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World Runners is unique among nonprofit institutions. The organization is interested in the fitness of both its members and its beneficiaries. However, there is a difference in emphasis on the type of fitness between the two groups. Physical fitness is the main interest for the member and financial fitness for the beneficiaries.

World Runners was founded in 1977 by a group of runners with a mission to make a difference in the world. The difference to make? To end the existence of hunger and poverty in the world. If we were going to go to all the effort to run a marathon or a 10k race, for example, we wanted it to count for more than just thousands of steps. We wanted our running to make a lasting difference in the world as well.

It became increasingly clear that poverty was one of the prime reasons for the persistence of hunger. People with means seemed to be able to feed themselves regardless of where they lived. The key link in the persistence of hunger seemed to be poverty and people lacking economic empowerment. And, what better way to end poverty than through microcredit and education.