Every summer, the Union Home Mortgage Foundation hosts its annual Hustle for Homeownership 5k Race, a community event to help raise funds for the Foundation’s pillars, nonprofit partners, and programs. In order to bring our communities together in both a safe and exciting way, the 2020 Hustle for Homeownership 5k Race went VIRTUAL and lasted for the entire month of August.
Written by Nicolette Fee
Every summer, the Union Home Mortgage Foundation hosts its annual Hustle for Homeownership 5k Race, a community event to help raise funds for the Foundation’s pillars, nonprofit partners, and programs. In order to bring our communities together in both a safe and exciting way, the 2020 Hustle for Homeownership 5k Race went VIRTUAL and lasted for the entire month of August. Although participants were unable to come together on Union Home Mortgage’s corporate campus this year, runners had the opportunity race their way- on their own turf, on their own time, with their favorite running buddies, and in support of their favorite pillar.
This year’s participants had the choice to sign up to the complete 3.1 miles under one of the UHM Foundation’s four pillars: Education, Financial Literacy, Career Readiness, and Housing; OR take on “The Challenge” and tackle a total of 12.4 miles, or four 5k races, in support of all four pillars- making this the ideal race for beginners and pros alike. Participants created virtual teams with Partners, friends and family all over the country, making this a great way to stay connected and get moving! Once registered, all participants were sent race packs with t-shirts, medals, race bibs, and more fun swag to use throughout the race.
As a result of moving Hustle for Homeownership into an online format this year, we wanted to make sure that participants felt just as engaged and involved as they would have in years past. To do so, we introduced a number of new components to the race this year.
In the weeks leading up to this year’s race, the UHM Foundation held four “Cheers for Charity” events. These were ½ hour cocktail hours, each dedicated to learning more about the Foundation’s four pillars, through themed cocktails and presentations from our non-profit partners of the corresponding pillar.
In addition, we equipped each participant with a fundraising and marketing packet to help them successfully advertise their participation and raise money both individually and for their teams. Packets included pre-made social media posts, hashtags, bingo boards, profile photo frames and more. Some partners even had the chance to take over the UHM Foundation’s social media pages for a day and share how they were completing the race!
Last but not least, participants had the chance to compete for race superlatives! Think you had the cutest running partner? Best race outfit? Best race selfie? Participants were able to submit their photos and find out! This made for a lot of funny photos to share and led to some friendly competition. The superlative for Highest Fundraising Team was a fight to the finish that ended up in a tie between two teams. Wondering who won? Head over to our social media pages to find out!
In the end, the 2020 Virtual Hustle for Homeownership was a huge success. With the help of over 325 participants, we blew our fundraising goal out of the water multiple times until eventually hitting $31,423.01- tripling last year’s outcome! The final number includes $15,343.00 raised by 157 individual and team donations.
On behalf of the Union Home Mortgage Foundation and all our nonprofit partners, thank you to everyone who participated in, donated to, or cheered us on in this year’s Hustle for Homeownership 5k Race. It is because of individuals like you, who continue to support the Foundation and our mission, that we can make a difference in our communities!
In a future blog post, we'll dig deeper into some of the elements that we think were factors in our success for a virtual fundraising event, check back soon for details.