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?

Walkathon Concessions Tips

ConcessionsIf your walkathon event lasts more than an hour or two, you can make a bundle from concessions!  A couple tips:

  • Get donations from local vendors as part of your sponsors program, in exchange for plenty of publicity.  You may be able to get much of your walkathon concessions inventory for free.
  • Be sure to keep an exact tally of what you purchased and how much of it you actually sold.  If you have a walkathon every year, you can use those records to vastly reduce wasted food.   You can even keep your records in a spreadsheet on Google Docs so that any new concessions chair can easily have access to all the old info.
  • If you offer freebie items like popsicles or hot dogs, you can use the walkathon lap card to keep track of what the walker has already received and what they still have coming.

Let’s Talk about Planning Walkathons!

shoe2Roger Carr, author of Charity Walks Blog, has invited me as his first guest on the Charity Event Success radio show. The interview will take place on Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 2 p.m. Eastern. We will be discussing the topic of Planning for a Successful Walkathon. There are several ways to listen to the conversation:

* Call (347) 850-8340 to listen to the show live

* Listen to the streamed show from the host webpage at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/charity-event-success

* Listen to an archive of the interview will be available immediately following the show at Roger’s blog.

Be sure to leave a comment on the show page when you visit.

The Walkathon Guide

The Walkathon GuideHello Friends,

After three months of writing, editing, cross checking, and rewriting, The Walkathon Guide, Edition 1.0, is ready.   It’s an e-book all about how to organize a walkathon.

Learn more here.

You have a cause you are passionate about

Whether it’s your school, church, or an important charity, this is something worth funding and it’s up to you to figure out how.  How can you really do justice to your cause?  Are there other goals on top of fundraising?  How can you make the most money, create a great atmosphere of fun and community building, and keep it all organized and positive?

Would you like a walkathon planning mentor?

If you are organizing your walkathon on behalf of a school, church, or nonprofit group, this book is here to help.  It offers  what I learned by organizing and participating in twelve different walkathons.    The goal is to help you avoid the risks and stress of trial and error by laying out all the planning details for you.

What’s in The Walkathon Guide

The Walkathon Guide is 102 pages long.  It’s about 5% wisdom and 95% timelines, checklists, and materials that you can copy for walkathon publicity, registration, soliciting sponsors, and getting volunteers.

It has a chapter about early decisions and what to do right away, as soon as you decide to hold your event, followed by a list of committees needed, their start times, and how many volunteers per committee.  Then there are chapters with goals, dependencies, timelines, and notes for each individual committee.  There are seperate files you can hand to committee chairs to keep everyone in sync.  There is a long appendix with copy-able files, in MS Word format where you can actually cut and paste, for publicity, registration, donor letters, and volunteer recruitment.  There’s another appendix listing technology ideas and options for using the latest tools for your walkathon.

I set the price very low so you don’t have to think too hard about price, at $14.95 including all the extra files.  You can download it and have it right away.

Learn more here.

I would really appreciate it if you would help spread the word about this book by telling anyone who might be interested.  Thank you!

Yours,

Lee

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Walkathon Volunteer and Committee List

Courtesy of Yolo County SPCA and basykes

Courtesy of Yolo County SPCA and basykes

When you organize a walkathon, job #1 is to get volunteers.  With a bunch of great teams on board, walkathon planning falls into place naturally.  Start getting volunteers months before the walkathon.  Focus on team leaders but the more you can fill the teams, the easier it will be to get those leaders.  Put out signup sheets everywhere you can.

Here is a table showing typical volunteer roles.  If your walkathon has other volunteers, please add them by commenting (click on “comment”, below).   This is based on a walkathon with about 300 walkers, from 8:30 AM – 4 PM, so you can adjust accordingly.

Committee Size (incl. Leader) Description
Walkathon Chair 1  – 3 people Recruits team leaders and helps fill teams with volunteers.   Determines specific cause.  Provides backup to all team leaders.  Manages overall timeline.
Insurance and legal liaison 1 Addresses city government, police and insurance issues.
T Shirts 3 Creates, sells, and distributes T Shirts
Publicity 2 Creates slogan and logo.  Creates  flyers, emails, newsletter articles.  If necessary, works with the press, maintains blog.
Technology 1 Selects and sets up online fundraising system.  Works closely with Registration and Treasurer.  Sets up blog for publicity chair if necessary.
Registration 15 Makes sure everyone has registered at the beginning, checked out at the end.  Creates registration forms, punch cards or bead lanyards, etc.
Treasurer 2 Handles all finances.  Collects money from all walkers.
Concessions 26 Plans food, purchases food, prepares, sells and serves throughout event.   Prepares orange slices prior to event.
Entertainment 2 Organizes any music, dancing, etc, and gets necessary furniture and equipment for entertainment
Course Volunteers 41 Organizes all course volunteers (hole punchers for punch cards to count laps, awards at key milestones, squirters if it’s hot), keeps water and orange slice tables stocked.  Purchases supplies for course related activities like awards, hole puncher tools, lanyards for punch cards, etc.
Sponsors 1 Get sponsors who pay for T Shirts, possibly pay for more.  Publicize sponsor names.
Course layout, setup and cleanup 4 Design the course.  Set it up prior to event.  Take down yellow tape after event.
Site layout, setup and cleanup 8 Map the rest of the site – where to place check in tables, food, music, etc.  Then set up to start, take down at end.
Photography 20 Try to get a photo of every participant.  Create slide show.
First Aide 1 Provide basic first aide.  Be CPR certified and available the entire day of the event.
Pinch Hitters 4 Pick up anything that falls through the cracks.
Crazy Hair 1 Give wacky hair styles.
Certificates and awards event 2 Arrange for slide show, create certificates for all participants including miles walked, put on assembly, recognize top walkers, announce money earned
Group financial chairperson 1 This person handles finances for your group in events outside of this walkathon.  He/She should verify count for all payments collected by the Walkathon Treasurer, and make deposits.

Ready to read some more? Here’s the secret to recruiting volunteers.

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.

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.

Setting Your Walkathon Goals

starting pathWrite down your goals for your walkathon. Then, as you plan you can make sure you are addressing them. If you have a committee, get together and decide which goals apply to you:

  • To make money? If so, how much? If you average that amount out per person, is it a reasonable expectation, or do you need to augment the event via sponsorships, concessions, recycling, a raffle, a silent auction, or other money raising efforts?
  • To build community? If so, what fun ideas can you implement to encourage lots of interaction between people?
  • For health awareness and exercise? If so, how can you give positive reinforcement for the walkers’ efforts?
  • To gain public awareness for your cause? If so, what will you do to draw the maximum amount of attention to your walkathon and the reason you walk?

Brainstorm a bit. Is there anything else you want to be sure to achieve?

Looking for what to read next?  How about “Four Criteria for Pinpointing Your Cause”…

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.

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