Using a Facebook Page to Promote Your Walkathon

Fayetteville Kidney Walkathon Facebook Page

Create a Facebook page for your walkathon now to allow time for the multiplier effect of friends telling friends telling friends.

Facebook Pages are great for walkathon publicity and gaining the support of participants and volunteers.  The coolest thing about them is that benefits multiply as your followers (fans) come on board:

  • When people follow your page (via that “Like” button), all their Facebook friends are notified.
  • Then when you write an update, all your fans can share it with all of their friends, along with a link to your page.
  • Fans can also go to your page and click the “Share” button any time to post a link to your page for all their friends.

You don’t have to be a social networking expert.  Basic setup can be very quick.  Then once you’ve created your walkathon page, you don’t have to maintain it every day.  Take five minutes once or twice a week to say something you think would be of interest to your participants. They are free.

Here’s where to get startedNo time like the present!

Once your page is up, encourage your fans to share your page often. Add updates as often as you can.

Tip: Don’t use Facebook Events for walkathon registration.  You’ll need people to fill in a more detailed form and waiver.  Instead, direct them to your main website.

Please Share or Like my page! You might also like to follow Charity Walks.

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Walkathon Planning Timeline – Remember Dependencies

Walkathon Dependencies - make note of who needs what from whom

Click to enlarge

Some planning thoughts…  If you’ve read the Walkathon Guide book, you’ve seen this chart. This chart is a simplified view of what each committee needs from the others.  Each chapter of the book gives a more detailed list of dependencies for each committee.

Look at this chart, then make your own version.  Draw a weekly time line on a whiteboard or banner paper.  Make note of who needs to supply what, to whom, by when, then make sure everyone knows of these dependencies.

Walkathon Volunteer Pinch Hitter

Designate a few pinch hitters for the most hectic days of your walkathon - just before and walkathon day.

William J. Bradley, Toronto, from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

In the final days before your walkathon, when you wish you could clone yourself because there’s too much to do, your pinch hitters become that clone and  jump in with whatever unexpected, unplanned job that arises.

Be sure to recruit one or two walkathon pinch hitters among your key volunteers.

The ideal pinch hitter either has chaired a walkathon before, or plans to do so next year.  Otherwise, get people who are generally competent, energetic, and versatile.

Set expectations that you’ll need several hours of help during the last days before and the day of your walkathon.

My pinch hitter story had to do with orange slices – several crates of them.  It was the day before our walkathon.  The oranges had fallen between the cracks, belonging neither to concessions or the course setup team, and neither were ready to take on another big job. Meanwhile, I predicted six hours of slicing needed to be done and the crates of oranges sat in my van!  There would have been no joy in …  But enter Allison and Donna.  Donna  sliced two crates herself and Allison found buddies and divvied up the remaining crates.  Home run.

 

New to Walkathon Planning?

Walkathon Planning - Where to StartHere are some posts to read when you are just starting out.  Each of these five articles link to the next in the sequence.  Like a treasure hunt for walkathon planning.

1. Setting Walkathon Goals

2. Four Criteria for  Pinpointing Your Walkathon Cause

3. Start Now for Next Year

4. Walkathon Volunteer List

5. Tips on Recruiting Walkathon (or any) Volunteers

You can do this!

Mist Tent for a Hot Walkathon Day


Hot Sun, Originally uploaded by bredgur

If you expect hot weather, add to the fun and keep your walkers cool.

Many thanks to our good friend Randy Harr for supplying these instructions for building a mist tent at your walkathon. Go ahead and download.  It’s a PDF file.

These are specific to the school our kids attended and the supplies we already had, but I expect that one of your talented volunteers will be able to run with them as is.

If you (or your talented volunteer) have any questions as you apply these to your own situation, feel free to ask away by sending me a note or adding a comment on the blog post.

Fourteen Ideas to Make Your Walkathon Fun for Kids

Happy Walkathon WalkerHow will you keep your walkers entertained, especially if most of them are kids?  A few walkathon entertainment ideas:

  1. Do things ahead of time to get the walkers engaged in what’s to come.  For example, if you will have special event T Shirts, get your principal, pastor or another beloved figure to show up wearing the shirt a few weeks before the event, then give a speech about the event.
  2. Have special awards for milestones reached during the walk.  The kids can collect them.  For example, we’ve used colored ribbons for each mile walked, and we’ve also used very thin, rubber band-like jelly bracelets.  The kids love to compare collections.
  3. On the same vein, you might like to look at my walkathon lap card product for tracking distance.  If your route isn’t a loop we could design something similar based on other milestones.  The kids love to look at how many holes they have punched in their cards.
  4. Set up a PA system and have a DJ.  Play music and use the system for announcements.
  5. Have Karaoke.
  6. Have an orange slice station – a table stocked with orange slices and water.
  7. Have little fun things to do along the route, like “kick a soccer goal”, etc.
  8. If it’s hot, have volunteers stationed with misting sprayers (about $1 from Target), who also help keep an eye on things
  9. Set up a “mist tent” right on the course, with misting hoses attached.
  10. Have a photographer.
  11. Have a raffle.
  12. Have a live band.
  13. Have a “pocket lady” – a nice mom or grandma figure who wears an apron covered with pockets.   Each pocket holds a different trinket.  Walkers can pay 25 cents to choose a pocket and get a surprise.
  14. Have concessions.  You can often get food donations in exchange for publicity for the donor.  Give away one free item per walker, such as a popsicle or hot dog.

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.

Learn more about Lap Cards.

Walkathon Volunteers

Here’s a quick tip on how to get volunteers for your biggest walkathon planner and organizer jobs.

Create a list of the walkathon jobs you need to fill. Then for each job, create a list of at least three candidates. Then just get on the phone (or email or Facebook) and start asking. The minute you get a “no”, move on to the next person in line. Tick through your lists until you get a “yes” for each job.

The key here is not to pause when someone says no but rather to immediately move on to your next candidate.

If you don’t know what you need for volunteers, use my walkathon volunteer list as a starting point.

Looking for more info?  Subscribe to my newsletter or use the Categories, Tags and Top Posts to decide what to read next.

Newsletter:  Free Ideas to Make Your Walkathon the Best Ever

Sign up here to get my free Walkathon Guide newsletter by email.  You’ll receive updates whenever I post here. You address will never be shared beyond Walkathonguide staff and you can opt-out immediately any time.

1. Type the date of your walkathon in the box below.  Approximate is OK.

2. Tell us about your walkathon (optional).

3. Click “Submit” below the box.

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