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How to Organize a Walkathon

Non-profit organizations have long favored walk-a-thons, bowl-a-thons, and other similar events where donations and pledges are collected to raise money for your cause. These events offer great opportunities for raising money and spreading the word about your organization, without heavy overhead costs. The steps in this guide are designed to keep the planning process on track. For detailed information about each of the topics here and much more, download our FREE guide below: "How to Organize a Walkathon: Your Complete Guide to Hosting a Walkathon". Good luck getting your event going, and remember, big results are entirely possible with careful planning and execution!

Assembling a Leadership Team

Successful events hinge on the recruitment and action of a strong leadership team. Ideally your team should be comprised of individuals with diverse skills and talents that share a common interest in the organization's success. In addition, working smart at this stage of the game requires delegation. Consider assigning a person (or team of people) to the following project areas:

  1. Legal/Logistics: this person should be someone responsible for obtaining permits and handling logistics, such as traffic control and insurance.
  2. Corporate Sponsorship and Donations: someone with experience in sales and building partnerships to solicit sponsorship and manage a sponsor expo area for local businesses and donors.
  3. Marketing & Public Relations: someone with a communications background to write press releases, pitch story ideas to media, create print and promotional materials and recruit celebrity event participation
  4. Hospitality & Communications: this is the event cheerleader! He or she sends periodic coaching cards to participants, organizes pre- and post-event meals and activities, and coordinates entertainment.

Recruiting Walkers and Sponsors

Start with your network: When it comes time to recruit participants and volunteers, nothing will be more important than your network and your leadership branch. These people are often well established in the community, and will not only to participate, but will ask associates, friends and family members to participate as well. Encourage this! Don't forget your Sponsors: Often, companies value opportunities to engage their workforce in community activities. Therefore, it is important to ask companies not only for sponsorship to help offset the event costs, but also for their participation. Team registrations offer a fun and easy way for companies to participate.

Marketing Your Event

Marketing will serve an important purpose in raising awareness, drawing participants and cultivating action. Most organizations utilize a variety of media for getting the word out including: branding the event and creating print and promotional materials to help spread the word (i.e. flyers, signage, brochures, stickers). You'll also want to develop a Public Relations Campaign to create a "buzz" within your local community.

Managing Donations and Pledges

One of the most important considerations when planning a walkathon is how to successfully manage donations and pledges. After all, isn't raising money your primary task? Organizers will need a secure and easy way to track and manage the numerous pledges collected from your walk-a-thon participants.

DoJiggy Pledge is a walkathon software system designed specifically for walk-a-thons, bowl-a-thons, golf marathons, dog walks, and any other type of event where individual and team participants solicit and track pledges. Each of your event participants creates and manages their personalized pledge page and invites friends and family to support your organization through secure, online donations and pledges. Administrators configure a minimum donation standard for participants, as well as the types of donations and pledges accepted.

Sign up for a free 14 day trial today to see how DoJiggy Pledge can help your organization more effectively run your walkathon.

How to Organize a Walkathon: A Complete Guide to Hosting a Walkathon

For much more detailed information about each of these topics, download our FREE guide: How to Organize a Walkathon: Your Complete Guide to Hosting a Walkathon.

Other Resources

Visit our Walk-a-thon Resource Center for additional information and sample documents including walk-a-thon flyers, walk-a-thon pledge forms, and more.

Return to Walk-a-thon Resources