When 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.
3. 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.