Splashes of colorful foams and vivacious hues of powders being thrown throughout a walkathon or Fun Run is just one of the magical ingredients that make a Color Run Fundraiser successful. Rather than just revolving the focus of your walkathon or Fun Run around the finishing point, this event makes every step of the way to the finish line enjoyable for your participants and spectators alike. Anyone from everywhere may simply come to enjoy this event, simply because it’s about having fun. School fundraising campaigns and PTO groups especially have great success with Color Run Fundraisers.
How to Run the Color Run in 6 Steps
While a Color Fun Run may look overwhelming, it can be quite worthwhile to plan. Many School Color Runs have raised more money than ever before because of how universally enjoyable the event is for students from elementary school to high school fundraising events. Let’s run down 7 steps to hosting this colorful event for your non-profit or PTO organization for school fundraisers.
1. Select the Perfect Color Run Venue
The first step for an event organizer or committee would be finding the ideal space to host a color run fundraiser. Ideally a closed space, such as a school football field or track, or a large parking lot would be a great option. Allow for ample space for spectators to cheer on the happy walkathon participants as well. The space should also have a dedicated area for the pre-party, for warming-up with dancing or yoga, and the after party, where you can provide music, drinks and food. The after party is a huge part of a color run fundraiser, as everyone is having so much fun and wants to take pictures and show off their colors. The after-party also provides a venue for further fundraising and promoting your cause.
2. Manage Event Logistics & Financials
When organizing a walkathon or color run fundraiser, your school or charity is trying to raise as much money as possible. This doesn’t just happen – you need a financial plan to be successful. Be sure to use a fundraising budget template and know your numbers throughout the event planning process. Some logistical items to keep in mind when budgeting include:
- The Color Powder: Participants are given a packet of color powder to have fun as they please. You can even make these available to parents and spectators for a fee, to create a fun atmosphere and raise additional funds.
- Water for the Racers: Be sure to hydrate your event participants. Energy bars, apples and healthy snacks are also great to provide after the event.
- Participant Race Bibs: Printing of bibs and items needed to attach the bibs. These are not usually necessary for school fundraisers.
- Runner Accessories: These include t-shirts and headbands, but they can be optional if the budget does not allow for these additional costs. Simply let your walkathon participants know that all they need is a white t-shirt.
- Winner’s Medals: While this run is not competitive and participants are welcome to walk for a cause at their own pace or race to the finish line, a great souvenir for the first place runners can be a medal of recognition.
3. Utilize Color Run Fundraising Software
The next part (and arguably one of the most important parts) is making it easy for participants to register for the color run fundraiser. One of the most essential tools to making sure that your registration process is seamless is to have a trustworthy and credible peer-to-peer fundraising software package like DoJiggy’s Crowdfunding software. Find options for easy registration and even participant import, which many elementary school fundraising groups like to use. Collect t-shirt sizes or other information as part of the registration process, if needed.
A Crowdfunding website is essential to raising lots of money with a color run fundraiser. Crowdfunding websites make it easy for your participants to customize and share their personal page and get donations for your school or charitable cause. Participants send emails or social media links to their friends and family, who securely donate on your website.
DoJiggy is the Leader in Walk-a-thon and Color Run Fundraising Software.
Some key features to look for in a Color Fun Run platform include the following:
- Make it easy on yourself by starting with a color run fundraising template.
- Simplified Registration Sheets for Day-of Check-In and Race Bib Assignment: Checking-in participants should be a breeze.
- Leaderboards, fundraising thermometers, and participation graphs help to motivate your fundraising participants.
- Prize Management: Track multiple award levels and print reports to easily distribute prizes. When participants reach a certain fundraising level, they get a prize widget on their personal crowdfunding page.
- Team & Individual Registration: All participants can easily create or join teams. Team fundraising (usually classrooms for schools) can really boost your fundraising success! Find out how to handle registering different registration types to maximize your funds.
- Volunteer Recruitment: Non-profit Crowdfunding software can also help you assign volunteers needed to run the behind-the-scene tasks, including managing your website, collecting and tracking donations, registering walkers at the event, selling t-shirts and additional products at the event, throwing the powder and much more.
