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UNHCR launches first virtual marathon appeal

UNHCR launches first virtual marathon appeal

UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, has launched its first virtual marathon fundraising appeal.

Launching today on World Refugee Day (20 June), #TheExtraMile appeal has been developed by online giving platform GivePenny.

Supporters are asked to run, jog or walk 27 miles over the next month, raising awareness and earning donations for each mile that they complete.

GivePenny has integrated its fundraising system with the GPS-tracking app RunKeeper, used by 45 million people around the world. Participants will be able to encourage donations per mile completed, or one-off donations.

#TheExtraMile campaign for UNHCR


The UNHCR team have worked with the GivePenny team (who call themselves ‘FUN-Raisers’) to create a central campaign page, together with associated fundraising pages for each participant’s Runkeeper account.

Shazia Hassan at UNHCR said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure working with the GivePenny team on #TheExtraMile. Their dedication and passion has really shone through whilst we have been working on getting this challenge set up.”

Other campaigns are reportedly already been discussed between the partners.

GivePenny's #TheExtraMile for UNHCR

Lee Clark, Chief FUN-Raiser and Idea Ninja at GivePenny, said: “We couldn’t be prouder to be asked to develop #TheExtraMile virtual marathon appeal for UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. In a world where one in 113 people have been forced to flee their homes because of war or persecution, every little act of kindness and support matters.

“Building a fun and engaging experience for fundraisers has been at the front of our minds throughout the project…”

Clark will be taking part in the challenge. He added: “I can’t wait to lace up my trainers and earn donations for every mile I run for this incredible cause”.

GivePenny has been working with charities since last year to create innovative fundraising appeals and events, while developing a place for people to connect more of their online lives to giving behaviour.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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