• So you want to plan a walkathon…

    Welcome to Walkathon Guide, all about how to plan a walkathon (aka walk-a-thon), to build your confidence and make it easier to get volunteers and make them successful.
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Recognition Goes a Long Way

A quick tip for volunteer leaders, is to thank, thank, and thank again.  You’ll want to start the thank yous the day you start planning the event.  The best form of recognition is direct and specific.  If you’re doing a lot of organizing by email, be sure to end most notes with a thank you and a reminder of the impact the volunteer is making.  If you are holding a series of meetings, take time to acknowledge milestones achieved and the people who acheived them.  A well deserved thank you is never out of place.

Four Criteria for Choosing Your Cause

walkathon-63, originally uploaded by ezekielhouse

Most walkathons already have a larger cause like the school, animal shelter, or another charity.   However if you have the option, be more specific by pinpointing tangible and visible items to be purchased.  That way your community can see the results of their efforts.  Here are four criteria for choosing something within your larger organization:

1. Walkathon participants agree this is a worthwhile need.

2. The organizations leadership agrees this is a priority item for funding.

3. The items are very concrete, and can be purchased, put to use, and then publicized within a few months. This is great if you plan to do another walkathon the following year.

4. There are options for purchasing more or less, or finding partial financing elsewhere, depending upon the amount you end up raising. For example, If you opt for your school library as your cause, you can purchase much needed seating first, then use remaining funds for books. It also works fine to have two causes, such as “site beautification” and “technology center” to give you plenty of wiggle room.

Over the years, your communiy will see the cumulative effects of their walkathons as the organization spends the funds on a growing collection of visible results!

Looking for another article useful for early stage planning?  Try this:  “Start Now for Next Year”.

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.

Learn more about our easy, quick, inexpensive website for walkathons.

Five Things to Do Six Months Before Your Walkathon

starting pathHave you decided to plan a walkathon a season or two from now?

Here’s a checklist for what to do  to set the stage.

1. Get your core team: at least one leader and ideally two or three.

2. Pick your date and location and get them approved by the powers that be:  local police and fire, the person who manages the location, your principal and PTA (or PTO)  Board if you’re a school.

3. If this is a community wide event, present the idea to your town council to keep them informed and gain their support.

4. Inform people who will be affected, such as sports leagues who play during that time, so they can plan for busy players.

5. If you are planning this walkathon for your children’s school, schedule two or three planning sessions over the coming month. Ask your principal to start thinking about a very specific, visible item(s) the money will buy (such as playground equipment).

I recommend that you continue to read the next article, a detailed list of key volunteer positions.

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.