Monday, April 13, 2009

Non-Profit Walk Season

Nice weather is upon us in the northern half of the country and outdoor activities are in full swing. For non-profit organizations it means the walk season is about to begin.

If you have a spring walk, you should be deep in the planning phases but if you have a late summer or fall walk you might just be starting.  If your event falls into the latter part of the season here are some things to consider or include in your planning:
  1. Branding - If this is a first year event brand your event with a name, logo, key messages, purpose, etc.  If the event has been around for years, consider refreshing with a new look.
  2. Sponsorship:  There are plenty of sponsorship opportunities in a walk event (paying and in-kind).  Start with securing media sponsor(s) - Radio, TV and Print act as inventory to entice other sponsorship types so go to local media outlets for sponsorship first.  Next look for a title or presenting sponsor, mile marker sponsors, beverage sponsor, celebration sponsor, starting line and finish line sponsor, etc.  Try to obtain sponsorships as early as possible.  Sponsor logos on brochures, posters and signage is also inventory and entices sponsors to become involved.
  3. Logistics - Location, How long is your walk, are runners allowed, what is the route, what are event goals, budget, fees, authorization, food, entertainment, emcees, staging area, etc.
  4. Committee - Do you have a core of volunteers to assist in creating event, volunteers pre-event, volunteers day-of, roles and responsibilities, meetings.
  5. Walk teams - recruit corporate, school and individual teams. How many make a team?
  6. Marketing & PR - save the date, brochures, posters, signage, pre-press, day of press, post press, e-blasts, newsletters.
  7. On-line - Can you create an on-line walk page, collect donations, sign-up teams. Include sponsors as this is another form of inventory and a benefit.
  8. Stewardship - capture all data, thank sponsors, walkers, volunteers.
As you can see there are quite a few elements to include when creating a walk.  But with a clear timeline and an organized checklist you should be able to achieve success for your organization. 

Need assistance on your upcoming walk?  columbus imPRessions can help.  I have over ten years experience with walk events - Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run, Make-A-Wish Walk for Wishes, Crohn's & Colitis Take Steps and Epilepsy Foundation Stroll for Epilepsy.  Email info@columbusimpressions.com or call 740.816.3251

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