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.

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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.

Does Your Walkathon Need a Cause?

Clean Water for Ethiopia

"It’s best to tackle the problem one place at a time. The overall water crisis is hard to fix (one billion people!), but when you break it down country by country, region by region, and community by community, it’s not nearly as difficult." - Chris Guillebeau

I know it sounds backwards, but now and then I hear of a group who wants to do a walkathon, and needs to choose a cause that they can rally around.  If you fit into that category, here is one great idea, called  Clean Water for Ethiopia.

Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Nonconformity, has chosen this as his cause and is spreading the word, in partnership with Charity: Water.  His goal is to raise a minimum of $500,000 for water wells in Ethiopia over the next 18 months.   You could really help here.

If this helps, you might also like this previous post, Four Criteria for Choosing Your Cause.

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.

Learn more about Lap Cards.

One Kid, One Bike, Big Success

Check this out from today’s ABC News:

“A young British schoolboy has raised more than 100,000 pounds ($160,000) Monday for Haiti’s relief effort by cycling round his local park.”

Two thoughts for even the smallest walkathons (or bikeathons):

  1. Yes, you can do this!
  2. He took donations via a web page.  Go online to maximize your fundraising and also so your walkathon can catch on “virally”, where friends tell friends who tell friends.

Read more…  UK 7-Year-Old Raises Tens of Thousands for Haiti – ABC News.

Share Ideas With Other Walkathon Planners

Charity Walks NetworkHere is a friendly place to learn from other people walking the same path as you, called Charity Walks Network.

According to it’s founder, Roger Carr, “It’s a free social networking site for people who are passionate about charity walks.”

You can use the network to build friendships, find new ways to improve your walkathon, and help others.

See you there!

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.