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Chicago River Swim

Sunday, September 22, 2024



The Chicago River Swim is hosted by A Long Swim, a Chicagoland 501(c)3 non-profit organization that both borrows the ALS acronym and is dedicated to raising funds for collaborative ALS research using open water and marathon-distance swimming. To date, A Long Swim has raised over $2 million for ALS Research at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. In addition, Chicago River Swim proceeds will fund local learn-to-swim programs for at-risk youth.

The Chicago River Swim is structured as a charitable event. All participants are required to fundraise either $1,000 (1-mile swimmers) or $1,500 (2-mile swimmers) from their peer group in advance of event weekend. Participants will be supported through the fundraising process with a variety of tools, including:

  • A dedicated Athlete Services Coordinator
  • A personal, online fundraising account
  • Secure, private donation portal
  • Templates for donation requests
  • Perks for achieving milestones
  • Top donor awards 
  • Donor listing

Participants must complete their fundraising efforts by Sunday, September 8, 2024, or pay the outstanding balance using their credit card on file. To support their efforts, these fundraising milestones have been set for the 2024 season:

  • May 6: Participant Selection & Notification
  • June 16: Fundraising Milestone 1 (25% complete)
  • July 21: Fundraising Milestone 2 (50% complete)
  • September 8: Fundraising Milestone 3 (100% complete)

Fundraising Tips

Once the participant selection process is complete, Chicago River Swimmers should share their news and get to work! Participants are asked to hit the pavement early and ride the wave of attention to easily meet their fundraising goals. Event personnel will provide tips and tools to enhance their fundraising success, including:

  • Share your Chicago River Swim selection with the world! This is a huge opportunity, and your friends and family will certainly want to learn more.
  • Set-up, customize and share your fundraising page on this system (instructions will be shared) through all available channels. 
  • Set a personal fundraising goal and jot-down the fundraising milestone dates as a guide. 
  • Craft a short message to explain what you're doing, why you're doing it and how much you would appreciate the support from your network.
  • Post on your social media or pages. Templates and graphics will be provided to simplify the process for all participants. 
  • Pick up the phone and call, or send a personal text message to someone. 
  • Some employers match employee donation. Check with your HR group, and ask your friends or family if their company does the same.
  • Don't be shy. People like to participate  You can do it, but you have to ASK!

Participants are strongly encouraged to go above and beyond their minimum threshold, where incentives and awards will be offered to top fundraisers. More details will be shared as the event draws nearer.

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