How To Create A Winning 'Run For Justice' Team

The Los Angeles Marathon is just over a month away but there's still plenty of time to create a successful team to particiate in Public Counsel's annual Marathon fundraiser, Run for Justice (RFJ).


We recently spoke with Tanya Russell and Nina Hughes, the staff leaders behind Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP's successful six years of participation in RFJ.  "Since 2005, we have quadrupled the size of our team and we have raised over $12,000 for Public Counsel -- and we've had a great time doing it," says Tanya Russell, Katten's office administrator.


"Run for Justice is a great team building event," says Nina Hughes, Katten's attorney recruiting and development/marketing assistant, "and we look forward to it every year." 


Here is Katten's Five Point Plan for creating a winning RFJ team:

1.  Have leadership at the top:  "Gail Title, our firm's managing partner, is the real force behind our firm's RFJ successes," says Ms. Russell.  "When Gail says, 'let's raise some money for Public Counsel,' we do it.  To help, the firm covers the $35 registration fee.  This gets people over any initial hurdles they might have about fundraising for Public Counsel.  The registration fees go to the LA Marathon organizers."  

2.  Communicate constantly:  "I keep a steady flow of email updates, information and success stories about Run for Justice going out to our staff to build excitement and enthusiasm," said Ms. Hughes.


3.   Have fun:  "We have two parties that lead up to the Marathon," said Ms. Russell.  "We have a Pizza Day party were the firm buys pizza for the staff and the staff pay to enjoy the pizza.  All the money collected by staff goes to Public Counsel.  We also have a Jeans Day event where the staff pays to wear jeans to work...and all that money goes to Public Counsel too as part of our RFJ contribution."


4.  Create incentives and competition:  "We have some partners who will match the money raised by their staff, and we also have different departments competing for who can raise the most money," said Ms. Hughes.


5.  Have more fun at the Marathon:  "The day of the 5K race is great," said Ms. Russell.  "We all love the Baseline Club that Public Counsel reserves as a gathering spot and the breakfast buffet is terrific.  The 5K itself is fun, and it's a managable distance for most people."


"However," continued Ms. Russell, "that's not true for some people.  For one Katten staff member, doing the 5K last year presented a real challenge.  In fact, at first she demurred saying she was unable to do it.  I spoke to her at length about our firm's long history with Public Counsel and all the work done by our firm to help Public Counsel's clients, and I promised I would stay with her the whole way.  Finally she agreed, she raised money and on the day of the 5K - she completed it.  She was in tears, and so was I.  Run for Justice is a fundraiser and, sometimes, a life changer."


"And we challenge any firm to beat our numbers on March 19th." said Ms. Russell with a stomp on the table and a smile on her face.