This is a fundraiser that is suitable for any school or church organization, and particularly as a sports fundraiser since it involves physical activity. It requires a lot of planning—especially if you have a lot of participants—but requires very little in the way of facilities or equipment.
People of all ages and physical abilities can participate in this fundraising event. Even people in wheelchairs can do it. It’s an enjoyable way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, talk with friends, get exercise and make money for your sports team, all at the same time.
What is a walk-a-thon?
Participants solicit pledges from friends, family and businesses for a certain amount per mile or lap walked, up to a pre-determined distance. Usually the longer the walk, the smaller the pledges will be per mile.
A fundraising walk-a-thon can be held on a running track or a bike path, or even on a pre-determined route on the sidewalk, with directional signs showing the way. Have local businesses sponsor your event and put their names on all the signs.
On longer walks, set up “refueling stations” and provide free drinks and snacks for your participants. Of course, try to get donations for all the food and drinks.
The best days for your walk-a-thon is on Saturday or Sunday mornings from late spring to early fall. Be sure to schedule a rain date in case of bad weather on your original walk day.
And the winner is…
If your walk-a-thon fundraiser is a big event, give prizes for the most money raised, the most sponsors signed up, the fastest time and for the person who gets the most participants to join. Give t-shirts or balls emblazoned with the name of your sports team and logos of any business sponsors.
The success of this activity is largely dependent upon the enthusiasm your group generates to get as many participants as possible and who, in turn, get as many pledges as possible. To encourage more pledge solicitation, set an entry fee per participant that can be offset with the same dollar amount in pledges.