Direct Giving Program

If your group or organization has 15 or more people interested in volunteering:

  1. Register as a Volunteer Team
  2. (optional) Apply for Direct Giving (receive a donation for your work!)
  3. (optional) Fundraise for an Official Charity

Over the years the Portland Marathon, a 501(c)3, has made independent donations from its general fund to a variety of local charities and organizations. Additionally, through the Going The Distance Foundation and the Marathon Direct Giving Program, many direct donations are given to our volunteer groups.

The Portland Marathon recruits over 4,500 volunteers annually to assist with our event. Tasks include stuffing packets, helping with registration, course monitoring, clean up, assisting with food, aid stations, medical, and other essential tasks. Our volunteer program has served as a vehicle for providing school and organizational credit and experience for a host of local charities, nonprofits, sport, school, and service clubs. Volunteer teams have fun, work together and benefit from being involved in a great community event. The Direct Giving Program provides an ability to earn not only experience, but also a donation for volunteering.

The Portland Marathon is a charitable community event supported by the city, sponsors, and also by other charitable groups. Each year the funds available to us vary, and the donations vary, accordingly. However, giving the funds is a pleasure for us because we really do see it benefiting many other worthwhile projects. Each year we have many success stories shared with us on how the program continues to benefit others. See a list of past recipients of the Direct Giving Program.

Who Is Eligible:

The Portland Marathon welcomes volunteers from local charities, nonprofits, schools, service clubs, scouting groups, school sports teams and clubs, athletic teams and school projects such as post graduation parties. Also included are civic related projects such as trail and park clean up, programs to help the needy and general charity fund raising. Volunteer Groups are not required to participate in the Direct Giving Program. A Direct Giving Group must be comprised of at least 15 members, and must submit IRS documentation of nonprofit status.

What Groups are Evaluated on:

After the event, marathon volunteer committee member captains and coordinators assess what the many volunteer groups do for the marathon.

Some of these factors include, but are not limited to:

  1. The number of volunteers (teams are asked to make a pledge of the number of volunteers who will be provided. Whether those pledges are fulfilled is one criteria assessed.) *Reminder: Direct Giving teams must pledge and provide at least 15 volunteers.
  2. Work performed (Where, when, and hours)
  3. Type of Volunteer activity
  4. Level of enthusiasm
  5. Level of experience and tenure with the event
  6. Supervision of youth groups (ratio of supervisor to youth, and effectiveness)

After the event, volunteer teams are provided with a letter of appreciation and a charitable donation based upon funds available and their evaluation results. Donation amounts have generally ranged from $100 to $2,000. However, we can never guarantee ahead of time the amount which will be available to the program or the amount any particular team will receive. Many of these teams also qualify for community service credits which are a valued addition to their volunteer services.


To be included in the Volunteer Team Program, a Team captain needs to complete and submit the application form by September 1st for their team:

  1. Contact
  2. Indicate if you want to be included in the Direct Giving Program
  3. Indicate if you want to Fundraise for an Official Charity
  4. Submit the application!

You will receive a confirmation of application and an assignment, along with a Team Captain user name and password, and a team member password.

Provide the team member password to your individual team members so they can register as volunteers online with your team.

Individual team members will then need to complete their registration no later than September 15th.


If you have any questions, contact:

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