Charity walking events are a great fundraising tool for any nonprofit, but many organizations may struggle to really implement them as part of their arsenal of fundraiser events. To make sure your next charity walk brings in the donations you need, we’ve put together a list of simple ideas, tips, and examples your nonprofit can look to for guidance. Don’t let unfamiliarity with this type of event deter your nonprofit—walks don’t have to be complicated and any organization can run one with this simple guide.
Proven fundraiser walk ideas
Get your nonprofit started by coming up with a list of charity walk ideas that you can execute and supporters will be excited about. Limit your list to ideas that supporters will actually be interested in or you may not get the turn out you want. Also, try to pick walk ideas that can be easily implemented, which is especially important if your organization is small. You don’t want to organize a walk that will require permits or cause logistical planning issues, so remember to choose something that’s fairly simple to execute. Below are just a few charity walk ideas you can consider. Of course, look for other online resources and refer to what other similar organizations have done to get some inspiration.
Costume walks are a great way to get participation. It makes the walk a lighthearted event, which is perfect for almost any cause. In some cases, you may want to avoid costumes if you are raising funds for a very sensitive issue, but in general, getting people into silly costumes is a great play.
Make it a dog walk and have participants bring their pets. This type of walk is especially great for organizations that support causes for animals, but it doesn’t have to be limited to just those organizations. People love their pets, so incorporating them into a fundraising event is likely to get more support and excitement.
Charity walk t-shirts
For your next walk, try incorporating t-shirt sales. Sell t-shirts before the walk so people can wear them on the walk. Depending on the cost, your organization can create custom t-shirts for the walk itself, or you can opt to sell a standard t-shirt with your organization’s logo. No matter what option you go with, make sure you always offer this. T-shirts are free advertisement for your organization and they’re a great way to raise money.
Charity walk ideas should always be pretty frictionless for participants and one way to ensure this is by making your event kid-friendly. Many of your supporters will likely have children, so including them will ensure more people can make it to your next walk. Clearly state that your event is kid-friendly in your marketing pieces, and don’t forget to encourage parents to bring strollers for longer walks. You can also provide snacks or other items for kids to keep them entertained.
Make it a food event
Make your walk a potluck event as well. Ask supporters and volunteers to bring food to your walk. After the walk, participants can enjoy food for a contribution or you can offer it at no cost. You’ll need to plan accordingly to ensure you have enough food, but it’s worth the effort since it encourages even more participation.
Get inspired by successful events from other charities
If your organization is still not sure where to start, look for inspiration from other organizations that have run successful charity walks. Here are some examples to get the ideas flowing:
Act out the cause
When most of us want water, all we need to do is walk to our sink. Not everyone is so fortunate. Globally, 200 million women and children must walk daily—sometimes up to 5 hours—to retrieve fresh water. The Water 1st Carry 5 Walk For Water shows participants what it’s like. During the walk, everyone carries a gallon of water for five kilometers. It’s an exercise in raising awareness as much as raising money.
Take it all off
Of all the ways to raise awareness for a cause, few are as eye-catching as Cupid’s Undie Run. Runners raise money and visibility for neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder, by jogging in their underpants. It’s a great way to draw attention to your cause in a dramatic way.
Help others give thanks
Thanksgiving is a day for being grateful and over-indulging, but for many people, it’s just another day without enough food. The YMCA Turkey Trot has participants donate canned food while burning off a few of those Thanksgiving calories. Americans have been holding turkey trots since 1896. It’s a cause that clearly resonates with a lot of people because it’s still the most popular race in America.
Your walk event checklist
Now that you have your list of fundraiser walk ideas, you can move on to starting your own. We’ve created this simple checklist you can use to get your organization started on the right path. Like any fundraising event, charity walks require organizing and planning so your nonprofit will want to make sure you use the right project plan before you decide to run one.
Get the word out
Pick a fundraising platform that allows you to easily spread the word about your walking event. Picking the right fundraising software is crucial to getting information about the event to your supporters and raising awareness for your cause. Sharing features that include social media and easily shareable fundraiser links can play an important role in your event’s overall success. You can also consider getting the word out by relying on offline promotion tactics, such as local bulletin boards or flyers.
Create teams for your walk to develop some competition among them. Teams can compete to see who can raise the money for your charity event. Generating some friendly competition creates excitement and real interest for your fundraiser. Although not required, developing teams can be a great addition to your walk event planning.
Find corporate sponsors
If you’re not sure how to raise money for charity walks, focus on a compelling story for your campaign. This may attract the interest of corporate sponsors willing to offer donation matching. Sponsors may also be willing to help fund activities that will make the event more fun. For example, they could provide in-kind donations like t-shirts, food, or photos at the finish line.
Stay in touch and share results
As you plan your event, be sure to include how you’ll be sharing the progress you made with your fundraiser. If you don’t want to plan ahead and create a schedule for reaching out via email or social media, keeping things informal can work. One way to do this is by reaching out when you hit a new milestone. For example, if you are registering participants for your walk and reach or exceed your goal, post an update or email supporters about reaching this milestone. The same can be done for reaching 50% of your goal, or other major accomplishments. The key point here is to make sure you incorporate communication as part of your planning process.
Start your next fundraising walk with GoFundMe Charity
After sorting through ideas and planning your next walking event, you’ll be ready to hit the pavement. If your organization still isn’t sure where to go from here, GoFundMe Charity is a fantastic option. Our enterprise-grade fundraising software can help you streamline the event-planning process with simple ticketing and registration tools, donor analytics, and more—all with no subscription costs or contracts. Sign up today.