Countdown to The Human Race 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Human Race?

An opportunity for Santa Cruz County nonprofits, individuals and groups to fundraise for local programs. The Human Race has been helping nonprofits fundraise together for over 35 years.

The 2017 Human Race takes place on Saturday, May 13, 2017. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The run begins at 9:00 a.m., and the walk immediately after. Online giving ( is March 28 through May 13, 2017.      

The 5 mile fun run and walk goes from 2300 Delaware Ave to Lighthouse Park and back. Event day includes complimentary breakfast and lunch, music, entertainment and prizes.

The goal? To raise $400,000 for participating local nonprofits, schools and churches. Will you help us make magic in our community?

How does it work?

Organizations and businesses recruit walkers/runners/pledge-gatherers to raise funds for any nonprofit, school or church. The Human Race is open to all. Anyone can donate to the nonprofit of their choice at from March 28 through May 13. Search profiles of participating nonprofits and track progress on the leaderboard.

Why should I participate?

Along with a top-of-the-line fundraising website, we're offering $60,000 in match and prize money this year for eligible nonprofits. Also, to encourage even more nonprofit participation, the $25 registration fee has been waived. So nonprofits, what are you waiting for? Register now!

How are donations allocated?

Participating nonprofits receive a minimum of 75% of all monies collected. Nonprofits can increase the percentage by bringing in $10,000 or more. The Volunteer Center keeps a percentage to cover administrative and event management costs.

What is the Volunteer Center?

The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County promotes volunteerism and strengthens the community by partnering with people, nonprofits and businesses that strive to Be the Difference. Its programs include Adopt-a-Family, Community Connection, CityServe, Friends Outside, Helping Hands, Graffiti Removal Project, Literacy Program, Transportation Program and RSVP.


How can I donate?

Go to March 28 through May 13, to give to any participating nonprofit. Search for nonprofits by name and visit their fundraising page where you can donate using your credit card.

Is my gift tax deductible?

Yes. You’ll receive an email confirming your donation from the Volunteer Center. Please save this for your records. Your chosen nonprofits will likely thank you as well to let you know how your donation will make a difference.

What if I can't find my favorite nonprofit on the Human Race site?

Nonprofits are required to register by March 14th. Encourage your charity of choice to participate!

Can I make a donation using my smartphone?

Yes. Our website is mobile responsive making it easy for you to make a gift on the go.

Is my gift safe and secure?

Yes. The website is powered by Kimbia, and is a secure PCI-Level 1 compliant site. Your personal information is protected. Please read Kimbia's Privacy Policy.

Can I donate anonymously?

Yes. Anonymous donors will receive a tax receipt only.


Beyond a donation, how can I support my favorite nonprofit?

Spread the word among your friends and co-workers about the Human Race. Use the printed pledge sheet to collect money from family and friends. Raise money online for your favorite nonprofit by setting up a personal fundraising page.

Can I fundraise for a nonprofit?

Of course! Individuals can create a personal fundraising page online, or fundraise offline with pledge sheets. Individuals are asked to raise at least $35. If you raise over $1,000, you’ll be acknowledged at the awards ceremony in June.

Ways to pledge

Online at

Using printed pledge sheets. (Remember to make a copy for your records before submitting.)

Using printed pledge sheets

    Pick up pledge sheets at the Volunteer Center or download and print sheets from the website. *Pledge sheets will be available starting February 9th

    Write your name, the nonprofit’s name and Volunteer Center tracking number. This ensures that the funds are allocated to the correct agency. If you don’t know the agency number call the Volunteer Center at 427-5070.

    Complete the donor information (name, address and phone number) and the amount donated.  Checks should be made out to Volunteer Center-HR with the agency number on the memo line of the check.

    If the donor requests, provide them a receipt for tax purposes.

    Prior to the day of the event pledge sheets and funds can be brought to the Volunteer Center nearest you.  Please do not bring pledge sheets & funds to the Volunteer Center the Friday before the race.

    On the day of the race a separate registration table will be set up for those bringing in funds.

