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.

 

Choosing a Location for your Walkathon

Make your walkathon route a loop with many interesting things along the way

Map your walkathon route and site, including water stations, concessions, and even waystations that add to the fun.

Consider the following factors when you choose your walkathon site and route:

  • If you want to support people with varied levels of endurance, choose a route that is a loop.  That way people can duck out at any time.
  • For children, an ideal length for your route is ¼ to ½ mile. For adults it can be longer.
  • Is the area safe?
  • Is there adequate parking?
  • Are there adequate facilities or can you augment appropriately, including restrooms, shade, seating, concessions, and electrical power?
  • Is the neighborhood amenable to having a large event?
  • Do you need one or two professional custodians to assist with cleanup, and if so are these services available?

Reach agreement between your leaders and any outsider who controls the site on the date and exact location, and if necessary, obtain written permission from those responsible. Be sure you inform other groups who would normally use that site, such as sports leagues, that it would be unavailable or shared that day. If you are a community organization in a small town, consider presenting to your town council to obtain moral support and keep them informed.

Anonymous Poll – What Kind of Group are You?

Thank you for your help!  No one sees who you are, just the aggregate answers.

Making Your Walkathon Doable

Today’s blog from Seth Godin is about Fear of Philanthropy.

(Photo originally uploaded by RoguePoet)

My summary won’t have the same impact on you, but the main idea is that people might just do nothing if they fear that the only way to make a difference will be too hard.

If you are a walkathon planner:

  • You don’t have to be in charge of the Avon Breast Cancer Walk to be doing something important.  A  handful of walkers earning just a little bit of money is still making a difference.  A school or club out walking is spectacular. Whether the event takes three days, 24 hours, or one hour in the school gym, it’s making a difference.

For your volunteers:

  • Should you ask for one or two hours vs the all day commitment?  What is the right level of commitment for the people on your team?

For your donors:

  • Should you put out a message that just a little is enough?  Sometimes a minimum donation can mean more donations all together.