How to Plan a Fun Run for a Fundraising Project

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A fun run can involve a range of participants.
A fun run can involve a range of participants. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

A fun run is a way to raise money and involve your community with a healthy event. Because fun runs are noncompetitive and open to anyone, you can attract a wide range of contestants, from runners looking for a training race to families who want an active morning out together. Organizing a fun run involves a great deal of planning but can raise a significant amount of money and awareness for your cause.

Start planning at least six months before the actual race. Give the race a name, and set a budget.To make your job easier, organize volunteer committees to handle promoting the race, soliciting donations, setting up the course and welcoming runners. Keep an extra set of volunteer names on hand to help with the unexpected issues that come up during the planning process.

Choose a race length, measure a course and secure the necessary permits. Visit your county's courthouse to check on the permits that you need to hold a public event, particularly if you will need to close down roads for your race. Get the permits as far in advance as possible to ensure that you will not run into governmental delays closer to the event. You will also need to register your event as a fundraiser to allow you to take money from participants.

Recruit sponsors for the race. Ask local businesses to donate money or supplies for the race, and offer to put their logos on promotional materials for free publicity. Look for sponsors for aid station tables, cups for water, refreshments and items to go into the gift bag for each runner. You can also gain extra sponsorship by offering to place the company's logo on race T-shirts, where it will get high visibility.

Design promotional materials. Make posters to hang around town to promote the event, course maps to hand out before and during the event and registration forms. If you have the budget, design a website to promote the fun run and optimize it so that potential runners can find it. Recruit volunteers to distribute your materials at least two months before the race.

Set up the race essentials. Get race bibs and pins for contestants, hire someone to fire the starting gun, rent a timer to track finish times and find an event photographer to take photos of finishers. Print race T-shirts to go in the race bags, and assemble the bags with the other donated goods.

Mark the course the morning of the race. Using your team of volunteers, set up the welcome station, put out cups of water or sports drink at each aid station and put signs and volunteers at important turning points on the course. Make sure the timer is in place, and hang signs to direct runners to parking.

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