- Strong Reporting Capabilities: Always be able to check the progress of your walkathon registration and fundraising progress in real-time so that you can plan that extra push to promote your event strategically.
4. Give a Boost to your Fundraising Efforts
When hosting the after party, fundraising ideas that serve as an opportunity to generate extra funds for your walkathon are smart. Here are great fundraising tips to consider:
- Sell Color Run Merchandise: Consider selling themed costume accessories such as glow sticks, unicorn headbands, t-shirts, sunglasses and even tutus. Merchandise sales can even be made online with your eCommerce store.
- Host a Fundraising Raffle: Acquire various local sponsors to donate prizes and sell raffle tickets to your participants.
- Sell Food and Drinks: You can choose the option of having food trucks on-site (who donate a percentage of sales), or you can solicit in-kind donations of food and drinks and sell them for additional funds. Another one of the best party fundraising ideas is to host a tailgate/BBQ party, which would need consideration to whether this is feasible based on the number of hungry runners participating.
5. Focus on Event Sponsorship Sales
One of the major sources of walkathon funds from a color run fundraiser often comes from sponsors. Sponsors are such a pivotal factor to making an ordinary walk for a cause event into an extraordinary one. One of the ways to boost your walkathon fundraising is to offer sponsorship packages that local businesses can consider to gain exposure and build brand reputation by supporting your charity or school. Here are some incentives to offer when building your sponsorship package:
- Brand Exposure: An initial level of brand exposure can be including sponsor logos on marketing collateral, social media posts and banners. A mid-level tier incentive can add the opportunity for sponsors to hang their banner at the event. A higher level of brand exposure where the sponsorship is notably sizable, can include the opportunity to exclusively brand their logo on widely distributed merchandise, like headbands or t-shirts, in addition to the prior mentioned ways. Also, special mentions or a brief speaking slot during announcements, such as when the raffle winners are announced, are another great perk for high-level sponsors.
- Hosting Tables: Within the after party area, another sponsorship perk can include hosting a table for sponsors to interact with participants and potential customers/clients. This is especially a great benefit for parallel industries to the event that are related to health and wellness.
- In-Kind Donations: While monetary donations are fantastic, in-kind donations can greatly minimize the costs of the event. These can come in the form of bottled water, printing services for the race bibs, donated food or beverages to be sold, t-shirts or other needed items to successfully run a color run fundraiser. If you’re hosting a raffle or silent auction, you should also consider collecting attractive prizes to giveaway.
6. Promote the Color Run Fundraiser Widely
While strategically planning a walkathon and sponsorship is 80% of the formula to making this event a colorful blast, the last part is making sure that it is well-promoted. Here are some helpful tips:
- Collaborate: Whether it’s finding other schools or institutions to work with in school fundraising, or reaching out to another organization, sometimes it’s helpful to combine efforts with other groups to work on the event together, especially if the organizations share similar audiences without overlapping services.
- Social Media Planning: Social media can be a powerful method of promoting your walkathon. Plan out your calendar ahead of time to share particular types of posts to keep the momentum of attention for your crowdfunding event going. Posts can include promoting a walkathon sponsor each week, statistics and articles relevant to your cause, past achievements or causes from your organization, volunteer/student or other type of individual of the week for recognition and more.
- Post Walkathon Flyers within the Community: Get a group of volunteers and hit the streets to post flyers throughout the local businesses and community centers to raise awareness outside of your organization or school fundraising campaign’s reach.
- Local TV Stations: Color run fundraisers are quite unique from many other crowdfunding fundraisers, which is a great topic for local TV stations. Reach out to your local stations to inquire about having a reporter come out to speak to your organization about the cause and the fun event that is about to unfold.
With these fundraising tips and guidelines, planning a walkathon or color run fundraiser would be worthwhile to see the explosions of color and smiles happen within your local community, and at the same time reaching your fundraising goals in a unique and memorable way. DoJiggy is the leader in walk-a-thons – try our walkathon software risk free and see more walkathon fundraising resources.