Five Tips to Help Walkathon Participants Succeed

Let’s begin by asking a question: “Why do donors choose to give money to one worthy cause over another?”

Some donors have a solid relationship with an organization where they choose to donate funds year after year. But many donors—specifically new prospects—need a compelling reason why they should choose to give to your cause instead of another. After all, there are many wonderful charities that donors would love to support. Often, people choose to donate to a person they have a relationship with. For this reason, it’s very important for organizations to empower their participants.  After all, they are the true champions spreading awareness and securing donations.

“The success of your fundraiser lies in the success of your individual participants.”

So, how can your organization maximize the efforts of individual participants?  Provide online tools that make raising funds easy, and allow them to engage with their peers. Give them the ability to create an emotional connection to the “cause” as this is an effective way for them to gain support from family and friends.

Five Participant Fundraising Tips:

1. Help Participants Prepare.  Have an event kick-off party or create a packet that provides guidelines to help your event participants prepare for the fundraiser such as:

    • How to establish goals & create timelines & checklists
    • Identify a list of potential supporters
    • Draft a pitch so participants know what to say when making phone calls or sending emails to request donations
    • Provide an overview of common courtesies (please & thank you’s) but also be sure to include an explanation of what funds are being raised for, and how people can make a difference with their donations

2. Make It Easy.  Participants are going to be more likely to succeed if you make it easy for them to participate.  Set up a fundraising website where participants can easily manage all aspects of their fundraiser.  Here they can easily register for the event, establish and track goals (with a fundraising thermometer), and securely collect donations.  They no longer need to walk door-to-door asking for donations or be responsible for managing money.  All they have to do is share their website link for their pledge fundraising event!

3. Make it Personal. Give participants the opportunity to tell their personal story. Why did they choose to be involved in the fundraiser? What does it mean to them? Give them the ability to share photos, videos and personal goals.  Participants are more likely to embrace the initiative if it is fun and personal. Instead of sending supporters to a general site, they can send them to a personal fundraising web page that includes all these details.  Not only is this beneficial for participants, but it’s likely that these personal stories may be the selling point that gets donors to take action.

4. Provide Sample Templates.  Don’t make participants reinvent the wheel.  What tools do you already have?  Provide sample templates participants can use including: donation request letters and sample email requests, timelines and event check-lists, thank you letters, promotional event flyers, and more. DoJiggy’s Participant Fundraising Library was created to specifically help pledge participants succeed.  Here you’ll find many sample templates and guidelines available for you to use…for free!

5. Motivate Them.  Provide incentives for your participants to succeed.  A little healthy competition goes a long way in helping your organization reach your fundraising goals. Your event website tracks the fundraising progress of each participant and highlights your top performers.  You may also want to choose to give awards to motivate participants.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Top Performer:  Reward the participant who raises the most donations
  • Social Star:  Recognize the person who increases awareness of your cause by sharing the most posts, blogging about the event, etc.
  • Teamwork Award:  Recognize the team that performs best with each individual achieving their goals.

Plan A Successful Walkathon or Pledge Event

If you are organizing a walkathon or other pledge fundraising event, you may want to give DoJiggy Pledge software a free trial.  And, be sure to download our free Walkathon Guide: “Your Complete Guide to Organizing a Successful Walkathon”

Good Luck with your event!