Boston Marathon start photo
Boston Marathon starting line. (Photo: B.A.A.)

Didn’t Qualify for the Boston Marathon? Fundraise for One of These Charities.

There’s plenty of good reasons to run, but doing so for a good cause is one of the best

Boston Marathon starting line
headshot Mallory Arnold

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

This year, 30,000 runners took to the Boston streets to partake in one of the greatest road races in the U.S. – the Boston Marathon. Though most of the athletes had to qualify for the day (times vary by age, but range from 3 hours and 30 minutes to 5 hours and 20 minutes), 10 percent of the total field size of every Boston Marathon is made up of runners who got into the race by raising a minimum of $5,000 for a charity. In the 2023 race, 2,537 participants ran as fundraising athletes. 

RELATED: Outside’s Guide to the Boston Marathon

Today, seven months before the 2024 Boston Marathon, The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced the 160 organizations selected to be part of the 2024 Bank of America Boston Marathon Official Charity Program. A few charities include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Boston Police Foundation, Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island, The ASL Assocation, and so many more. See the whole list linked here.

The organizations are divided into Gold and Blue levels—Gold organizations will receive 10 to 15 Boston athletes raising money to waive the qualifying time, while Blue organizations will receive 3-5 invitational entries.  

The charity program is not only another entry point into Boston, but it’s meant to marry the act of helping others with staying healthy through exercise. 

“The Bank of America Boston Marathon Official Charity Program is important to our many communities,” says BAA president and CEO Jack Fleming. “Funds raised by participants can help to broaden the awareness of a nonprofits work and impact.”

In 2023, the marathon raised a whopping $40.3 million for its charities. 

RELATED: Running for Charity: A Billion-Dollar Enterprise

“The Boston Marathon, and all those who participate in it, have an enormous impact on our community,” says Miceal Chamberlain, Bank of America president of Greater Boston. “Our engagement in sports and sporting events around the world, like the Boston Marathon, are one of the ways we drive Responsible Growth locally, nationally and globally.”

Registration for the 2024 Boston Marathon—which is also the 128th year—opens today, September 11. If you’re interested in the Official Charity Program, contact the charity of your choice so they can share their application and selection process. Athletes who qualified for the Boston Marathon can, of course, also raise funds for one of the Official Charity Program organizations.

There are plenty of reasons to run—doing it for a greater cause is one of the best. 

RELATED: 24-Week Marathon Training Plan