For those of us who bristle at the thought of asking friends and family for donations, there is another way we can run--or bike, ski, swim, weight lift, yogi, etc.--for a cause: The Plus 3 Network.
You pick your charity (and supporting company) ranging from, to name a few, Project Rwanda (Ritchey), Trips for Kids (Syncros), Breast Cancer Fund (Ahnu), Environmental Defense Fund (Pedros), IMBA (Rock Shox), World Bicycle Relief (SRAM), and the organization I chose to support, The Conservation Alliance (Ahnu). It is "free" for participants--all we have to do is sweat. :-) And all that expended energy can go toward helping organizations that could really use donations right now and those less fortunate of our fellow human beings.
Chris and I have been participating only since January 1 of this year and have already raised a combined total of $60.94. It's a really fun way to track your workouts, and the "Leader Boards" provide fun competition. Give it a try!