    Any funds not yet submitted can be brought to the Volunteer Center after Race day.


What kinds of organization are eligible to participate? How do we get started?

Any nonprofits, school or church serving Santa Cruz County can participate in the Human Race. Register at by March 14, 2017.

Why should my organization participate?

The Human Race is your opportunity to:

--Raise awareness of your organization.

--Grow your donations.

--Reach new donors.

--And build your online fundraising skills.

--Your organization may also be eligible to receive prizes and match money.

Is there a fee for nonprofits to participate?

No. However, you should prepare to devote time and energy to promoting the Human Race among your own donors and social networks. Check out the toolkit on our resources page.

How much does my nonprofit earn from the dollars raised?

Participating agencies earn a minimum of 75% of all monies collected. You can increase the percentage by bringing in $10,000 or more. Higher collections translate into a higher percentage of earning for your agency.

Dollars Collected

Percentage Earned

Up to $9,999


$10,000 - $19,999


$20,000 and above


How do I motivate people to pledge to my organization?

Communicate the positive impact of your organization and its importance to Santa Cruz County.  Emphasize the needs met through services you provide and your goals for the future. Setting a clear fundraising $$ goal and earmarking a specific project for the donations to fund will motivate people to pledge.

Can we partner with a local business to increase pledges?

Yes. Ask a business to support your nonprofit by gathering pledges through employee participation. Have them register as a team and coordinate with one of their employees to ensure a successful partnership!

Are we eligible for matching dollars or prizes?

Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, with support from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, will provide up to $60,000 in matching funds in 2017 for Santa Cruz County nonprofits (excluding schools and church groups) participating in the Human Race. 

Quick Start T-Shirt Prize

·         Open to ALL participating organizations

Weekly Prizes

·         Open to Santa Cruz County based 501(c)(3) nonprofits or organizations with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fiscal sponsor based in             Santa Cruz County.

·         NOT ELIGIBLE:

            o   Universities

            o   Colleges

            o   Schools

            o   Religious groups (including churches)    

            o   Clubs

            o   Nonprofits headquartered in Santa Cruz County whose primary work is outside area

            o   Individuals, programs or projects of Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, Monterey Peninsula Foundation or                     the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County

End of the Campaign Prizes

·         Open to Santa Cruz County based 501(c)(3) nonprofits or organizations with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fiscal sponsor based in             Santa Cruz County.

·         NOT ELIGIBLE:

            o   Universities

            o   Colleges

            o   Schools

            o   Religious groups (including churches)

            o   Clubs

            o   Nonprofits headquartered in Santa Cruz County whose primary work is outside area

            o   Individuals, programs or projects of Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, Monterey Peninsula Foundation or                     the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County

Proportional Matching Funds

·         Open to 501(c)(3) nonprofits, or organizations with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fiscal sponsor, whose primary work benefits             Santa Cruz County.

·         NOT ELIGIBLE:

            o   Universities

            o   Colleges

            o   Schools

            o   Religious groups (including churches)

            o   Clubs

            o   Nonprofits headquartered in Santa Cruz County whose primary work is outside area

All prize winners will be reviewed for eligibility before being awarded.


How do I make this a success?

Sign up for one of our training sessions to get tips and tools for raising money. If you’re not currently on social media, set up accounts for your organization now. This is a fantastic event for our community and your creativity and energy will help make it a success!

When will my organization receive it’s donations?

You’ll receive all donations in a single payment from the Volunteer Center by June 2017. Any matching money from the Community Foundation received will be sent separately, directly from them. All payments will be made by check.

Will we receive donor information for acknowledgments?

Yes. You’ll have access to donor information during the event, unless the donor has asked for anonymity. We encourage you to reach out to your donors after the event and thank them for supporting your organization.

Does my organization need to send letters for tax deductions?

Donors receive an email confirming the gift receipt from the Volunteer Center. However, we encourage you to acknowledge donations by following up with donors and let them know what you’ll do with their donation.

How can I get more information about the Human Race?

Contact Events Coordinator Spencer Takata at 427-5070 x113 or

Presenting Sponsors