40 years, IEC has promoted sound environmental laws and policies that protect Illinois’s air, water, and open spaces. Some recent successes include making Illinois the first state in the nation to ban the use of microbeads in personal care products and passing an ordinance to expand composting in Chicago.

IEC supports environmental activists across the state and is building programs to cultivate the next generation of environmental leadership, including our young professionals board, which brings together young professionals with a variety of backgrounds who have an interest in environmental and energy issues. Individual members of IEC and/or the young professionals board gain access to unique networking opportunities as well as invaluable expertise regarding Illinois’s environmental issues. To learn more visit

LYDIA Home Association
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Choose Team LYDIA. Run for HOPE. Run for KIDS. LYDIA’s mission is to strengthen families to care for children and caring for children when families cannot. At a time when our culture often seems to be coming apart, LYDIA is helping put families back together. Founded as an orphanage in 1916, it has become as successful a alternative to state-run foster care and family assistance agencies. LYDIA’s faith-based approach to helping troubled families and children is unique, reaching people in diverse communities with a continuum of clinical and supportive services. LYDIA’s programming includes: Safe families, residential treatment, learn and care preschool, LYDIA Urban Academy and Counseling.

The Lynn Sage Foundation
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The Lynn Sage Foundation was founded in honor and memory of Lynn Sage by her family in 2003. Lynn Sage was a beloved mother, daughter and wife who tragically died at the age of 39 as a result of her battle with breast cancer. Dedicated to finding a cure for this disease, The Foundation supports The Lynn Sage Scholars program, which funds some of our country’s most promising researchers in the field of breast cancer. We are committed to raising funds for breast cancer research until the cure is found.

Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Illinois
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Team Conquer MG supports the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Illinois’ work to serve and improve the lives of MG patients. MGF of Illinois provides programs of support, education, advocacy and research funding. Your participation on Team Conquer MG will help us raise awareness of this rare autoimmune disease! Myasthenia gravis impairs communication between nerve and muscle. It causes fluctuating, often severe weakness in limb, eye, swallowing and breathing muscles, but frequently can be managed with proper treatment. To join Team Conquer MG, please email

Mitchell Swaback Charities
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Mitchell Swaback Charities (MSC) was started 10 years ago in hopes of keeping a young man’s legacy and journey alive after a sudden accident. Mitch lived his life always helping others, no matter the cost or sacrifice to himself. MSC strives to continue to make an impact in the lives of many with Mitch’s same focus and strength. MSC currently runs the Harvest Compassion Center, a local food and clothing bank, located in North Phoenix. MSC serves hundreds of guests per month with free food, hygiene, baby and clothing items. MSC is run on donations and volunteers who share our same heart in helping those in hardships. MSC has also been a part of many building, shelter and education projects around Chicagoland. To read more about MSC or join Team MSC for this year’s Chicago Half Marathon & 5k races please go to

National Kidney Foundation
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1 in 3 adults is at risk for kidney disease – are you the one? Join the National Kidney Foundation’s Team Kidney as we bring the fight against kidney disease to the finish line by improving the health and well-bring of people at risk for or affected by kidney disease through prevention, education and empowerment. To join Team Kidney, please contact Petra Seitz, Special Events Coordinator, at or (312) 321-1500.

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition – Team Teal
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The mission of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition is to save lives by fighting tirelessly to prevent and cure ovarian cancer, and to improve the quality of life for survivors. The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition is a nationally recognized organization with a growing nationwide network of Chapters. NOCC volunteers fuel the ovarian cancer movement in local communities throughout the United States. These volunteers understand the specific needs of individual communities and through the establishment of local Chapters, promote and expand patient, public and professional education about ovarian cancer. At the local level, NOCC volunteers network patients, family members and caregivers to provide support and encouragement. They also organize awareness events, provide educational programs, sponsor continuing medical education symposia and disseminate literature at health fairs.

Run Domestic Violence Out of Town
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We are 10 very different domestic violence service providers from across the city of Chicago, who have come together to advance our cause in ending domestic violence. We have formed a team of dedicated runners to help us raise both money and awareness. All revenue generated by the Run DV Out of Town team, will be used by our member agencies for domestic violence prevention and supportive services for its survivors and their families. Our Run DV Coalition is an unprecedented collaboration representing diverse populations across Chicago. Our member agencies are located in neighborhoods throughout the city and suburbs and serve communities representing all races, ethnicities, and religions. Everyone has a role in helping end domestic violence. The women, men, and children who are caught in this destructive and preventable cycle need your help to end it now and prevent it tomorrow. Join our team and help us break the cycle. With every team member, and with every mile we run, we hope to raise awareness, aid and support for victims and survivors of domestic violence.

