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Fun Run Ideas & Themes

Fun Run Ideas & Themes

While the weather is still warm, why not gather your students or supporters together and raise money while getting some exercise with a Fun Run? Fun Runs are the perfect fundraiser for schools, as they encourage youth exercise and team building. Students get excited about the big day and are happy to fundraise for your school in the meantime. The best School Fun Runs include training time for the kids, team building exercises for classrooms that are working together to raise funds, and school spirit pep rallies and initiatives. Adding unique Fun Run ideas – costumes, games, after-parties, and more – that add fun are always encouraged.

For non-profits, the competition of a 10K, half-marathon or marathon may fuel athletic supporters, but a Fun Run exponentially grows your participants because it isn’t just about getting to the finish line. Families can train together or just show up and have fun. Fun runs are for everyone!

Our 9 Best Fun Run Ideas

Our Fun Run ideas below add an extra dose of fun by adding a theme or costume to the run. Everyone falls in love with the fun run because the entire journey from beginning to end is an enjoyable and energetic experience whether participants run, walk or roll. The ideas are endless but here are nine great fun run concepts to run with!

Color Fun Runs

Color Runs are great school crowdfunding events, yet attract people of all ages with that extra pop of color during the run. The Fun Run is done with a simple addition of including packets of colorful powders at registration and for spectators. The participants wear white to start and get to enjoy the run with bursts of colors they can do with what they wish. The result is sure to be a rainbow-like load of fun! Learn more on how to organize one with our article on Fundraising with a Color Run.

Pajama Run/Onesie Run

Another Fun Run idea to consider is the pajama run or onesie run. Participants gear up in their pajamas before the event begins. Onesies have recently made a comeback in style, often times mimicking animals like unicorns and foxes, and can be a fun idea for young ones and adults together. A more easily accessible outfit can simply be pajamas, in which events like Pajama Jamboree or Pajama Jog are names that roll with the theme well. This is another great Fun Run idea for schools.

Disney-Themed Run

An event that is fun for the younger crowd of elementary school fundraising is a Disney-Themed run. Parents and kids can get their best Elsa or Aladdin costume and run with the enthusiasm of Moana singing out at sea. Disney is not limited to just the princess or new movies, but can also involve the classics – like Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse ears.

Night Light Run/Glow Run

For more pep and energy without the heat of the sun, another option is a night light or glow run. Consider this idea as a party that so happens to be on a run or walk to the finish line. The event typically has a DJ playing high-energy music and participants are given glow-sticks to have fun on their run. At the starting line, once the race begins, dance your way to the finish line. The participation for this type of event draws in camaraderie by costume, where walkers/runners can really upgrade their outfit for an extra pizazz with glow-in-the-dark socks, shoelaces, body paint and clothing.

TV Show-Themed or Movie-Themed Fun Run

Another great option for themes is to design it after a TV show or movie. With the ever growing popularity of shows like Game of Thrones or Star Wars, why not let people don their best Daenerys wig or Princess Leia buns? Start the enthusiasm with your themed Fun Run crowdfunding website to get participants excited.

Halloween Costume Run

If the Fun Run is happening around the corner of Halloween, why not go with the flow of the theme and make it a Costume Run? A great way to end the run is to host best costume contests for the run participants.

Jingle Bell Jog/Santa-Themed Fun Run

Should you find yourself in need of a walk or run during the wintertime, it’s only so natural to make it a holiday-themed event. A famous walk in New York City is called SantaCon, where the participants are welcome to join in costume as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or elves and Santa helpers. For something more seasonally festive outside of the Christmas theme, you can also do a Jingle Bell Jog, where everything from holiday sweaters to Christmas-themed costumes count as outfits.

Water Gun Run

We know marathons and even Fun Runs can get pretty heated both under the sun and at the race. Why not add a cooling aspect to the run with water guns? Registration packages can include a small water gun so everyone can join in the fun. What’s great here is that the event can have added activities, like water slides, water balloon fights and water sprinklers on the side for spectators to have their own fun.

