CASA Superhero Run Richmond Case Study

We have a series Customer Case Studies, in which we take your stories and share your challenges and successes as a learning tool for other RunSignup users.  This CASA Superhero Run Case Study focuses on creating a family-friendly event, cultivating fundraisers, and creating a positive volunteer experience.

CASA Superhero Run Richmond and RunSignup

The CASA Superhero Run in Richmond uses a unique, family oriented run as a successful fundraiser.

Picture1About the CASA Superhero Run (Richmond

Every child needs a hero, but abused children need superheroes!

The CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so that every abused and neglected child can be safe, establish permanence and have the opportunity to thrive.

While many CASA programs now host Superhero Runs as fundraisers, Richmond was the first to tie the two together.  Barbara & Ruth Anne, the Executive Directors at Henrico County & Chesterfield, teamed up as Race Directors 6 years ago because the CASA mission was consistent with the Superhero Foundation’s Mission, and created a fundraising event that was healthy and family friendly.

More than a Race

The CASA Run is designed to have something for everyone.  They have 3 Event Options: A Kid’s Run (12 & Under), an Adult 5K Race (12 & Under), and a Kid’s 5K Race (12 & Under). The race gives out good, unusual prizes, and does get participation from fast, competitive runners who want to win awards; on the other hand, costumes are encouraged, and the festive atmosphere is appealing to runners and non-runners alike.


In addition to the running events, the CASA Superhero Run event includes a family festival for kids of all ages.  The festival evolves each year, but is much more than just a food truck and some music: they have included things like kid’s games, playgrounds, bouncy houses, obstacle courses, fire truck tours, and Karate exhibitions. The festival is special because it has draw for all generations, and encourages people to come out every year, regardless of whether or not they are able to participate in the run.

Making a Case to Sponsors

Sponsors are a key piece in collecting revenue for CASA from the event; to maximize sponsor dollars, they work individually with each Sponsor to find a tradeoff that makes Sponsorship worthwhile for the specific company.  While some companies view it as an opportunity to get their name seen, other companies have different motivations; for example; one Sponsor uses it as a chance to get their employees to interact outside of work, and has 20 employees sign up to participate in the event.  Regardless, CASA is flexible to find a mutually beneficial solution for a potential sponsor.

The Bottom Line: Fundraising through the Run

The 2015 CASA Superhero Run collected donations using the RunSignup Donations & Fundraising Platform.  Runners had the option to be Individual Fundraisers, organize Team Fundraisers, or just make a donation without becoming a Fundraiser.

The 2015 CASA Superhero Run collected $17,224 in Donations & Fundraising.

Cultivating Fundraisers


While many unaffiliated runners will make a simple donation in the registration process, becoming a Fundraiser (and actively seeking donations to a Fundraising Page) is a bigger commitment that CASA can usually only get from people who already have an investment in the cause. They encourage Board Members to Fundraise, and have Fundraisers who are really just Champions for the Cause, and fundraise year after year.


Barbara & Ruth Anne are careful to cultivate year-round relationships with their top, committed fundraisers.  While there is no formal reward structure for fundraisers, they do offer cool ways to stay involved as opportunities arise – for example, in the past they gave a top fundraiser with some graphic skills the opportunity to design their race shirt.

The top Fundraiser in 2015 raised $3,183

Creating a Positive Volunteer Experience

Barbara and Ruth Anne take pride in having built a positive experience for their volunteers that ensures they return in future years.  Because they recruit volunteers as a part of their jobs, they are able to take advantage of connections that they have for volunteer recruitment, and they find volunteers by appealing to groups.

Once they have volunteers signed on, they are able to keep them by providing them with a really good experience.  To do so, they use a lot of communication, give clear instructions, and make sure all volunteers have a clearly defined purpose on Race Day.  They also appoint Volunteer Coordinators to make sure that there are clear lines of communication even in the chaos of race morning.

The attention to communication pays off: They’ve been told by volunteers that the CASA Run was “the best volunteer experience we’ve had,” and volunteers do return year after year.

If you have a success story about your race, store or club, big or small,  email us…we’d love to explore a Case Study on your topic!

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