The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon could collect much more than the projected Rs 10 crore this year if majority of the participants had pledged to contribute to charity.
London Marathon, on which the Mumbai event is modelled, collected Rs 250 crore (£41.5 million) in 2006 as most participants pledged to charities.
“In Mumbai Marathon though, only a small number of participants pledge to raise money, most people just run for the fun,” said Jayanti Shukla, CEO of United Way Mumbai, the NGO charity partner to the Mumbai Marathon.
Mumbai Marathon charity collection was Rs 8.5 crore last year. While that was five times higher than the Rs 1.75 crore that Delhi Marathon raised, it is still a far cry from the collection of London Marathon.
A last minute rush this year to the annual charity event has salvaged the collection prospects amid global recession, claimed organisers. “We have 143 NGOs and 104 corporate companies participating in the charity part of the event,” said Shukla.
The NGOs, on the other hand, are banking on the marathon this year more than ever as global recession has dried up international funding and many are facing crisis because of shortage of donors.
The money, raised through pledges by companies and individuals, is routed through global NGO United Way. An external auditor audits the collections. However, this year, the auditor has not been finalised.
“NGOs are nominated by companies who pledge to support their cause, or they can register themselves with United Way Mumbai,” said Vikas, director (corporate giving) UWM, which will manage the marathon’s charity payments for the first time this year.