How to Organize a Charity Walk for Animals

Set up a system for registration. An online registration site like RunSignUp or Eventbrite is the easiest for participants, while Crowdrise is a simple way to track any additional participant fund-raising. If your race is going to be fairly small, mail-in registration may be a workable option; if you go this route, be sure that registration and fund-raising forms are easily accessible to participants (a printable form on a website is a good solution) and that you have a designated team member keeping track of registrations as they arrive.

Promote your event. Be sure to start spreading the word early — at least 6–8 weeks ahead of race day — in order to give participants time to commit and register. There are a variety of ways to do this, depending on how much time and money you are able to put into it. A simple way to start is by creating a website and Facebook page for your event, with information on how to register and how to donate. If this is a neighborhood event, low-tech options like flyers and posters are also a good way to spread the world. For broader coverage, write a press release and send it to local news outlets (television and radio stations, newspapers and magazines) in your area. And finally, don’t forget about grassroots marketing! Send friends and family information about your event and ask them to pass it on.

Get Walking — or Running!

Recruit race-day volunteers. Be sure to line up plenty of helpers for your event! Volunteers can assist with registration and packet pickup in the days before the event, and with general setup and cleanup on race day. You will also need help setting up and manning water stops — for pets and people — along the race route, as well as handing out snacks at the finish. And be sure to line up aid-station volunteers who can treat both pets and people; consider calling local hospitals and veterinary clinics to ask for help with this. For something extra fun, look for volunteers to take photos at the start and finish, as well as on the course.

Create a registration packet. This should include information about the featured charity, as well as any relevant information about your group or organization. You will also need to provide a course map for participants. The map should clearly show both the start and finish, any water or aid stations, as well as available parking in the area. If you have organized other sponsors — local businesses, for example — you can include information about them, or any small gifts they may want to include.

Make your donation. On race day, present the benefiting group with a check for the money you’ve raised. The finish line is a good place to do this, so that all the participants can see how they are making a difference.

Still not convinced you should start your own walk? Do a quick search online to find previously established animal charity runs and walks in your community.

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