The holidays are the perfect time for major fundraising event. People are in the mood for giving and giving big. Booster clubs can make a lot of money if they choose the right type of holiday event. Many organizations have found success by creating their own booster club 5K charity run. You may be thinking charity runs should be hosted in the summer. This is not true, however. Runners don’t stop when the weather changes. Some even prefer running in cooler temperatures.
Hosting your booster club 5K charity run during the holidays can attract runners from outside of your region. To create your own 5K charity run over the holidays you cannot just wing it. You must be organized and prepared before, during and after the event. Below is a step by step holiday charity run playbook created specifically for booster clubs, to help you succeed in raising a lot of money.
Pre-Event Planning a Holiday Booster Club 5K Charity Run
All events need pre-planning. This allows all booster club members to discuss the event, their concerns, their excitement, and what they can contribute. This is when you talk financial goals, and expenses for the event. Pre-planning should include all booster club members but have one facilitator to guide the planning process. Here are some things you can accomplish during your pre-planning meeting.
Brainstorm Holiday Related Theme Ideas
Because you are hosting the booster club 5k charity run during the holidays, you can choose a theme to make it even more exciting. Some ideas to get your brainstorming session started include the following:
- Red and Green Color Run- Each person to pass the finish line gets sprayed with red and blue powders that stick to the runners’ skin due to sweat. This makes each participant look like they have been painted Christmas colors.
- Costume Run- Each participant dresses up like their favorite holiday character to run the race. Not only can you have a winner for the race, you can have a winner for the person who wore the best costume.
- Pet Costume Run- Participants can walk or run with their pets that they have dressed up in a holiday costume. The costumes can be judged for an extra prize giveaway.
- Santa Run-Each participant dons their best Santa suit. Hundreds of Santa’s running down the road is sure to make the event fun.
- Turkey Trot- Most turkey trots are run on Thanksgiving Day and can make a great kick-off event for the Holiday season.
- Reindeer Run – Similar to the Santa run, participants don reindeer antlers to full reindeer costumes and begin running / walking throughout the course!
Create a Budget For Your Holiday Run Fundraiser
Your fundraising goal means how much money you hope to make at the end of the fundraising event. You can’t establish a good fundraising goal without a solid budget.
Creating a budget is a must. Sticking to the budget is an even bigger must. Your budget equates to the amount of money your booster club can spend in putting together a successful charity run.
Research shows most races of 100 people or less can cost between $1500 and $2500. In percentages, you will want your operating expenses to cost no more than 20%. One of your top priorities will be to seek sponsors who can help you reduce your some or all your expenses.
The budget can help you analyze potential profits also.
Analyze Your 5k Run Potential Profits
You cannot analyze potential profits of your 5K charity run until you determine your expenses. Below is a list of expenses many say they included in their charity run planning.
- Location Fees
- Professional Timing Company
- Course Signage
- Promotional Materials
- Online Registration Fees
- Trophies and Awards
- Bib Numbers
- Theme Materials
Once you have a total for your expenses, you can subtract that number from the total to get an idea of what your profits will be. To increase your net profits, reach out to local businesses and stores for help.
Make a List of Potential Sponsors
Getting local sponsors is key to making your charity 5K run successful. They can help pay for expenses or make donations for the event. When local individuals and businesses sponsor events like your booster club 5K charity run, they feel they are making an investment in their community. And they are.
Some sponsors may want to give you money and have their logo put on the souvenir t-shirt. Some may want to see their information on banners, signs and promotional materials.
Don’t just think locally, although local sponsors should be a priority. There are many small and large companies in your region, state and even nationwide that are willing to support your fundraiser in exchange for advertisement of their business.
Delegate Tasks to Booster Club Members
One person cannot do it all. A 5K charity run during the holidays takes good leadership, many staff and volunteers, lots of volunteers.
Delegate tasks to booster club members based on talent. If you have a social media Rockstar that can promote your charity run online, use them. If you have a member who is exceptional at getting sponsors, use them.
Other tasks include planning other events that will be held that day. For instance, you may have a mini run/walk for children or pets. Finalize the logistics of the event, develop an after-the-run thank you event for sponsors and racers.
Promote Your Booster Club 5k Charity Run
The earlier you start promoting the charity run, the better. When in the pre-planning stages, advertising can mean posting on social media, email blasts, posters, flyers, and word-of-mouth.
Promotion needs to include recruiting racers to register through an online registration process and by paper or in person. Having multiple ways to register is helpful.
Up until the day of the event, your booster club members and volunteers should find creative ways to market the holiday 5K charity run.
The Day of the Holiday Booster Club 5K Charity Run
The day of the event is when you and your team will manage the 5K charity run. You will need to arrive early, at least 2 hours earlier than racers. Volunteers should arrive soon after you do to receive their instructions and start helping with pre-race chores.
If sponsors are going to be on location during the race promoting their companies, they should arrive early also to set up long before the race begins.
Registration should begin at least an hour before the race. The more racers you have, the more time you will need for registration.
Most races begin with a pre-race ceremony that leads into the bell ringing to begin the race.
While the race is going on, the musical entertainment can begin setting up and you can focus on getting the awards ceremony and thank-you event set up.
Once all events are finished, use your volunteers to help take down and clean up.
After Your Successful Booster Club 5k Charity Run
Thanking sponsors, participants and workers does not end when the race ends. It’s important your booster club marketing continues into the following week. Public acknowledgement is a great way to make everyone feel appreciated.
Run an ad in the local newspaper, announce it on the radio, hang a banner in a very public place, and spread it on all social media outlets.
Find any way you can to show how grateful you are for everyone involved in making the 5K holiday charity run a success.
Also, after the event, meet with your booster club to discuss what went right and what went wrong during the event. Analyze your profits and determine what you can do better next year. Then the best part, donate the money you raised.
Additional Tips for a Successful Event
Even if you stick to every guideline when creating your own booster club 5K charity run over the holidays, the unexpected can always happen. So, here are a few additional tips to help you further prepare for your event.
- Create back-up plans for interferences like weather, sponsor dropouts, racer injuries, catering disasters, or anything else you can think of that could go wrong.
- Work with your town leaders, get their involvement so they are invested in helping you be successful.
- Get sponsors. Then get more sponsors. They truly are the key to help you earn more profits.
- Have the racers get sponsors. They can ask friends and family to sponsor them by giving $5 or $10 for every mile they run/walk. That is additional money to be donated to your cause.
- Work with other non-profits and split the rewards. This could give you triple the workers, sponsors, volunteers and money.
- Seek the help of race planners who have successfully hosted charity runs.
- Choose a location, day and time that is not competing with other major events in your area, allowing more participants to join you because they are not committed elsewhere.
- Use technology to your advantage. There are many free programs to help you stay organized, create schedules, communicate with everyone, and even register racers.
- Get creative with marketing. Give discounts for early-bird registrants. Give sponsors options for advertising. For example, t-shirt advertising costs more than poster advertising, which costs more than being mentioned in an email blast.
- Take pictures, a lot of pictures, during each phase of the event. Planning meetings, meeting with sponsors, hanging banners, racers, winners, etc.
- Share the pictures on social media at each level to show your followers how hard you are working, and the rewards of your hard work.
- Have fun.
This holiday season, your booster club can create a charity run that people will be talking about well into the New Year. Follow the steps, stay organized, ask for help, have fun and raise a pile of money. Your efforts will be rewarded.