GOLD2023

Chicago Area Runners Association

"Chicagoland's Running Club"

aka Chicago Area Runners Association   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.cararuns.org

Mission

The Chicago Area Runners Association, CARA, is a non-profit organization committed to serving and advocating for the local running community. We are Chicagoland’s running club, providing accessible opportunities for all runners to train, race, learn, be social and volunteer.

Ruling year info

1980

Executive Director

Tim Bradley

Co Principal Officer

Evan DeBock

Main address

1540 S Ashland Avenue #201

Chicago, IL 60608 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-3054942

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (N12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Chicago Area Runners Association, CARA, is a non-profit organization committed to serving and advocating for the local running community. We are Chicagoland’s running club, providing accessible opportunities for all runners to train, race, learn, be social and volunteer. CARA serves as the voice of the local running community, both advocating for resources and infrastructure for the running community, and ensuring opportunities to get involved in organized running remain safe and accessible.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

'Go Run

'Go Run is a program organized by the Chicago Area Runners Association. 'Go Run builds communities, activates under resourced parks, and encourages active lifestyles, all of which create safe and healthy environments. This program consistently removes barriers that have often been preventing people from experiencing the benefits of running. 'Go Run annually operates 35 free timed-run/walk events in local Chicago parks. Since ‘Go Run’s establishment in 2017, it has supported over 18,000 participants and built relationships with over five community organizations. This program works to ensure equitable access to organized running throughout Chicagoland by focusing on under-resourced communities and voices of those who have been marginalized.

Our program objectives are:
1. Providing safe, fun and accessible timed running events local neighborhood parks.
2. Activate underserved neighborhood parks through running and volunteerism.
3. Build communities and encourage active lifestyles.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Families

CARA's "Power of the Group" will provide you the support, community, and accountability you need to successfully run through the winter, and reach your next start line ready to race.

As Chicago's premier group training program, we have helped tens of thousands of runners successfully complete their goals. Whether you're a newcomer or experienced runner, our program provides training plans that meet you where you're at.

You will never have to go it alone. Your pace group leaders and fellow participants will give you the Power of the Group that has led CARA runners to the finish line more than any other program in Chicagoland running.

Your training program is led by CARA coaches who have national certifications and years of proven coaching success long before we bring them into CARA.​

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Road Runners Club of America 2019

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim to serve the running community of Chicagoland, helping to support the growth of a diverse, strong, and vibrant running community.

CARA serves as an advocate for the running community to local municipalities, community leaders, and related industry groups. We promote safe, well-organized, and accessible programs, events, and services both internally and externally.

CARA partners with a variety of organizations, such as park districts, forest preserves, advocacy groups, and charities to produce, and offer programming that supports our mission. In addition to advocacy work, CARA provides over 800 dates of programs and events per year for runners to train, race, learn, be social, and volunteer.

Over our 40+ year history, CARA has proven to be a leader and a prime example of what a member-driven organization can accomplish. As the nation's third-largest running club and local running organization, CARA has remained committed to its community-focused mission. We enjoy strong relationships with local and national organizations that aid in our ability to serve our membership and community.

With approximately 5,000 members, CARA is the third largest local community of runners in America.

We are focused on service. Our members fill over 9,500 roles and give over 42,000 hours of volunteer service per year to make our programming possible.

We are the leader and largest provider of group training programs in America, with programs serving runners 8 to over 85.

We are making running more accessible, and building community by providing ‘Go Runs. A program that provides over 60 free-timed 1 Mile and 5K runs per year in neighborhood parks around Chicago.

We bring together Chicagoland’s running clubs for competition and camaraderie through the 15 race Runners’ Choice Circuit.

We are the voice of every runner, representing Chicagoland runners to municipalities on projects such as the Lakefront Trail Separation.

We provide nearly year-round hydration stations are locations around Chicago. During summer months CARA stations give out as many as 20,000 cups of fluid per weekend.

We promote safe and quality event practices by administering the CARA Race Certification program and providing free race director clinics.

We develop future runners through the Chicago Stars! youth club and CARA Youth Circuit.

We promote community and social engagement through social events and fun runs.

We provide runners educational opportunities and informational resources for the local running community.

We support those who run for a greater purpose by training runners from over 50 charity fundraising teams. CARA charity runners raise over $1-million per year for local and national charities.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Chicago Area Runners Association
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Chicago Area Runners Association

Board of directors
as of 07/12/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Kerl LaJeune


Board co-chair

Jill Ciminillo

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/12/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/12/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.