Using a Facebook Page to Promote Your Walkathon

Fayetteville Kidney Walkathon Facebook Page

Create a Facebook page for your walkathon now to allow time for the multiplier effect of friends telling friends telling friends.

Facebook Pages are great for walkathon publicity and gaining the support of participants and volunteers.  The coolest thing about them is that benefits multiply as your followers (fans) come on board:

  • When people follow your page (via that “Like” button), all their Facebook friends are notified.
  • Then when you write an update, all your fans can share it with all of their friends, along with a link to your page.
  • Fans can also go to your page and click the “Share” button any time to post a link to your page for all their friends.

You don’t have to be a social networking expert.  Basic setup can be very quick.  Then once you’ve created your walkathon page, you don’t have to maintain it every day.  Take five minutes once or twice a week to say something you think would be of interest to your participants. They are free.

Here’s where to get startedNo time like the present!

Once your page is up, encourage your fans to share your page often. Add updates as often as you can.

Tip: Don’t use Facebook Events for walkathon registration.  You’ll need people to fill in a more detailed form and waiver.  Instead, direct them to your main website.

Please Share or Like my page! You might also like to follow Charity Walks.

Follow Walkathon Guide on Facebook

The Walkathon Guide

The Walkathon GuideHello Friends,

After three months of writing, editing, cross checking, and rewriting, The Walkathon Guide, Edition 1.0, is ready.   It’s an e-book all about how to organize a walkathon.

Learn more here.

You have a cause you are passionate about

Whether it’s your school, church, or an important charity, this is something worth funding and it’s up to you to figure out how.  How can you really do justice to your cause?  Are there other goals on top of fundraising?  How can you make the most money, create a great atmosphere of fun and community building, and keep it all organized and positive?

Would you like a walkathon planning mentor?

If you are organizing your walkathon on behalf of a school, church, or nonprofit group, this book is here to help.  It offers  what I learned by organizing and participating in twelve different walkathons.    The goal is to help you avoid the risks and stress of trial and error by laying out all the planning details for you.

What’s in The Walkathon Guide

The Walkathon Guide is 102 pages long.  It’s about 5% wisdom and 95% timelines, checklists, and materials that you can copy for walkathon publicity, registration, soliciting sponsors, and getting volunteers.

It has a chapter about early decisions and what to do right away, as soon as you decide to hold your event, followed by a list of committees needed, their start times, and how many volunteers per committee.  Then there are chapters with goals, dependencies, timelines, and notes for each individual committee.  There are seperate files you can hand to committee chairs to keep everyone in sync.  There is a long appendix with copy-able files, in MS Word format where you can actually cut and paste, for publicity, registration, donor letters, and volunteer recruitment.  There’s another appendix listing technology ideas and options for using the latest tools for your walkathon.

I set the price very low so you don’t have to think too hard about price, at $14.95 including all the extra files.  You can download it and have it right away.

Learn more here.

I would really appreciate it if you would help spread the word about this book by telling anyone who might be interested.  Thank you!

Yours,

Lee

Volunteering Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

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.  DoJiggy.com 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.

Walkathon Volunteer and Committee List

Courtesy of Yolo County SPCA and basykes

Courtesy of Yolo County SPCA and basykes

When you organize a walkathon, job #1 is to get volunteers.  With a bunch of great teams on board, walkathon planning falls into place naturally.  Start getting volunteers months before the walkathon.  Focus on team leaders but the more you can fill the teams, the easier it will be to get those leaders.  Put out signup sheets everywhere you can.

Here is a table showing typical volunteer roles.  If your walkathon has other volunteers, please add them by commenting (click on “comment”, below).   This is based on a walkathon with about 300 walkers, from 8:30 AM – 4 PM, so you can adjust accordingly.

Committee Size (incl. Leader) Description
Walkathon Chair 1  – 3 people Recruits team leaders and helps fill teams with volunteers.   Determines specific cause.  Provides backup to all team leaders.  Manages overall timeline.
Insurance and legal liaison 1 Addresses city government, police and insurance issues.
T Shirts 3 Creates, sells, and distributes T Shirts
Publicity 2 Creates slogan and logo.  Creates  flyers, emails, newsletter articles.  If necessary, works with the press, maintains blog.
Technology 1 Selects and sets up online fundraising system.  Works closely with Registration and Treasurer.  Sets up blog for publicity chair if necessary.
Registration 15 Makes sure everyone has registered at the beginning, checked out at the end.  Creates registration forms, punch cards or bead lanyards, etc.
Treasurer 2 Handles all finances.  Collects money from all walkers.
Concessions 26 Plans food, purchases food, prepares, sells and serves throughout event.   Prepares orange slices prior to event.
Entertainment 2 Organizes any music, dancing, etc, and gets necessary furniture and equipment for entertainment
Course Volunteers 41 Organizes all course volunteers (hole punchers for punch cards to count laps, awards at key milestones, squirters if it’s hot), keeps water and orange slice tables stocked.  Purchases supplies for course related activities like awards, hole puncher tools, lanyards for punch cards, etc.
Sponsors 1 Get sponsors who pay for T Shirts, possibly pay for more.  Publicize sponsor names.
Course layout, setup and cleanup 4 Design the course.  Set it up prior to event.  Take down yellow tape after event.
Site layout, setup and cleanup 8 Map the rest of the site – where to place check in tables, food, music, etc.  Then set up to start, take down at end.
Photography 20 Try to get a photo of every participant.  Create slide show.
First Aide 1 Provide basic first aide.  Be CPR certified and available the entire day of the event.
Pinch Hitters 4 Pick up anything that falls through the cracks.
Crazy Hair 1 Give wacky hair styles.
Certificates and awards event 2 Arrange for slide show, create certificates for all participants including miles walked, put on assembly, recognize top walkers, announce money earned
Group financial chairperson 1 This person handles finances for your group in events outside of this walkathon.  He/She should verify count for all payments collected by the Walkathon Treasurer, and make deposits.

Ready to read some more? Here’s the secret to recruiting volunteers.

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.

Online Fundraising Tools For Walkathons

online fundraising for walkathonsWhen 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.

tg logo3. 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.

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.

Learn more about Lap Cards.