DonorDrive Run Walk Ride Fundraising Scholarship Recipient Announced

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Marta Hodson of the Harry Chapin Food Bank has been awarded the DonorDrive Run Walk Ride Fundraising Scholarship. Each year DonorDrive awards a scholarship to the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Conference to a staffer at a worthy non-profit to help them bring innovative ideas to fundraising for their cause.

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It's terrific that during these tough economic times, the official DonorDrive Run Walk Ride Scholarship program provides free conference access to a deserving non-profit organization.

When the economy is down, many non-profit causes struggle to fundraise enough to meet their mission. A recent GuideStar survey notes that 2/3 of all non-profits in North America had a stagnant or down year in 2012. The DonorDrive Run Walk Ride Scholarship Program was founded to help non-profits reverse that trend. Again this year, as the official Run Walk Ride Scholarship sponsor, DonorDrive is sending a staffer from a deserving cause to North America's premier conference on 'thon event fundraising. Previous scholarship recipients have said that their conference learnings have really helped their cause be more effective in fundraising.

The recipient of the scholarship this year is Marta Hodson, Community Relations Manager at the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers, Florida. Marta applied in hopes of getting ideas for adding a run alongside their current Hunger Walk. From her winning essay: "This conference would give me the opportunity to network and glean ideas from organizers of successful and larger walks and runs."

A prerequisite of the scholarship is that the non-profit can't have previously attended the conference. When founding the scholarship last year, Paul Ghiz, Managing Partner of Global Cloud, makers of DonorDrive, felt it best to open the scholarship only to newcomers. "We hope that (over the years) our scholarship will have the biggest impact by helping a different organization improve their fundraising every year." Marta is delighted with the opportunity. "I'm really, really thrilled to go. It wasn't in our budget for me to go otherwise." Past winners have included Jen Bates of Farm Sanctuary and Mary DiCarlo of

Each year the caliber of education that the conference presents gets better and better. This year's sessions include those from big 'thon players like the American Lung Association, JDRF, the ALS Association, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, MS Society, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As a sign of the increasing interest in the scholarship, applications grew by 90% this year. David Hessekiel, founder of Run Walk Ride, feels the scholarship was an important addition to his event. "It's terrific that during these tough economic times, the official DonorDrive Run Walk Ride Scholarship program provides free conference access to a deserving non-profit organization."

Marta notes that the Harry Chapin Food Bank serves one of North America's economically hardest-hit areas where need of their services are up dramatically. "Food distribution is now two-and-a-half times what it was five years ago." She hopes Run Walk Ride will help her to find new ideas for their walk and good guidance on creating their run in order to help them better meet the need in the community. "We’re always looking for new ways to keep it fresh and new every year. Something to keep the people engaged and coming back."

DonorDrive® is truly effective software dedicated to event-based social fundraising for medium and large non-profits. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, Doctors Without Borders, Autism Speaks Canada and Team ASPCA are a few of the causes that use DonorDrive Social Fundraising software for their runs, walks, rides and virtual campaigns to engage constituents and maximize donations. Every year, people are raising millions for great causes through DonorDrive. Learn more at

The Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council was founded in 2007 to support the causes that use 'thon events in North America to raise more than $1 billion a year. Learn more at

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is the largest hunger safety net in Southwest Florida. It was named in honor of singer and composer Harry Chapin, Congressional Medal of Honor Winner for his fight against hunger. Learn more at

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Karin Neri
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