In 1987 Murray entered the 105 mile Canadian Ski Marathon.
Feeling that it would be a shame to ski so far and not for a cause, Murray decided to raise $$ for cancer research.
NOBODY IN THE EVENT WAS INVITED TO RAISE $$$ FOR ANYTHING.
After the event, Murray began to encourage charities in the US/Canada to invite their supporters to participate in mass participation running, cycling, x-c skiing, triathlon and similar events wherever they happened to be, and raise $$ for their charity.
Team in Training adopted Murray’s idea in 1992/93 and as of Jan/2013 had raised $1.3 billion.
In 1989 Murray had another idea. Since 1992/93 the London Marathon has raised around $1 billion with the idea. No events in the world raise more for charity than those which adopted Murray’s idea. Other events and charities went onto adopt the 2 ideas and the result is in the area of $3 billion raised for the entire third sector, since 1992.
The potential of the 2 ideas, used in conjunction, and in widespread use is easily over $3 billion/yr. for ALL areas of philanthropy.
Murray became a “charity activist” in 1988 when the Canadian Ski Marathon ignored his request that they add an optional fundraising component to their event. Murray’s activism helped to bring over $20 million to the victims of a deluge in Quebec in 1996. In 2000, Murray’s activism let to the creation of the largest annual fundraising effort for the benefit of Quebec’s less fortunate.