When one thinks of a walk-a-thon the image of springtime, tennis shoes, and shorts may come to mind. However, walk-a-thons for the holidays can also be a great idea for a fundraiser or community service event. The holiday season is literally a time of giving. However, the focus on spending and the mechanical aspect of holiday charity can overshadow the spirit of fundraising initiatives. This year, a group of over 1,400 non profit organizations decided to combat this robotic feel and consumerist trend with Giving Tuesday. The idea was not only to dedicate a day to donations, but to stimulate interaction in fundraising events and community projects. The results are yet to be seen, but the ball is already rolling.
A holiday walk-a-thon or pledge event could be the perfect way to integrate participation, community, and fundraising during the holiday season. The management and planning is be made easy by the implementation of an easy-to-use walkathon software which allows individuals and teams to create personal fundraising pages , collect online donations, voice goals, and raise awareness through the wide reach of the internet. With so many people doing their Christmas shopping online, it makes sense to invite this captive audience to visit an online fundraising website to learn more about a cause and make an online donation
Christmas Caroling Pledge Event
The well known tradition of Christmas Caroling is actually a fusion between an old Norse tradition of wishing good fortune to one’s neighbors and liturgical medieval musical traditions. The modern version of caroling has come to embody the spirit of Christmas; jovial music, neighborly cheer, and compassionate giving. The walk-a-thon model can be a perfect new twist to this heartwarming event. Participants from an organization can gather pledges online promoting their caroling event in which interchangeable giving is embodied. Songs can be sung as a gift or for donations. In either instance, the beauty of caroling is combined with the diffusion of information about a charity or cause.
Food and Blanket Drive
Rather than participating in a group event similar to a walk-a-thon where participants follow some sort of path, distributing food or blankets could follow the same pledge logic. Participants can commit to a goal of food and blanket donations and donors can pledge cash or in kind donations. There has been a staggering increase in the amount of homeless and poverty stricken individuals across the globe, and the winter temperatures make the holiday season an even more pertinent moment to give the gift of sustenance and warmth. This could be an excellent church fundraising initiative, as churches are always looking for ways to reach a helping hand to those less fortunate. Using an online fundraising software to manage a fundraising event also generates awareness of global issues while augmenting their ability to raise funds for specific communities.
Holiday Cookie Walk
Imagine combining one of the greatest aspects of the holidays, Christmas Cookies, with exercise! It’s the perfect balance, not to mention justification, and it can be enjoyed while raising money for a cause at the same time. An indoor venue for this type of event may be more compatible with many winter climates (possibly even a shopping mall where crowds of people gather during this time of year). Cookie experts from all walks of life can enter into competition, or simply offer their goods, to participants who walk a distance or course in which the opportunity to buy goods literally can’t be passed up! With a focus on all money raised going to charity, the bakers themselves can create fundraising pages to solicit online pledges to garner support in competitions. Cookie walkers can also participate in the fundraising process by pledging to walk a certain distance before partaking in the tasty rewards. Combining the pledge event with donations of cookies to charities of those unable to afford such a luxury could take the event one step further. This could be a perfect school fundraising event and an interesting way to spice up the traditional holiday bake sale.
The holiday spirit is a multi cultural and denominational affair, so a fundraising event can highlight a certain regional tradition. The Latin American Posada is similar to the caroling tradition, although the procession to each location involves a greater interaction. The Posadas are held on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas, from December 16th to 24th, and are related to indigenous origins as well as religious ones. In each stop, participants are invited into the home for varying levels of festive cheer and sharing or traditional food and drink. Children are entertained with the now commonly known piñata and traditional song and imagery is integrated. Participants can obtain pledges to purchase goods and distribute to households rather than have the household offering the goods, or the tour could serve as a collection where houses donate goods to a cause.
All of these examples give some idea of how to transform and integrate tradition and fundraising.
The Walk-a-thon model is a proven success for fundraising events and has been creatively modified to fit such sports as swimming, hiking, biking and more. This holiday season, why not use it as a means to get out and stir up holiday spirit no matter what the temperature. Combining the personal nature of interactive giving with the online fundraising software tools is the sure way to ring in the new year with a joyous and successful fundraising event.