Bike-a-thon Fundraisers and Great Bikeathon Fundraising Ideas
Learn the Steps to Plan a Successful Peer to Peer Bikeathon
Find Ideas to Boost Bikeathon Fundraising
Get Started with a FREE Bikeathon Fundraising Website
Bike-a-thons make great fundraisers for schools and nonprofit organizations alike. A bike-a-thon is a peer-to-peer fundraising event that works just like a walk-a-thon, however, instead of walking, participants are biking for your cause. Cyclists bike a predetermined course and commit to raising money for your organization. Bike-a-thon fundraisers work well because almost everyone enjoys riding a bike. They are a great family event, while also offering a venue for avid cyclists to participate. Bikers may collect pledges per completed mile or kilometer or contributors may choose to donate a set donation amount to the benefiting organization or charity in support of a biker’s efforts.
How to Organize a Bike-a-thon Fundraiser in 6 Steps
Once your team has decided that a bike-a-thon is the right fundraising event for your organization or charity, how do you get started? Organizing a successful bike-a-thon or bike fundraiser requires a dedicated team and careful planning. Following these six steps will get your organization or charity started off on the right path:
- Assemble a Bike-a-thon Committee
- Manage Event Logistics
- Find Bike-a-thon Event Sponsors
- Recruit Bikers Who Love Your Cause and Incentive Them
- Securely Collect Donations
- Rock the Post Bike-a-thon Fundraising Party
Assemble a Bike-a-thon Committee
As with most fundraising events, planning a successful bike-a-thon fundraiser depends 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. Committee members may include Development and organizational staff, Board Members, and volunteers (ie parents for school bike-a-thons). Working smart at this stage of the game requires delegation. Consider assigning a person or team of people to the following project areas:
- Legal and Logistics: this person should be someone responsible for obtaining permits and handling logistics, such as traffic control and insurance.
- 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.
- Marketing and Public Relations: ideally someone with a communications background to manage your fundraising website, write press releases, pitch story ideas to media, create print and promotional materials and recruit celebrity event participation.
- Hospitality and Communications: this is your bike-a-thon cheerleader! He or she sends periodic coaching cards to participants, organizes pre and post-event meals and activities, and coordinates entertainment.
- Day of Event Operations: this person recruits and manages volunteers to help with registration, product sales, First Aid stations, and other logistics at the event.
Determine the Bike-a-thon Event Logistics
Basic event logistics include selecting the date and time and course location. You will very likely need to get permits, manage traffic routes, and secure insurance to host a bike-a-thon.
For bike-a-thon fundraisers, participants agree to bike for a set amount of time or distance. During the designated time (ie one hour), the goal for each participant is to bike as many miles as possible around a loop; maximum miles may be established. Another more popular option is for bikers to complete a set course – like a 10-mile loop. This ensures that everyone ends up at the same point – the Finish Line. This may make it more interesting for bikers. Often there are a couple of biking routes, to allow more experienced cyclists to push themselves while beginners and families can have fun with an easier course. Some organizations even include a Century Ride – which is a 100-mile course or a multi-day bike tour.
Find Bike-a-thon Sponsors
You will likely need sponsors to help underwrite the costs associated with your bike-a-thon. Sponsors can provide direct fundraising to cover start-up expenses and in-kind donations. But what do your sponsors want? Sponsors want to be recognized for their contributions. It’s very important to allow your sponsors to interact with your bikers and get face time. Your DoJiggy website includes a sponsor page to highlight each of your sponsors with their logo and a link to their website. The title sponsor should be included on t-shirts and all event swag.
Learn how to attract sponsors to your charity events.
Recruit Bikers Who Love Your Cause and Incentive Them to Fundraise
Your bikers will make or break your event. They are not only your event participants but become your organization’s face to the larger community – and they need your help to make the event a success.
Make it easy for them by providing a powerful software tool for easily customizing their page and collecting donations. Encourage healthy competition to motivate participants and teams to raise more donations by providing incentives and prizes for the best performers. Our Pledge Crowdfunding software includes a prize management system so that bikers can be recognized with icons on their page when they have reached certain fundraising levels and administrators can easily determine which participants receive certain prizes. Offer prizes for the top individual and team fundraisers and your fundraising will sour. Your community sponsors can assist with prizes too. For example, partner with a local bike shop that can donate a new bike for the participant who collects the most donations.
