A fun fundraiser for the holiday season is a Jingle Bell Run. This fundraising event is similar to hosting a regular running competition except everyone attaches a set of Christmas jingle bells to their shoelaces.
Fundraising Fun Run
This type of fundraiser works well for cause-based fundraising such as funding medical research, animal shelters, Meals on Wheels, etc. It’s fun and different enough that it’s easy to get loads of free publicity.
The first thing you need to do is contact the local authorities and gather information on the rules and regulations governing these type of events. Because they require streets to be closed off and traffic rerouted, there are often limitations on dates and times. There are also often expenses passed on to event organizers for extra traffic police, permits, etc.
Once you’ve booked your date, preferably a Saturday before Christmas, you’ll need to get your participant sign up forms, individual and corporate sponsorship forms, and race details all set.
Jingle Bell Run Basics
You organize your event just like a standard race except that each runner signs up sponsors. Think of it in terms of the breast cancer walks and other similar fundraisers where the real competition is how much money you can raise.
If you’ve never organized a competitive running event before, there are organizations that can provide everything you need from online registration to event timing to runners numbers.
Decide which running events you’ll offer such as a 5k race and a 10k race. Be sure you have enough time with traffic blocked to get your event completed and cleaned up before the streets reopen. At Christmastime, it’s difficult to get approved for much past noontime anywhere near a commercial shopping district.
Set qualifying limits related to your fundraiser such as a minimum $50 pledge from participants. That keeps things from getting too chaotic with lots of runners who only raise the entry fee and don’t bring in any donations. Be sure your entry fee is set high enough to cover all expenses so that all donations go to your cause.
The key to successful fundraising is attracting lots of participants and that means lots of publicity. You’ll need to put together a press release and get it out to all the media outlets in your market.
Your press release should tell a concise, yet newsworthy story about your Jingle Bell Run. Emphasize your cause and why this event is important. Include the standard who, what, why, when, and how details as well as your website URL for additional details.
Your media kit should also include some high-quality photos for newspapers to run in case they decide to do a story instead of just a mention in a local events or sports section.
This type of running event is definitely a big hit for the holidays. With proper planning, good organization, and excellent publicity, your group will do very well with this fundraiser.
The key is getting each runner to get enough sponsors so that each participant is raising at least $50 for your cause. Seek out corporate sponsorships as well. Many companies like to help sponsor events with a good image, particularly at Christmastime.
Plan ahead, execute your strategy, and have a fun Jingle Bell Run!
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