FIRST, A NOTE FROM BEN
"Welcome to The 401 Foundation's Crowdfunder campaign and thank you so much for being here. If you've supported anything 401 before, thank you in advance for your continued support. It means so much to me that you're still following this journey. If you're a new supporter, welcome and thank you for taking the time to support this campaign. We can't do this without you so as always, I'm truly grateful and humbled by your generosity. Remember to donate, share and follow our progress. Much love, Ben, Founder, The 401 Foundation."
The 401 Foundation is a charity for local community projects. The money you donate to this crowdfunding campaign will help us to launch more sporting events. We aim to donate 100% of the profits from these events to local community projects that tackle mental health and self-development issues.
Launched by the man who famously ran 401 marathons in 401 days, our vision is simple! We passionately strive to help people build their confidence and self-esteem along with tackling mental health and self-development issues, by financially supporting local community projects and individuals directly. Help us help those that need it the most, be part of something truly innovative, inspiring and empowering. Help us make a positive change today, for a brighter tomorrow.
During my childhood, I, like many kids suffered at the hands of bullies. All through my school life bullies told me I wasn’t good enough, who I was as a person was wrong, that I wasn’t normal. The bullying had a profound impact on my confidence and self-esteem and unfortunately led to me try to take my own life twice. I suffered from depression all through my twenties, pretending to be someone I wasn’t. On paper, I was successful, driven, confident, outgoing, but inside I was broken, a shell, had no confidence or self-esteem and suffered from severe mental health issues. After a Transient Ischaemic Attack (‘mini stroke’) at aged 29, I woke up, realised I couldn’t live the life I had been living anymore and decided to change it.
I was 17.5 stone, a 40 a day smoker, depressed with no confidence or belief in myself, so I started to run. Through running, I found something inside me that I loved for the first time, something that brought back my adventurous spirit from when I was a very young kid. I finally had a fire in my belly and it came from running. My confidence grew, my self-esteem came back, and after two years I had run almost 30 marathons all around the world. But I felt I was destined to do something bigger.
The 401 Challenge was born in 2014, a challenge that would see me run 401 marathons in 401 days all around the UK with an aim to raise £250,000 for two anti-bullying charities. The project not only aimed to inspire people, challenge them to do things they never thought they could do but also raise the awareness of the harmful effects bullying can have on your confidence and self-esteem. The challenge was a huge success. We achieved all our goals raising over £330,000, inspiring over 13,500 runners to join me on my journey, covering 10,506.2 miles (London to Sydney), climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest 15 times.
The world felt the effects of the 401 Challenge. People connected, people found solace in the challenge and over 1600 were inspired to run further than they had ever run before in their lives. Adults and kids took part, spreading the message far and wide, culminating in a globally published finish. The project won countless awards including The BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award 2016, A National Fundraising Pride of Britain Award and many more. We couldn’t leave it there. Too much had changed in both my life and everyone that had been affected by the challenge. This is where the legacy came from, The 401 Foundation.
THE 401 FOUNDATION
So what are we and what is our purpose? We are a grant based foundation aimed at supporting local community projects and individuals that build confidence and self-esteem while tackling mental health and self-development issues.
Throughout my journey around the UK, I saw so many local projects that were crying out for financial support, but couldn’t get it as their footprint was deemed to be too low. The 401 Foundation believes that local community projects are the backbone of our society, where the real change happens. We aim to provide the funding that is necessary to these projects and individuals so they can continue to make a positive empowering impact in their areas for years to come.
Building someone's confidence and self-esteem may seem simple, but it's more complicated than you might think, it’s sometimes hard to measure the impact a project has on an area until years after.
With our unique, bespoke grant operating system, and innovative way of managing donations we keep it local. We split the UK into 96 counties, each with a grant pot. All contributions whether they come from our events or people all around the country are to be tracked and added back into the county pots they come from.
Tracking contributions by county means your money goes back into your area, not another counties pot. You make the difference to projects that matter to you locally. We fund our grants through many different means including donations. Our primary source of income will come from our series of sporting events currently being developed. The 401 Festival of Running which is now live and growing and a future running brand due to launch in 2019. Our events are open to all ages, all abilities and with the tagline #makeadifference. People get a lot out of the events, not just from taking part but by knowing their money is going to help those that need it the most, call it good karma!
WHY WE ARE CROWDFUNDING
It takes a lot to build a successful, sustainable foundation that can impact people lives for years to come. A year and a half after the end of The 401 Challenge, The 401 Foundation became a registered charity. We have a passionate board that is thoroughly committed to ensuring the success of the foundation moving into this next exciting phase
We have set a target of £40,100 along with a stretch target of £104,401 to fund the following initiatives to ensure we are set up and ready to start handing out grants in April 2019:
1.) Building a bespoke grant system
2.) Finding office space to grow
3.) Expanding our passionate team
4.) Developing our event to ensure a sustainable future
5.) Setting ourselves up operationally
6.) Building our new 401 Foundation website and CRM system
We have so many supporters from The 401 Challenge, here’s hoping we can bring you along to the next exciting chapter of the 401 journey.
If you simply wish to donate, then please go ahead, but we also have a great selection of individual, bundle or business rewards on offer in return for your generous donations. See images of some of our rewards below and remember to select the reward you want when making your pledge. For all rewards with size options or that will require further details from you to deliver, please rest assured we will be in touch after the campaign closes to confirm your choices.
The 401 Foundation Hoodie: Available for both Adults and Children
The 401 Foundation T-Shirt: both Short and Long Sleeve and available for both Adults and Children
The 401 Foundation Vest:
The 401 Book and the 401 Keep Cup:
Earlier this month we launched The 401 Book which quickly became a number one bestseller on Amazon. This is your opportunity to get your hands on a signed copy. Simple choose one of the rewards that include the book. If you already have the book, pick 'Book Signing', you can then send me your book, I will sign it and then send it back to you.
The 401 Pin Badge:
The 401 Foundation and TRUESTART Coffee bundle: Available for both 1 and 2 people
We've teamed up with TRUESTART COFFEE to put together some great bundle rewards for you. TRUESTART is the only coffee with regulated caffeine, plus a rich profile of 17 essential minerals. Their coffee is ethically farmed, sustainably sourced, super clean coffee which tastes great black or white and it's gluten-free, vegan-friendly and contains no refined sugar!
The 401 Foundation and TRUESTART Coffee reading bundle: Available for both 1 and 2 people
The 401 Foundation Bronze Merchandise Bundle: Available for 1, 2 or 4 people
The 401 Foundation Silver Merchandise Bundle : Available for 1, 2 or 4 people
The 401 Foundation Gold Merchandise Bundle: Available for 1, 2 or 4 people
We've also launched a great selection of rewards that include Ben's time, from personalised recorded videos for you or your business or club to motivational talks from Ben in your office, school or club. Check out our full range of rewards and choose the one (or two, or three) that are best for you. If you simply want to donate, then that is also fine!
Additional funding over our target will allow us to accelerate our development plans, build our team quicker and develop more events.
#mentalhealthmatters #makeadifference #Get401funded