Is there any better feeling than having the perfect playlist to accompany you on your run? Since we can’t get together for group runs right now, having the right songs to motivate you while you log your solo miles or compete in a virtual race is more necessary than ever before. But what if your playlist did more than just push you to the finish line — what if it also raised money for charity? That’s exactly what Matt Boyle thought, which led him to create Sponsor-A-Song.
Sponsor-A-Song is a U.K.-based fundraising platform that allows you to collect donations from your friends, family, neighbours and whoever else wants to support you while you complete a run or race of your choosing. The platform, which is available in the U.K. and Canada, is connected with Spotify, and each time someone donates to your run they are given the opportunity to add a song to the playlist you’ve committed to listening to on the day of your run. The steps to set up a campaign are simple:
- Sign in with Spotify.
- Name your playlist
- Enter how far you are running and how long you think it will take.
- Share your donation link
When your friends or family click on your link, they’ll be taken through a very easy donation process, and at the end, they’ll be redirected to your Spotify playlist, to which they can add a song of their choosing. This, of course, is where the fun begins. If your friends are nice to you, they’ll hopefully choose songs that they know you’ll like, but they also have the power to troll you (the more likely scenario) and choose songs like Crazy Frog or Baby Shark or What Does the Fox Say? And therein lies the magic — who wouldn’t want to donate to charity for the opportunity to troll your friends with the world’s most annoying music (err… we mean uplift them with their favourite tunes)?
“It ends up kind of having a viral effect,” explains Boyle. “For example, my girlfriend wanted to put a nice song on my playlist, but her mom thought it would be funny to put a song like Crazy Frog on instead, so they both ended up donating so they could both add a song.”
At the moment, the charities to which you can donate are pre-determined by Boyle himself, and every time you create a campaign you sign up to support the charity of the month. To select a charity, he uses the U.K. Charity Commission to ensure that the organizations he’s choosing are reputable. The platform is currently available to runners in the UK and in Canada, so if you’re in the U.K. you can donate to a U.K.-based charity, and here in Canada, we have the option to donate to a Canadian-based charity. This month, all donations will be going toward the Canadian Cancer Society. Boyle says that soon runners will have the ability to choose which charity they want to support.
Sponsor-A-Song is a very new platform, and was only created in October 2020. Sadly, it was born out of a personal crisis, when in the midst of COVID-19 lockdowns in the U.K., Boyle’s mom was suddenly diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away only six weeks later.
“I had some downtime and I was in this weird place where I wasn’t particularly motivated to work but I knew I had to keep myself busy,” Boyle explains. “I’d had this idea in the back of my head for a while and I was trying to think of ways I could kind of pay back some of the charities that had helped us through that time.”
Boyle has raised money for several causes in the past running 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons and marathons, but the problem was he always felt like he was asking the same people over and over again. He wanted to build a platform that would not only allow him to raise more money, but also allow others to do the same.
“In a roundabout way, I like to feel like by providing this website I’m indirectly helping other people fundraise.”
The platform has only just been introduced in Canada, but in the U.K. it has already raised £1,000 this month. With all the virtual races coming up across the country this spring, this is the perfect way to put your virtual miles to good use or support a friend (and troll them with a song!) in their own running and fundraising goals. You can donate or create your own fundraiser today by visiting https://sponsorasong.com.