Races, endurance challenges, and indoor team marathons! Oh my!
If you’re like me and those three things give you anxiety, take several deep breaths. These types of fundraisers elevate excitement, improve the lives/health of your participants, but more importantly get people like me to participate!
Here are five campaigns that even I would join:
- Do the Sports: March Madness is almost over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use brackets and basketballs for your fundraiser. In simpler terms, you have people fill out a bracket (on anything, not just on basketball. I’ve seen brackets for fast food fries, Disney movies, and Mariah Carey Hits vs. Singles) and pay a fee to enter the pool.* If you are looking for something more complicated, host a one-day skills competition or a dribbling 5k complete with jerseys. Or if you are ambitious, host an entire tournament where teams pay to enter. *Bracket pools count as sports betting, so first check with your state laws!
- The Crawl: The restaurant pays to be on the list and the people eat, drink, and be merry their discounted drink/dish provided for participants. The restaurant is now philanthropic and the people are fed and happy with their contribution to XYZ charity. You could even make it more like a scavenger hunt/raffle with restaurants giving out tickets to participants and the more places participants visit, the more tickets they have and the better chances they have of winning a prize! Fun fact: The world’s largest scavenger hunt had over 15,000 people.
- Animal Parade aka City-Wide Art Exhibit: In the summer 1999, the city of Chicago put their cows on parade. Cows in Parade, brainchild of a Swiss artist, Walter Knapp, and was an art exhibition where painted cows popped up all over the city. The idea is a simple one; pick an animal to represent your charity/organization, have local artists, architects, photographers and designers, and celebrities paint, decorate, and dress up fiberglass animal statues, and then exhibit them around the city for several months for people to enjoy when they are walking, running, or riding about. After the exhibit is done, auction off the animals with all the proceeds going to the charity.
- Paddle Race: Host a stand up paddleboard contest and let beach bystanders place bets on the winners. I’m not sure if this counts in the running, walking, or riding category, but we’re located in South Florida so I had to include it.
- Any Themed 5k: Let’s be honest, with the Zombie 5k, Blacklight Run, Undie 500, Warrior Dash, Turkey Trot, Color Run, Spartan Sprint, and a million more, I could go on for years talking about themed 5ks. Do you want to know why? Because people love them, even I can’t resist running from zombies for a good cause. For your campaign, choose a theme that caters to your audience. The Susan G. Komen Foundation hosts the Race for the Cure all over the nation with participants dressing in pink tutus and crowns. These men and women are there because breast cancer has affected their life or someone in their life and they know their money is going to “help [SGK] get to the finish line” and find a cure.
- *BONUS* Block Party: Bring the food and music, and they will come. The Idea, Inc. helped plan this year’s Florida AIDS Walk and it was a blast (yay!). It was your traditional 5k, but when people finished, there was a concert line up of local artists ending with Flo Rida. There were several food trucks, it was on the beach, there was perfect weather, and it was for a great cause.
Moral of the story: Find your people. Each of these campaigns need support from the sponsors, or the partnering community organizations, and the people who identify with your cause (with active lifestyles or not).