Register Bikers and Collect Donations Online with a Bike-a-thon Fundraising Website
By now, you may be thinking you’ve undertaken a rather large endeavor. You need some help – in the form of great bike-a-thon software. Utilizing our crowdfunding software is a great way to register bikers and securely receive donations for your bike-a-thon event. Your participants will easily create personal fundraising pages where they can upload photos, explain their enthusiasm for your mission, and direct supporters to make secure donations online. They can easily send out an email or post to Social Media sites with a donation request that includes a link to their personal or team donation page. This makes it easy for potential donors to contribute to your cause – no need to pull out a checkbook. The ease of donating is key to fundraising event success.
Rock the Post Bike-a-thon Party
Bike-a-thons are great fundraisers because not only are they bringing money in to support your charity or organization, but they also provide an opportunity for members of your group and community to interact in a fun, social environment while increasing community awareness about your cause.
Following your bike-a-thon (or at the close of the Bike to Work Day or Week fundraising event), invite supporters to a community picnic or BBQ. Food and drinks can be provided at no cost to your hard-peddling bikers and sold to family and friends who come out to watch and enjoy. Much of the food can be donated by local businesses via in-kind donations. In return, business sponsors are provided with benefits and the visibility they deserve. Perhaps you can find local bands or a DJ that is interested in performing.
Get Started with Donor-Friendly Bike-a-thon Fundraising Software
DoJiggy’s peer-to-peer crowdfunding software offers all of the features and functionality you need to succeed. So why not make it easy on yourself? Our platform comes complete with these powerful tools and features for your biking event:
- Personal and team fundraising pages
- Social media links for easy sharing
- Free text to donate for mobile fundraising
- Responsive design for mobile donations and pledges
- Various registration options, including participant import
- Leaderboards with top individual and team fundraisers
- Fundraising thermometers for your overall event goal, teams, and participants
- Prize management system
- Participant privacy for kids’ rides
- Ability to take per unit pledges (ie per mile or lap) or flat-rate donations
- Detailed financial reporting capabilities
More Bike-a-thon Fundraising Ideas to Boost Revenue
Here are some ideas to raise more money with a bike-a-thon.
Post Bike-a-thon Party Fundraising Ideas
Solicit fun prizes from the community and host a fundraising raffle or online charity auction to bring in additional funds. Raffle items could include restaurant and retail gift certificates, free membership at a local gym or health club, free bike-tuning or bike equipment, free massage to work out those sore muscles after all that biking, and more.
Consider creating a theme for the bike-a-thon. This really makes the fundraiser fun! Have your supporters dress up to ride and have contests for the best-dressed teams.
Sell Bike Swag
Bikers love to wear bike jerseys – so why not create a custom bike jersey for your bike-a-thon? You can also offer branded t-shirts, headbands, and other cool swag. Sell these items online before the fundraiser and have a table set up at the after-party.
Alternative Bike Fundraising Idea: Host a Bike to Work Week Fundraiser
A fun variation of a bike-a-thon is a Bike to Work Day or Bike to Work Week fundraising event. Bike to Work Days have become popular fundraising events in recent years as people have become more conscious of the effects of global warming, and therefore look for more efficient means to get from point A to point B, such as biking or public transport.
These biking events work especially well for companies located in places where biking and outdoor activities are common. It’s also a great way to strengthen your brand positioning if you are a company that promotes health, fitness, and sustainable living. This type of event is very similar to a bike-a-thon however happens throughout the duration of a workweek rather than one day. Participants collect pledges based on the total miles they will bike to and from work each day (or donors can also choose to donate a set amount). Bike to Work fundraisers are not only a great way to raise money for corporate causes, but also create team-building opportunities for participating businesses and reduce the carbon footprint on the environment.
Considerations for School Bike-a-thons
Bike-a-thons and trike-a-thons work great for kids and school fundraisers. Just be sure to remember that young kids may not be able to ride without training wheels or ride well on their own. Provide alternatives, in this case, so that everyone can enjoy the day. Some schools allow students to bring their scooters or run if they prefer. Try to make the event inclusive so all of the kids can have fun and parents feel safe.
Safety is a must for kid rides – be sure that everyone has a helmet and is aware of the younger riders. The course should be enclosed and on relatively level ground. Also be sure to have a first-aid station ready to go, for any skinned knees or elbows.
More Bike-a-thon and Peer to Peer Resources
For more useful fundraising resources for your bike-a-thon, visit our walk-a-thon resources where we have sample pledge forms, event timelines and flyers, as well as guidelines to help you plan and promote your peer to peer Athon event, sponsor solicitation tips, and much more. You may also want to consider a spin-a-thon stationary bike fundraising event.