Color Run Fundraisers make great fundraising events for a simple reason – they are fun! Colorful powders being thrown throughout the Fun Run are just one of the magical ingredients that make a Color Run fundraiser successful. Everyone will enjoy this event, simply because it’s about having fun and sharing the love. School fundraising campaigns and PTO groups especially have great success with Color Run fundraisers because of how universally enjoyable the events are for students from elementary to high school.
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How to Run a Color Run in 7 Steps
Let’s run down the seven key steps to hosting this colorful fundraising event for your nonprofit or school.
1. Establish a Color Run Committee
While Color Fun Runs can be quite worthwhile to plan, they are a complex fundraiser. Don’t try to go it alone – you’ll need a strong committee of dedicated staff and volunteers to make the event run smoothly and reach fundraising goals. Find committee members with dedication, experience, and time to commit and your color run will be off on the right foot.
2. Select the Perfect Color Run Venue
The first step for the Color Run committee is 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 runners as well. The venue should also have a dedicated area 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.
3. 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.
- Prizes for top fundraisers: A great way to get participants excited is by offering coveted prizes for your run.
- Rentals: These could include speakers, podiums, tables, carnival games and more.
4. Utilize Color Run Fundraising Software
The next step (and one of the most important) is making it easy for participants to register and raise money for the color run fundraiser. An essential tool for making sure that your registration process is seamless is a trustworthy peer-to-peer fundraising platform. Our software provides options for easy registration and even participant import, which many elementary school fundraising groups like to use. You can also collect t-shirt sizes or other information as part of the registration process.
A Crowdfunding website is also essential to securely raise money with a color run fundraiser. Crowdfunding websites make it easy for your participants to customize and share their personal pages to 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
Use our Color Run websites for free with optional tips from your donors to cover the platform fees. Some key features to look for in a Color Fun Run platform include the following:
- 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: Nonprofit 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.
5. Give a Boost to your Fundraising Efforts
Adding in additional fundraising ideas that serve as an opportunity to generate extra funds for your walk are smart. These ideas can be incorporated before the event, at the after-party, or online. Here are some fundraising tips to consider for earning extra revenue:
- 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.
- School fundraisers can include bouncy houses and carnival-like games in the after-party.
6. Focus on Event Sponsorships
One of the major sources of walkathon funds from a color run fundraiser often comes from sponsors. Sponsors are such a pivotal factor in 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.
7. Promote the Color Run Fundraiser Widely
While strategically planning a walkathon and sponsorship are a huge part of the formula to make this event a colorful blast, the last part is making sure that the event is well-promoted. Here are some helpful tips:
- Collaborate: Whether it’s finding other school groups or institutions to work with for 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 from your organization, volunteer/student or other types 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 and see more walkathon fundraising resources.