Frequently Asked Questions

Donor FAQ | Participant FAQ | Nonprofit FAQ

Q. I'm registering, where do I find my organization's number for the Human Race?

If your organization has participated in the Human Race before, then you can search for your participation number in our database.  If you cannot find your group, then please email and request a number to complete your registration. 

Q. What is happening with the Human Race and the impact of COVID-19, or Shelter in Place?

This virus will have an economic toll on our community and this creates a pressing need to “come together” in support of those entities on the frontlines of community wellness. As we practice social distancing in the coming months our organizations will struggle to gain new volunteers, access donated goods, and maintain the in-person connections that are vital to our community well-being.

The Human Race as a six week online fundraiser can help to counteract some of these challenges. Every year more than 100 organizations, schools, and community groups collectively raise funds for their important causes through a virtual campaign. This event traditionally comes to a close with one day celebration along West Cliff Drive where teams join in a 5 mile walk or fun run- this year Race Day will not cap off our fundraising. Thankfully, this portion, although epically fun, isn't what brings in those fundraising dollars- that is YOU. You choose to support the causes you care about and so we are confident that with your continued online generosity the Human Race will remain a resounding success as it has for the past 40 years. rs. Online giving runs from March 25 through May 9.

Q. What is the Human Race?

An opportunity for Santa Cruz County nonprofits, individuals and groups to fundraise for local programs through a six week giving campaign that previously culminated on Race Day with a 5 mile fun run/walk and a community celebration.  Although we won't come together this year in person, this will bring many folks together virtually in support of great causes. The Human Race has been helping nonprofits, schools and community groups fundraise together for 40 years. Online giving runs from March 25 through May 9. The 2020 goal? To raise $300,000 for participating local nonprofits, schools and churches. Will you walk for change for our community?

Q. What happens on Race Day?

Due to health concerns, Race Day will not cap off our celebration this year. Although we will miss it- the 6 week fundraiser is the real focus of the Human Race, and we know that folks generosity toward nonprofits serving our community will continue.

Q. 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 25 through May 9. Search profiles of participating nonprofits and track progress on the leaderboard.

Q. 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.

Q: How do I register a booth for the Human Race?

Since there is no formal Race Day to cap off fundraising, there won't be a physical booth. We are looking at options on line for a virtual booth/fair.

Q. What is the Volunteer Center?

The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County is a "one-stop shop" for all things volunteer related for individuals, organizations, and businesses. We believe it should be easy to find out when and where your skills are needed. We are committed to doing the legwork so you don't have to. Each year we collaborate with over 500 community partners to support their effort to recruit and welcome new volunteers and we partner with local businesses that want to invest their resources in building a more connected community.

We connect people with volunteer opportunities on the web, by phone or in-person via our match-making appointments. We additionally invite every person to be a part of supporting our community through our family of 19 programs.


Q. How can I donate?

Go to March 25 through May 9, to give to any participating nonprofit. Search for nonprofits by name and visit their fundraising page where you can donate using your credit card.

Q. 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.

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

Nonprofits are required to register by March 23rd. Encourage your charity of choice to participate!

Q. 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.

Q. Is my gift safe and secure?

Yes. The website is powered by GiveGab. We have partnered with Stripe as our payment processor, a secure PCI-Level 1 compliant service provider. Your personal information is protected.

Q. Can I donate anonymously?

Yes. Anonymous donors will receive a tax receipt only.


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

Spread the word among your friends and co-workers about the Human Race. You can write letters, emails, post on social media, call, or invite friends to support in person. The more supporters an agency has, the more money they can raise for their programs. By talking to your network, and connecting potential donors to the nonprofit(s) you support, you can help them extend their reach.

Q. Can I fundraise for a nonprofit?

Of course! Individuals can create a personal fundraising page online, or fundraise offline with pledge sheets. Online profiles become available to participants as soon as your nonprofit registers. Individuals are asked to raise at least $40 and if you raise over $1,000, you’ll be acknowledged at the awards ceremony.

Q. 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 this website.

• 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 email or call in advance to drop off donations. A schedule of open hours will be posted shortly.


Q. What kinds of organizations are eligible to participate?

Any nonprofits, school or church serving Santa Cruz County can participate in the Human Race. Register at by March 23, 2020.

Q. How do I register my organization?

Visit the Registration Page or click on the register button on the homepage. Type your organization in the search box to see if you are already registered. If you do not see your organization then click the red button " Add My Organization" and you will be walked through the registration process. If your organization has participated in the Human Race before, then you can search for your participation number in our database. If you cannot find your group, then please email and request a number to complete your registration. 

Q. Why should my organization participate?

Along with a top-of-the-line free fundraising website, we provide you with the key tools for success, training with top development experts, connections to supporters, and we manage all of the event marketing so you can focus on your fundraising goals. Registration is free.

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.

Q. 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.

Q. 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 Percentages Earned
Up to $9,999
$10,000 - $19,999
$20,000 and above

Q. 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 the services you provide and your goals for the future. Setting a clear fundraising $$ goal and earmarking a specific project for your donations will motivate people to pledge.

Q. Can I see my donor report from last year?

Yes. Although the online donor reports in your profile portal have been reset for 2020, we have backed up all your 2019 data. Please email us at for your donor report. Donor information will only be shared privately with a representative from the organization who received the donation.

Q. 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!

Q. Are we eligible for matching dollars or prizes?

Our three-year partnership with Community Foundation Santa Cruz County came to a close in 2018. This partnership allowed us to take our fundraising to the next level and grow our donor base. While we are no longer offering matching funds, we are tapping into our broad base of community support to offer weekly incentive prizes throughout the six-week campaign.

Quick Start T-Shirt Prize

Open to ALL participating organizations

Q. 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 that draws in the larger community. Your creativity and energy will help make it a success!

Q. When will my organization receive its donations?

You’ll receive all donations in a single payment from the Volunteer Center by June 2020. All payments will be made by check.

Q. 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.

Q. 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.

Q. How can I get more information about the Human Race?

Contact our Human Race Coordinator at 427-5070 x111    or