A fundraising event in retrospect: Rondje Nederland

July 3, 2020 | Nieuws | By Jozy Gallmann


On Saturday June 13th, I found myself walking through the Amsterdam forest. Dressed in a yellow Welcome app t shirt I tried to keep my pace up to speed. Why? Because it was race day for a fundraising event named Rondje Nederland that I took place in. Participants all over The Netherlands came in action at the same time. Together we aimed to cover the distance of a lap around the country (Rondje Nederland), an estimated 1478 kilometers in total. I was supposed to run, but unfortunately I sustained a knee injury. So, I decided to walk the chosen distance of 21 kilometers.

Rondje Nederland for newcomers

Welcome app created this event when the pandemic kicked in. Obviously, the corona crisis has a significant impact on our target audience: newcomers in The Netherlands. It’s already challenging to build up a new life under normal circumstances, let alone in times of crisis. The corona measures led to home isolation, institutions that were closed, cancelled language courses, having to homeschool without mastering the Dutch language. It’s safe to say that the lack of a network hits extra hard in times of crises. The intelligent lockdown forms a big hurdle for newcomers in their efforts to feel at home in The Netherlands. Welcome app is established to support these people, but the crisis didn’t spare the non-profit sector either and that’s why we rolled up our sleeves and created a fundraiser. Our idea? To host a sports event to raise money and cover at least one lap around The Netherlands with the participants altogether.

PBs were crushed

We launched the event and a little over five weeks later we were amazed by the effort and enthusiasm. Registrations kept coming in, even until only a few days before the race and the number of donations kept growing and growing. On race day, numerous personals records were broken and boundaries were pushed. Birthe and Jasper ran their first 10 kilometers ever, a group of cyclists rode from Helmond to Amsterdam (!), ten housemates covered a whopping 200 kilometers and half, full and even double marathons were crushed by foot, by bike or on skeelers.

That community feeling

For me it was the first time ever to participate in a sports event whereby participants raced individually at different locations. Despite of that I truly felt connected to all newcomers and locals that participated. You’re wondering whether we made it? We did. We made it 3,5 times around The Netherlands in total. On top of that we raised 16.586 euro. Wow.

Aftermovie (Dutch only, but you’ll get a sense of the energy without a doubt): 


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