Mongabay staff member raises funds for nonprofit news at 2021 Boston Marathon

In July this year, Mongabay launched a $100,000 fundraiser through the Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest continuously run, annually occurring marathon. This year’s race, to be held Oct. 11, will be the 125th edition of the storied event. As the race will fall on Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the United States, a land acknowledgment will take place before the start of the race along with recognizing Indigenous athletes and participants of the race, both past and present.

In recent years, the Boston Marathon’s official charity program has raised around $30 million to $38 million annually for hundreds of nonprofit organizations. The current record is $38.7 million raised in 2019. This year, Mongabay is one of the nonprofits to which donations can be made.

Contributions to Mongabay’s campaign can be made directly through the officially designated donation platform, GivenGain, by clicking this link here. Mongabay will continually post reminders and status updates of the campaign progress via social media in the weeks leading up to race day.

This year’s race will feature significantly fewer participants, downgrading from a 31,500-person proposed field size in 2020 to 20,000 runners in 2021. In addition to this, more COVID-19 safety measures are being implemented to increase social distancing before and during the race (including proof of vaccination or an onsite negative COVID-19 test).

The idea for the fundraiser was brought to Mongabay by Mike DiGirolamo, who is an amateur runner. Mike qualified for and ran in the Boston Marathon in 2019. Initially, he proposed this idea for the 124th edition of the race in very early 2020. But, along with most of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, it was cancelled due to the pandemic. Despite this setback, Mike requalified for the 2021 edition and used his entry to help Mongabay launch this campaign. While not imperative, Mike is hoping to clock a finishing time of under 2 hours and 40 minutes, which, based on recent race times, would place him in the top 300 finishers. Regardless of how the race unfolds, he’s committed to crossing the finish line.

Readers and listeners of Mongabay’s podcast may recognize Mike’s name (not to be confused with Mongabay’s Newscast host, Mike Gaowrecki) as he is not new to the organization. He began writing for Mongabay as an intern in 2015, and has since worked on expanding podcast production to include two new series: Mongabay Explores and Mongabay Reports.

Mike now joins Mongabay full-time as our audience engagement associate to further expand and develop audiovisual content and engage audiences via social media and on-page mechanisms, as well as help support marketing and development initiatives. You can also expect to see him moderating or hosting online discussions, webinars and events produced by Mongabay. Mike is incredibly excited to work with Mongabay, and hopes this new role will aid in increasing the visibility and profile of the organization across all our platforms.

Before joining Mongabay, Mike worked professionally as an actor and in public relations, and also briefly in the tech sector hosting live conversations with experts, scientists and academics across the globe working to educate the public on environmental and social issues. You can hear more about Mike’s journey and his reasons for supporting Mongabay in a short documentary. Follow Mike on Instagram @midigirolamo and Twitter @MikeDiGirolamo to receive further updates and check out media of his training and marathon experience culminating with race day in October.

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