Running for a Purpose: Givinga CRO’s 25th Boston Marathon Raises Funds for the Martin Richard Foundation

Dave Gilmartin, Givinga’s Chief Revenue Officer, will be running his 25th Boston Marathon on Monday, the 10th anniversary of the Marathon Bombing. Join us as we cheer on Dave and Team MR8, running to support the Martin Richard Foundation which invests in community programs to advance the values of inclusion, kindness, justice, and peace. Read on to hear Dave’s unique perspective on how his passions for the Boston Marathon and giving back have influenced his personal and professional aspirations. 

Dave Gilmartin and his daughter crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon
Dave Gilmartin and his daughter crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon

From the POV of a Marathon Runner

As a source of endless inspiration and meaningful purpose, the Boston Marathon brings out the best in world-class runners, the best in the city of Boston, and the best in me. For over 30 years, the Boston Marathon has had a significant impact on my life, inspiring continuous and transformative growth. Joining Givinga provided me with the opportunity to merge my professional experience in technology startups with my personal passion for giving back—largely inspired by my experience with the marathon. It felt like something I’ve been running towards my whole career.

“Getting to the Starting Line is the Hardest Part…”

…is the convergence of cliché phrases I may use too often both for my marathon running and for my career in new business ventures. 

In marathon running—especially when you’re a true back-of-the-pack Clydesdale like myself—you learn to love the morning training runs on cold winter weekends. You quickly learn that while it’s considered an individual sport, it’s the power of the collective community that makes it possible to achieve the seemingly impossible. The incredible inspiration of each runner’s unique story of why they run and who they run for, and bearing witness to the grit and determination of runners who push themselves to make a difference for something greater than themselves. It can be a brutal, relentless grind, but the hard work and sacrifice made over the winter pays off with the pure enjoyment (at least until Mile 22) of being carried along with 40,000 runners and supported by a half a million fans on your trip to Boston. 

The starting line cliché holds true to my experience with technology startups. The excitement of building new and innovative products creates a sense of purpose and meaning in my professional career. Success is always unknown, but it requires the same level of hard work and grit as marathon running; it requires the dedication and support of a team. A network of early employees, advisors, investors, partners and clients. A community that shares and supports your singular mission is incredibly rewarding and powerful, and critical to success.

A love for that hard work and meaningful collaboration is why so many startup veterans look back so fondly on the early days of naivety and audacity as the most rewarding and fulfilling. It’s what continues to draw me back to the Boston Marathon over the years.

Dave Gilmartin with his three kids in the middle of running the Boston Marathon
Dave Gilmartin with his three kids in the middle of running the Boston Marathon

Why I Run

I started marathon running as a college kid 30 years ago, hitching a ride to the race start in Hopkinton and joining the race on a whim and a dare. Every year I was drawn back to the Marathon. In my early years, it was relatively easy to train in the winter and keep the faith that a last-minute dropout would let me use their racing bib number. I’ve run as a Boston cop, a Newton ER nurse, a Dorchester T conductor, and even as a Boston Firefighter-  I vividly recall the NYPD Chaplain’s 2002 pre-race sermon to “run at the pace of God’s grace”- and to this day I use that refrain to carry me through the final miles. 

2013 was my 19th Marathon and the year of the Boston Marathon Bombing. The horrific and senseless violence impacted so many, including the Richard family in my Dorchester family neighborhood, who lost their 8-year-old son Martin. The ‘Boston Strong’ response to that tragic event highlighted the Boston Marathon’s transformative power to bring a community together with collective purpose and inspiring determination to make a meaningful impact. Being a part of Team MR8 over the last 10 years and actively fundraising to support the Martin Richard Foundation is the reason I run the Marathon now. Martin’s hopeful message of peace and kindness and the positive impact of the Foundation—from Martin’s Park in the Seaport to inclusive youth programs in Dorchester and throughout the state—serve as an endless source of inspiration and rewarding purpose. Team MR8 has created deeper connections with my family; running with my 2 sisters and brother-in-law, and maintaining my bond with the Dorchester neighborhood of my youth. Serving as an ambassador for MR8 is an endless source of inspiration and purpose to continue to pay goodness forward.

Dave Gilmartin with his family after running together on team MR8 in the Boston Marathon

The Problem We’re Solving

As an active charity fundraiser and a professional in the technology space, I quickly gained a clear sense of the opportunity to utilize technology to remove the barriers that get in the way of good intentions. Over the last 4 years at Givinga we’ve put in the hard work of building an amazing team and community of like-minded partners to harness the potential of generosity and unlock the full potential of charitable giving. Our philanthropic technology, Philantech®, is now powering experiences that transform workplace culture, build brand affinity, and cultivate everyday philanthropy. We distributed over 700,000 donations to 65,000 charities in 2022. We have a long run ahead of us but excited to enjoy the race and deliver on our collective mission. 

I’m incredibly grateful for the support of the team here at Givinga and their generous donation of $2,500 to a cause so important to me. They are also paying this donation forward and will be matching any donation made to my Team MR8 fundraiser up to $2,500 in additional support. I wanted to thank the Martin Richard Foundation for their inspiration and positive impact. I look forward to carrying their message of peace and kindness with me on my 25th race in the Boston Marathon this Monday. You can support me and the Martin Richard Foundation by donating here

Dave Gilmartin is the Chief Revenue Officer at Givinga, a Boston-based financial technology firm that is developing tools and technology to remove the traditional barriers to philanthropy. Dave facilitates partnerships with companies of all sizes to unlock the full potential of charitable giving to deliver meaningful impact and business results. He combines his life long passion for philanthropy with over 25 years of digital sales, strategy and product development working with leading global brands and innovative startups including Comcast, NY Times, and AdPerfect. Dave lives in Norwell, MA with his wife and 3 children.

Start Giving With Givinga

Givinga’s Philantech® reduces the cost, time, and complexity of giving so you can focus on what matters most: empowering your brand and stakeholders to do the most good. To make it even easier, we are offering Philantech® Essentials with no annual fee for a limited time. Learn more by booking a call via the link below. 

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