The Sports Shed
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The Sports Shed makes it possible for thousands of kids to participate in a variety of sports by providing quality sports gear to schools and charity organizations in low-income areas of Chicagoland. Due to budget cuts and lack of state funding, hundreds of youth sports programs are struggling to survive. Since 2009, The Sports Shed has provided over 35,000 sports items giving more than 20,000 kids opportunities to play organized sports. Athletics gives kids a positive alternative to the gangs and violence kids are exposed to on the streets, plus studies show that student athletes are more successful in school! The Sports Shed needs you to join them in growing their organization so they can support the all the schools and groups who still need help.

Surge for Water
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Surge for Water invests in communities through safe water, sanitation solutions and hygiene education to help end the cycle of poverty in the developing world.

Swedish Covenant Hospital
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Swedish Covenant Hospital is an independent, not-for-profit teaching hospital serving Chicago’s north side. Our mission is to address the physical, spiritual and psychological needs of our culturally diverse community. Become a member of Team SCH and help foster healing for our most vulnerable patients through the Helping Hands Fund. Many patients who visit our emergency department lack the financial ability and resources to pay for the medications that will return them to health. The Helping Hands Fund was created to provide one-time assistance to help patients access medications they otherwise cannot afford. This assistance allows the patient to complete their medical treatment and helps prevent a return visit to the emergency room.

Syrian Community Network
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We are a refugee support network based in Chicago that promotes the spirit of community, family and Syrian culture. Our mission is to empower Syrian refugees in achieving a seamless transition and relocation to the U.S through connecting people to the right service and support networks

Taller de José
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Taller de José is a community resource center offering accompaniment to people in need, connecting people to services and services to people. As a sponsored ministry of the Congregation of St. Joseph, Taller de José exists so that all may be one.

TeamToEndAIDS-logoTeam to End AIDS
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Run proud with TEAM TO END AIDS (T2), the endurance training charity program benefiting the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC). T2 will prepare you to complete a marathon, half marathon or triathlon, whether you’re an experienced athlete or just getting started. T2 participants receive a Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC) gym membership, race entry, training/race shirts, fundraising page, pre-race pasta dinner, VIP race-day experience and more. Simply choose your endurance event, and our T2/FFC USAT- and USATF-certified coaches and staff will guide you through everything, from training to nutrition to fundraising. T2 will be with you every step to make sure you get to the finish line. With T2, you train without intimidation and triumph with elation. Register today! We welcome and accept all experience levels.

AFC is a local and national leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Collaborating with community organizations to develop and improve HIV/AIDS services, AFC funds and coordinates prevention, care and advocacy projects including effective, compassionate HIV/AIDS policy.

Team Fox
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The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today. Team Fox is the grassroots community fundraising program where each year more than 1,600 community members worldwide turn their passions and interests into unique fundraising events and athletic feats.

Upendo Village
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To portray and provide loving care to women, men and children, who have HIV and AIDS so that they can live with dignity, self-esteem, self sufficiency and respect. We are committed to networking with other agencies in providing healthcare so that our clients can enjoy a free and full life.


There are a number of creative and functional ways you can make the fundraising effort tremendously successful for your charity. The most common and effective way is by setting up a fundraising pledge program where runners collect pledges and donations based on the completion of their race. As the charity, you would obtain the race entry on behalf of the individual (at a certain value), and the individual in turn raises a minimum of “X dollars” for your charity to be able to earn that entry to the half marathon.

As an example, charities tend to ask for pledges ranging from a minimum of $200 up to $3,000. Depending on the minimum pledge, charities create packages that include travel arrangements (hotels, airfare, etc.), shirts, pre and post race meals, and training/coaching programs. Each charity has the option to develop a program according to your goals, resources and expected participants. We can help provide you with ideas and opportunities, but the implementation and collection of the fundraising program is up to the charity and its participants.

How do runners find out that a charity is affiliated with the Chicago Half Marathon?
Recruiting participants to fundraise is generally done through your communication channels and database of contacts. However, we will promote your charity through our website and direct interested runners to research our partner charities or those who support causes which they may have a specific interest in.


The Chicago Half Marathon is the only race in Chicago that gets to close down Lake Shore Drive completely between 67th Street and 31st Street. It is one of the coolest things to be able to run on one of the nation’s most famous and scenic roads. By having the road completely closed it makes for a very safe race with no traffic buzzing by participants. With this comes a price as all participants must maintain a 16-minute mile pace. This pace goes into effect as soon as the last participant crosses the start line which takes about 20 minutes.

For any charity participant that can’t maintain the 16-minute pace, they will be guided onto the lakefront path in five different locations along Lake Shore Drive. The path will be completely supported with aid stations including water, restrooms, mile markers, medical personnel and course marshals directing the participants. The finish line will remain open for those on the path until 11:30 a.m. We hope you will be able to train your participants to a 16-minute pace, but for those who just can’t do it they have an option. Please make sure all your participants are fully aware of the pace and the rules.


Interested in becoming a charity partner in 2017? Check out the resources below:

> 2017 Charity Program
> Pre-event Application

For additional information, please contact David Rosenbrock at