Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run Gets Girls Moving with Donated Tech

When Mary Hansen's 12-year-old daughter said she looked fat in her new bathing suit, Mary felt deeply troubled and decided to look for help. She scoured the web and found Girls on the Run (GOTR). GOTR is an NGO that inspires young girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident through a curriculum that creatively integrates running. Over the course of 12 weeks, volunteer coaches teach a carefully designed 24-lesson curriculum to girls aged 8 to 13. Girls who could not have imagined running a mile at the beginning of the program complete a 5k run at the end of the 12 weeks.

The girls learn the importance of confidence, community, and health. "If the girls don't like to run, we teach them how to power walk. We even had one girl skip the entire 5k," said Mary, who was so inspired by the program that she brought a GOTR chapter to central Virginia. Since its inception in 2006, Mary's chapter has grown quickly.

She knew that in order to make the program available to more girls across central Virginia, she would need access to the proper technology tools. Through TechSoup, Mary received a donation of Intuit's QuickBooks for Nonprofits. While she could spend hours doing her own payroll, it takes her10 minutes maximum with QuickBooks. GOTR is a fee-based program, but Mary takes pride in never having to turn a girl away because she cannot afford to pay.

Using QuickBooks to handle all of the organization's accounting needs has eliminated the need to hire someone, which leaves more money to be spent on scholarship fee reductions. Last year alone, the NGO was able to provide scholarship fee reductions of over $32,000. By smartly investing into key organizational resources, Mary and her team in central Virginia have served over 4,000 girls across 50 different sites in their first eight years. Like the girls they serve, they show no signs of slowing down.