Is your school considering a 5k fundraiser?
Schools are continuously searching for creative ways to raise money. As they consider their options, they might want to know why some people choose to give money to their organization over others. And their fundraising team is probably searching for creative ways to raise money among those people.
It’s easy to dream that someone on the team has come up with the next new innovative way of bringing in funds. But often times, it is the reverse that will reap profit; Often, scaling back to meet people where they are is what brings success.
For us at Grace College of Divinity, we raised two questions:
- What would bring in investments and fit into our culture?
- What could we create that people from the community would want to be involved in, despite them not having heard about us, and win them over on our mission and vision once they knew who we were?
For us, the answer was a 5K walk/run event.
Could a 5k fundraiser help your school raise money, too? Consider these questions to determine if this type of event is for you.
Does a 5k Fundraiser Fit Your Cause?
People want to know they are making a difference. At our annual 5K events, we raise money for two non-profit organizations: Grace College of Divinity and the Fayetteville Dream Center.
For all our fundraising efforts, including the 5K, we focus on our values, a method known as Values Based Fundraising. We also focus on the values of those we hope will support our organization. For example, personal development is one of our core values and we believe those who come out and participate in the 5K resonate with that value as well.
When talking about Values-Based Fundraising, Jane Levett Consulting asks this valuable question:
“What if, instead of asking that person to give money, they are asked to consider these values and how the organization shares and spreads them?”
Does a 5k Fundraiser Fit Your Culture?
The culture and environment around you will be a determining factor if a 5K is worth your time investment. When organizing a 5K, you will need to coordinate with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, its police department, Traffic Services, Department of Transportation, and possibly more city offices. You will also invest a good amount of time in planning, prepping, and implementing this event.
So, to discover if it’s worth the time, ask your team these questions:
- Are there other 5Ks in your city? Do they do well?
- Will your organization and cause connect with those in your community? If not, what will draw them?
- Do you know about the culture of runners and do you have connections with runners in your area?
These are all questions one should consider when determining if you can effectively promote and coordinate a 5K.
What’s your Catch?
What will make this event “catch” you and your organization? In other words, what is the point or focus for this event that will draw the people in your organization to invest their (and your) time, energy, and money into making it happen?
The first year we had a 5K, we decided to have it as a free event. Yes — a free 5K!
Our purpose was to get involved with the community and spread awareness within it of our two non-profit organizations, and that goal was met that year.
The next year was our first fundraising year and it turned out to be a profitable event. We gave a good portion to the Fayetteville Dream Center all while increasing awareness and getting even more involved with the community.
The second fundraising year we doubled our profit and saw a 150% increase in paid registrants.
We have been meeting and exceeding many of our goals and the reasons for why we invest in this event. Every year, Our “catch” and our heart for this event also increases. And every year we incorporate more ways to increase awareness and funds for these two organizations impact our community.
Ask yourself what your cause, culture, and catch are while you determine if a 5K would be beneficial for your school.