DoJiggy Grant Applications Due Nov 15

Here is a great opportunity for extra funds for your group.  Since walkathons are one of DoJiggy’s specialties, I think that if you’re planning a walkathon you may stand a good chance at winning one of their grants.   Application are due Nov. 15.    From their press release:

Boulder, CO (Oct. 27, 2009) – Online fundraising software services provider, DoJiggy, today announced a call for grant proposals for their DoJiggy Giving™ program. DoJiggy Giving supports nonprofits and community organizations through the donation of in-kind software services as well as a percentage of the company’s annual profits. This year the company plans to award five or more organizations with cash grants in the amount of $500 – $1,000.

For more info from DoJiggy, plus the application form…

Just for disclosure, I am not an affiliate of DoJiggy but took a look at their software.  It could be a nice tool for you to organize your event, worth a look.  For more info on software, see my older post, Online Fundraising Tools for Walkathons.

Go for it!  Somebody has to win so it might as well be you, right?

The Big Picture – Seven Tips for Planning a Walkathon

Autumn PathLet’s take a break from all the walkathon details, and take a  look at the big picture for walkathon planning.   Here are seven thoughts to help you still be aware of  the trees but yet be in control of the whole  walkathon forest.  (I hope you like my metaphorest).


1. Focus on getting volunteers, and everything else goes more smoothly

As chair of the event, your first inclination may be to jump in and start taking care of the details.  But remember, your role is to keep an eye on the big picture and support the many others who help make the event a success. Be relentless about recruiting volunteers starting day 1 and throughout the walkathon planning cycle.   Put a lot of thought into clearly defining walkathon volunteer roles.  Unencumbered by details, you can be available as a sounding board and cheering section for your team while they tackle their respective areas of responsibility.

2. Pinpoint a specific cause within your overall goals

Most walkathons already have a larger cause like the school, animal shelter, or another charity.   However if you have the option, be more specific by pinpointing tangible and visible items to be purchased.  That way your community can see the results of their efforts.

3. Be aware of interdependencies
Work with your committee chairs to create a  walkathon planning timeline and chart of all of your planning activities, and identify areas where one committee needs deliverables from another.  Make sure everyone is aware of these important timing needs.

4. Leverage technology
Take advantage of one of the great software tools out there to speed recruiting volunteers and allowing them to select their roles and time slots.  In addition, if you have a few helpers with a strong technical aptitude, consider using an online tool for collecting donations or setting up a blog to publicize your event.

5. Don’t reinvent the wheel

You will need to hand out walkathon registration forms, sponsor letters, publicity flyers and instruction sheets.  There are plenty of well done examples as close as your Internet connection, and twenty pages of them in the back of my e-book ready to copy, paste, edit and go.  Use those!

6. Have a pinch hitter team
Even with the best of planning, you’ll find a few things falling through the cracks in the last few days before your event and on walkathon day itself.  Have a few trusty volunteers ready to catch them, so that you can remain sane during the most hectic part of your planning process.

7. Celebrate success at every step
During the planning process, walkathon day, and when the final funds have been counted, how and what will you celebrate?  Be sure to point out great jobs done by your planning team all along the way.  Then decide ahead of time what milestones you’ll recognize for your walkers, whether it’s number of laps or miles walked or amount of funds raised.  During the event, consider having special prizes at each distance milestone, such as jelly bracelets or showy beads on a necklace.  After the event, a slide show may be in order.   Don’t let the opportunity to revel in success slip by.  For one, you’ll add enthusiasm for next year’s walkathon.  But more importantly, everyone deserves the fun of recognizing a job well done.

If you’re new here, take a look around this blog and check out The Walkathon Guide e-book, which you can purchase and download in about three minutes.  There are plenty of details here!  But remember to stay on top of the big picture and delegate those details, to end up with an awesome, well organized walkathon and a very calm and happy walkathon chair (that being you!).

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.

Learn more about Lap Cards.

Great Walk-a-thon Publicity by Booksin Elementary

Booksin's Amazing RaceHere is a nice, inexpensive publicity idea.  Booksin Elementary has set up a very professional looking blog  (click here to see it). It uses WordPress, which I can attest to as being easy and fun.  They’ve purchased their own web address, which costs just $15.

Notice how they use the right column to give their sponsors extra publicity.

Online Fundraising Tools For Walkathons

online fundraising for walkathonsWhen organizing a walkathon you will be well served by good online fundraising and organizing software.  I’ve been scouring the web for the best online fundraising tools.  I still have more research to do.  However I’d like to tell you about a few options in the mean time, in case you are already deep into your walkathon planning.

This is worth doing because of time savings in collecting pledges, and also may well increase your total fundraising income by making it easier for those who prefer paying online to writing checks.

Whatever you choose, you’ll need a dedicated volunteer with strong technical aptitude, and time, to set up your system.  As the walkathon chair you should not also handle the software unless you are very comfortable with online projects because this is a big job in itself.  Instead let someone from the group be in charge of just online fundraising.

1.  One of DoJiggy’s products, DoJiggy Pledge, is specifically designed for pledge driven events so that your walkers can build their own pages and then collect donations online.   It has a whole set of features ideal for walkathons.  It is reasonably priced.

Also, DoJiggy has a great new resource page.  It includes walkathon checklists and also a sample participation waiver.

I played with  DoJiggy and was impressed with how much was included and also the frequent follow up from the company.  I haven’t used it for an actual event so would appreciate comments from you if you have.

2. Here is a useful article that gives you a good start in looking at other technology options; “A Few Good Tools for Online Distributed Fundraising” by Stella Hernandez from Idealware, March 24, 2009.  She covers about a dozen options and gives a framework for choosing.

tg logo3. Finally, if your group is doing more than just a walkathon and online fundraising, and needs more generalized tools for group communication and organization, you might want to try the groupery.   It’s free. They give you a nice online community building platform and also a supportive group for leaders of active volunteer organizations.  It collects payments from group members, and organizes volunteer shifts, and has a host of other features.  I used to work there.   They are very dedicated to making you successful.

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.

Learn more about Lap Cards.

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