Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply for the team and what is the selection process?

To be considered for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team, each interested individual completes the online application. Every application is reviewed individually, with particular focus on personal fundraising goal, reasons for wanting to join the Dana-Farber team, and timeliness of application. Applications from Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge veterans are also evaluated on past fundraising results.

Can I be on the team if I've never run a marathon?

Yes! Many applicants selected to join the Dana-Farber team have never run a marathon before. Dana-Farber receives a limited number of invitational race entries from the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), and these entries are allotted to selected Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge applicants who are not time-qualified for the Boston Marathon. The B.A.A. requests that invitational race entrants be able to complete the marathon in six hours or less.

What is the deadline for applications?

The application typically becomes available in September, and hundreds of strong applications are received within a few weeks. Due to the postponement of the 2021 Boston Marathon to October 11, the 2022 application process will begin in late fall. Please join our contact list to be notified when the application goes live. Prompt action is strongly recommended! Applicants receive status updates via email.

I have my own entry for the Boston Marathon. May I join the team? How do I sign up?

Absolutely—registered Boston qualifiers and other official entrants are welcome and encouraged to join the team! They play a special role in accelerating Dana-Farber's funding capability in our race to conquer cancer. Qualifiers and others with their own race entries complete the online application, agree to raise $4,000, and receive the team’s great benefits and amenities.

Contact Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge staff if you have questions about fundraising for Dana-Farber as a registered Boston Marathon qualifier or other official race entrant.

Is there a wait list?

A wait list is typically started each season. Wait-listed applicants are notified by email and contacted again should a roster spot become available.

If I don't make the team or the wait list for the upcoming marathon, can I re-apply for another season?

Yes, you may apply once the next season's application process has started. For information on future Dana-Farber teams, please join our contact list. You may also join the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge volunteer crew for the current season.

What are the fundraising commitment and fees for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge?

Please view the Fees and Fundraising Requirements section of the homepage for 2021 requirements and amenities. 2022 requirements and amenities will be announced in late fall.

What fundraising assistance do I receive as a Dana-Farber team member?

All Dana-Farber team members have access to the team website, which allows each runner to personalize an individual web page, send fundraising emails, and manage fundraising progress and records. The Participant Center provides other fundraising materials and training guidance, too.

What benefits do team members receive?

All team members receive the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge’s renowned benefits and amenities!

How much of the money raised by Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge runners goes to the Marathon Challenge beneficiary, the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute?

One hundred percent of the funds raised by Dana-Farber team members supports the Claudia Adams Barr Program.

Once I send donor checks in to be deposited, how long will it take for those gifts to show up on my web page and in my fundraising total?

Please allow two weeks for posting, especially during the weeks surrounding marathon weekend. Check your web page regularly and let us know of any questions or concerns.

I'm planning a Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge fundraising party or other event to benefit my run. What do I need to do to get started?

Please contact us as you begin planning (at least four weeks prior to your event recommended), before you announce the event to anyone.

What is my fundraising obligation if I join the team and then am not able to train or run on marathon day?

The cancellation deadline for team members will be shared with all accepted runners prior to their registration. You will not be responsible for the fundraising commitment if, after accepting a spot on the team roster, you notify us at in writing by the cancellation deadline. After the deadline has passed, each participant is responsible for raising and/or contributing the basic fundraising commitment by the commitment due date, even if the participant is no longer able to train for and/or run the marathon.

What is Dana-Farber's Tax ID number?

Dana-Farber's Tax ID number is 042263040.

I want to make a gift by check. Who should it be made payable to?

Please make your check payable to "Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge."

Where do I send my check?

Please send it directly to the runner whose participation you are supporting. For assistance with address information, contact us.

Will I receive a tax receipt for my gift?

All gifts made online will receive an email confirmation, which includes tax information. Gifts of $15 or more made by check are acknowledged with a letter. For gifts made by check that are less than $15, the cancelled check will serve as your tax receipt.

I would like to make my gift in honor of or in memory of someone. Can you send a letter to the family?

We are happy to send acknowledgment letters for gifts made in honor of or in memory of someone to the person's family. If you are making your gift online, please send us an email at with the honoree's name, the address of the person you would like to receive notification and their relationship to the honoree, as well as the name of the runner whose participation is supported by the gift. For gifts made by check, please enclose a note with the required information and send with the check to the runner you are supporting.

What is a matching gift? How do I submit a matching gift?

Many companies offer matching gift programs to encourage their employees’ support of charitable organizations. Contact your company’s human resources department for information about how to have a gift matched, or search for your company to see if it provides matching gifts to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.

I am interested in contributing an appreciated asset. How does that work?

Contributing via stock, IRAs, or securities is an easy and efficient way to make a gift. Learn more and contact us with any questions.

I just made a gift by credit card. What will appear on my bank statement?

Your online transaction will appear on your credit card statement as: DANAFARBERJIMMYFND. If the transaction is pending, you may see PENDINGBB appear, which is normal. Should you have any questions regarding what appears on your statement, please email our Donor Services team at We can also be reached by phone at 800-525-4669 or 617-632-2903.

I have a question about giving from my Donor Advised Fund using DAF Direct. Who do I contact?

Follow the instructions after clicking to give via DAF Direct. Email our Donor Services team or call 617-632-2903 if you have any further questions. Our team may direct you to speak with your DAF.

Is the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge website secure?

Yes. All information submitted online is subject to the Jimmy Fund Privacy Policy. Please read the Jimmy Fund Privacy Policy before submitting any personal information.

How do I opt out of communications?

If you wish to opt out of receiving fundraising mailings from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, please call 800-525-4669 or visit If you wish to opt out of email communications, you may also click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any Jimmy Fund email.

How can people contribute to my Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge run?

Gifts are accepted in many forms. Send supporters to your personalized web page at, where they can read your story, see your picture, and make a credit card gift to support your run. Other standard gift types include checks, corporate matching gifts, stock gifts, IRAs, and donor advised funds. For information about any gift type, please contact us at or 617-632-1970.

My donor wrote a check payable to me. What should I do?

Please tell donors to make checks payable to "Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge" or "Dana-Farber Cancer Institute." If a donor makes a check payable to you, please endorse the back and write "payable to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute."

I received a cash gift from a donor who would like tax credit. How should I deposit it?

The Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge office cannot accept cash gifts. Please convert each cash gift into a separate money order and send it in with a donor information form, which can be printed from your welcome packet. This will ensure that the donor is credited on your web page and receives a tax letter.

What training support do I receive?

Veteran marathoner Jack Fultz, winner of the 1976 Boston Marathon, creates our five-month training program, which includes a daily training guide, nutrition tips, mental preparation and other guidance, Boston-area weekend group runs, and many stories from the life of a former professional marathon runner.

Where do I find the training schedule and weekend run information?

Training materials are posted in the My Tools section of your Participant Center, which may be accessed by all registered Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team members.

Can a friend take my place on the team?

If you need to discontinue your participation prior to the cancellation deadline, please contact the office. We will select someone from the current applicant pool if it is still possible to do so at the time that you contact us.