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!

Free seminar: Software for Fundraising

While it is more general than just walkathons, this is a very nice introductory presentation from IdealWare  about fundraising software.  It’s 30 minutes long and gives you a global view of what’s out there, prioritized from your fundamental basics to extras.  I recommend it as a starting place for any group that is serious about raising money.

FREE Lunch and Learn from IdealWare: Software for Fundraising

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.

Poll: When is your Walkathon?

This is an anonymous poll, just because I am curious…

Thank you for your help.

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

* 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.

Walkathon Waiver Form, Insurance, and Local Government

shoe2Several people have asked about insurance coverage and waiver forms for walkathons.

Most nonprofits have a commercial general liability insurance policy that would extend to a walkathon fundraiser.  The California State PTA, for example, provides coverage for school events if your parent group is part of that organization (I checked in August 2009 – please recheck with your own leadership).  Check with your organizations leaders or legal counsel about liability and whether there are other areas to address. Legal requirements vary based on your location.

If you are holding the walkathon on public property, check with your local police and fire and the person who manages the location, to see what they require such as a use application.  If you control the property where you’ll hold your event, such as a school or church, you can simply keep your director in the loop regarding plans.

In any case you will need a disclaimer for all participants in your event.  Even with the best of intentions, accidents can and do happen. You can help protect your organization by collecting Waiver and Release of Liability from each of your participants before the event. is one of many sites that provide a sample walkathon waiver form that you might opt to use with your registration packet, modified to your needs.  You can find it here.

Plan your Walk-a-thon Celebration Up Front

If you’re just starting to organize a walk-a-thon, it may seem strange to think about how you will celebrate.  But planning now lets you make the celebration more meaningful because you can easily cover the details if you’re aware of them.

Four Ways to Celebrateasnci

  1. Have a slide show.  Line up some photographers for the day of the event, and have them get shots of as many participants as possible.  Check out the inspiring slide show put together as part of the Autism Awareness Walk-a-thon in North Central Indiana.
  2. Have awards for longest distance or most funds raised.  Tell participants ahead of time to get their competitive juices going, and be sure to track the info you’ll need.
  3. Give every walker a certificate of participation that also denotes distance walked.  Line up a volunteer to create the certificates and be sure your organizers have the records available.  That way they will get started right away even if you personally are still recovering from walk-a-thon day.
  4. Publicy thank your volunteers.

Schedule your after -walkathon celebration up front to get it on everyone’s calendars right along with the walkathon itself.  Then when it’s ready, send me a link to your slideshow!  I’ll be celebrating too.