Four steps to success
1. Get the timing right.
Timing can make or break the success of an event, particularly one that’s new on the scene and is competing alongside long-running competitions with large marketing budgets and an established supporter base. Do your homework and find out what else is happening around that date so you aren’t going head to head with the big players. Running season is a busy period with events happening every other weekend, so finding a suitable date should be your first priority.
Similarly, it’s vital to consider the weather. If your event is taking place outdoors, will the time of year you’re proposing be appropriate? Think about the possible contingency plans you’d need in the event of inclement weather and what impact this could potentially have on budgets and logistics.
2. Ensure you have the necessary resources.
There’s a good reason many charities prefer to leverage existing MCEs: running your own can be incredibly time-consuming with a lot of moving parts. Failing to deliver an event that ticks all the boxes on a logistical level can lead to dissatisfied, frustrated supporters and damage to your charity’s reputation. Among the various logistical aspects to consider are:
- Organising road closures and permits
- Provision of portable toilets and hydration stations
- Adequate health and safety / first aid support
- Deployment of security teams
- Sourcing and mobilising volunteers
- Administration – supporter registration and equipment check-in
It’s important to weigh up all the effort required against the event’s fundraising potential to make sure the end result is worthwhile. Bear in mind also that many charity events don’t experience significant fundraising totals in their first year: it takes time and patience to build a successful event and supporter base, which is why you should approach an owned event not as a one-off but as a longterm strategy.
3. Make your cause clear.
With so many charity running events vying for supporters’ attention, you need to make sure your message is clear from the start. Highlight what makes your cause and challenge different from and more compelling than your competitors’ so that supporters can quickly and easily understand what it is you stand for and what kind of difference their fundraising could make.
Similarly, design and promote your event in such a way that the fundraising aspect is deeply connected to it – in this way, you will maximise supporter engagement and ensure their participation goes beyond just the achievement of personal fitness goals and hitting their minimum fundraising target.
4. Consider going virtual.
One of the most significant and revolutionary developments in event fundraising in recent years is the creation of an entirely new category: virtual events. Virtual events give charities the best of both worlds because they allow you the freedom to create, promote and execute your own branded event, without the complicated logistical headache and strain on resources that would normally accompany it.
Everydayhero virtual events allow for the integration of our software with leading fitness tracking apps Strava and MapMyFitness to enable your supporters to participate in fitness challenges unlimited by physical or geographical constraints.
The benefits of this innovative approach are many and varied, and include:
- A wider net of potential supporters as your event can be open to participants anywhere in Australia and even internationally.
- Freedom from the logistics, extra expenses and staffing required by a physical event, thereby freeing up more budget to focus on promotion and recruitment.
- Fewer time constraints as the physical challenge can be undertaken at your supporters’ own pace and convenience. Instead of an event running across a single day or weekend, you can choose to have your event stay live for weeks or even months.
- Creative license to invent a truly compelling challenge without real-world constraints, such as covering enough kilometres to virtually cycle across Australia, or reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Some of the most successful virtual events of the past year include World Vision’s Run India challenge, in which more than 117 teams have run in excess of 144,000kms and raised over $80,000 to help support children’s education in India. In the UK, British Heart Foundation’s My Marathon challenge has been equally popular with fundraisers, allowing participants to complete the marathon distance across 31 days and at their own pace.We hope you’ve found these steps helpful and if you have any questions please contact us here.