Girls on the Run

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Girls on the Run: Break the "Girl Box", Run 5k

Charlotte, Estados Unidos
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Mission: We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

Girls on the Run is a life-changing, experiential learning programs for girls age eight to thirteen years old. The programs combine training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development.

In 2000, Girls on the Run International became a 501c3 organisation and today engages 45000 girls a year, the 3000 women who work with them in 171 Councils across North America, and the 500000 individuals engaged in the annual WonderGirl Run series.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if every girl knew her limitless potential and boldly pursued her dreams?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Bombarded with a degrading media, young girls lack the space to develop their sense of self independent from society's judgmental gaze. Young girls have become increasingly prone to the mental health challenges of depression, low self-esteem, and eating disorders, urged to value their bodies solely for appearance. Beyond such psychological damage, self-objectification impedes girls' concentration, impairing performance on logical reasoning.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

By forming small, supportive teams, GOTR encourages young girls' positive emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual and physical development and most importantly, challenges them to stay true to themselves in the face of pressures to conform. GOTR's 24-lesson curriculum uses games and workouts to teach life skills, including self-respect, teamwork, and community, and culminates in a non-competitive 5K event in which the girls can walk, run, or roll (in wheelchairs), as long as they keep moving forward. Through its interactive, engaging model, GOTR helps young girls examine the "Girl Box" and discover ways to flourish beyond society's limited expectations, to reach their highest potential.
Impact: How does it Work

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

With 55,000 dedicated volunteers, Girls on the Run serves over 130,000 girls in 200+ cities across North America each year. In 2012 alone, GOTR hosted 253 end-of-season 5k events, inspiring confidence through movement along the way. GOTR not only significantly improves body image, self-esteem, and intrinsic motivation to participate in healthy activities, but also reduces the likelihood of adolescent pregnancy, eating disorders, and substance abuse. With such positive impact on girls’ development, GOTR has sparked multiple partnerships, including Kellogg and New Balance, and media attention from outlets such as ESPN, CNN and Oprah. GOTR has also been recognized by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and has expanded to middle schools due to popular demand. Ultimately, its impact can be seen in its girls, who now believe "I am the boss of my brain."

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Like other organizations working to build young girls' self-esteem, Girls on the Run utilizes the supportive environment of small teams to cultivate a sense of partnership in the fight against gender stereotypes. Using an action-oriented program to instill self-confidence, GOTR helps prevent negative thinking and destructive behaviors. Moreover, its strategic focus on movement has facilitated lucrative corporate partnerships, whose enthusiasm for girls running forward has helped catapult GOTR to its famed success.


Hi Molly. I liked the concept of your organisation "Girls on the Run". To focus on some rare issues like low self-esteem, eating disorders, etc. is a good initiative. Being a volunteer at Changemakers, I would like to suggest a funding organisation for GOTR. Women's Funding Network is a global network who invest in women and their development in all aspects. Based in San Fransisco, CA, they are globally spread to take care of all the issues related to women. Their website is Please let us know your thoughts.

Ayshah Maende's picture

Nice concept and great. As someone passionate about the welfare of young people especially young girls this is great keep doing the great work