Zombie Run or Lurch

Zombies are everywhere, from shows like Walking Dead and iZombie to movies like Shaun of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead to the ever-classic music video, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Becoming a zombie can be a fun theme for your Fun Run or obstacle course fundraiser.

A variation with the human vs. zombie concept that is sure to delight kids is to give the “human” participants three tags on their bibs with the aim of finishing the race with all three tags still intact. The “zombies” aim is to grab all of the tags off of the humans before they reach the finish line.

Starting the Fun Run off on the Right Foot with a Great Fun Run Website

One of the most pivotal parts of a Fun Run fundraiser is making sure that you have the right peer-to-peer fundraising software to help you succeed. Choosing a Fun Run software package that will make your Fun Run as professional as it is fun, is easy with us! We’ve hosted crowdfunding events since 2006 and were selected to Gartner’s list of 2017 Nonprofit Donor Management Software FrontRunners.

Crowdfunding Software

Here are some key features of our software for Fun Runs and Walks:

  1. We make sure that registration is easy to do and well-organized. You can also import participants – some schools like to import all students.
  2. We offer easy, secure Payment Processing
  3. You start with our Customizable School Fun Run or Walk-a-thon Template
  4. Leaderboards, thermometers and participation graphs that help to motivate your participants
  5. Flat-rate and per unit (ie lap or mile) pledges are accepted with our system
  6. Easy entry of off-line donations or pledges by participants and/or administrators
  7. Prize management system that offers easy reporting & prize widgets
  8. Easy communication with our e-mail management system
  9. Comprehensive data collection and reporting
  10. Affordable Pricing – we are the only major provider that does not take a percentage of your funds raised

DoJiggy offers a comprehensive and easy-to-use Fun Run software package which can meet these needs and more.

Maximize Funds with Fun Run Fundraising Ideas

Sponsors can greatly alleviate the burden of event costs, as well as give a surprisingly impactful push towards your fundraising goals. Preparing to bring aboard sponsors is essential to making sure that you have long-lasting relationships with your sponsors and supporters.

Tiered Sponsorship Levels for Monetary Sponsors

When people and businesses are approached about becoming prospective sponsors, what differentiates between the two is that businesses typically want to know the publicity options and incentives that are available for their support. With fun runs typically attracting larger than usual crowds because of their novelty, there are many opportunities that can benefit a corporate/business sponsor from the fun run itself. Consider offering different levels of sponsorships, where the more money they donate, the more incentives become available. Some incentives can include the following:

  1. Advertisements: Consider the different locations where sponsor’s logo can be exposed to the runners and event supporters. For example, if you have a step-and-repeat backdrop for people to take photos, offer the larger sponsors of $1,000 or more an opportunity to include their logo on the backdrop (so it appears in every photo taken). Another incentive is to allow for sponsors to set-up a table at the event and hand out free giveaways and promotional materials.
  2. Speaking Slots: For higher-level sponsors, speaking slots can be a great way for them to reach out to prospective clients or customers. A 1-2 minute slot when announcing raffle prizes or winners is another great incentive for sponsors.
  3. Social Media Mentions: While ramping up towards the event, an option for social media content can include mentioning sponsors and thanking them for their support, along with a blurb of what their business is about. This can include a post on social media platforms or an excerpt in newsletters.

In-Kind Donations

While monetary donations are ideal, fun runs also require prizes, giveaways and other materials to be successful. Consider asking for things that would otherwise cost money, such as donating the medals for the attendees or winners, giveaways to offer in goody bags, raffle prizes and more. To give an extra touch of customization, accessories like sweatbands and t-shirts are also helpful in-kind donations to consider inquiring about.

Fun Run After-Party Fun

An after-party is a must, not only for raising money but for making the event fun. Have local bands play and award prizes to the top fundraisers. Allow sponsors to showcase their wares at booths, which are also available for a fee. Local food trucks can come too – and donate a percentage of funds to your cause. This is your chance to shine and get your participants excited for next year.

How to Organize a Fun Run

For all the in’s and out’s of a successful fun run, check out our blog: Organizing a Fun Run: Money Making Success in 13 Steps.

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

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Lisa Bennett

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.

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