Photo Credit: Sherise
Let’s Get Physical with Virtual Runs/Walks
With everyone homebound for the next month or more, races and walks around the country have been canceled or postponed. This comes as difficult news to the participants who have trained for the now-canceled races for months. The cancelation of these races and walks can be a major financial blow for nonprofit organizations that use these events as annual fundraisers.
As many of us become restless with our new homebound lives, we are looking for new ways to stay active. Dedicated runners around the world have completed marathons on apartment balconies and in small backyards.
Runners and walkers alike are looking for an outlet during our days of quarantine. Now may be the time to rethink or plan a virtual race or walk. Here are some tips to help get your community active and raise funds for your organization.
Decide What Kind of Race or Walk
There are so many options when it comes to the types of races or walks you can host. You can host races that are based on finishing times broken down by gender and age group. You can also host a walkathon where participants are encouraged to walk for hours and the winner is the last one standing.
There are many apps and platforms available to monitor physical activity. Apple and Samsung have apps on their phones designed to track steps, distance, and time. You and your team can create a group on one of the many apps and have participants compete that way.
Spread the Word
While we may feel physically distant, social distancing has made more of us rely on social media as a way to connect with others. According to TechCrunch, Facebook and Instagram experienced a 40% increase in use from March 14-24. The benefit of this increased social media use is that it can increase your ability to market your event to more participants.
A virtual event means that you can attract participants from around the world. In the past, your race/walk may have been more of a local or regional event but now you can engage more people.
One way to expand your reach is to promote your race/walk to groups who have social media pages that are focused on your specific cause. Use this as an opportunity to grow your following, talk about the work you are doing in your area and how their participation will help. (Bonus Tip: Remember to keep your new supporters engaged and make them part of your post-crisis plan.)
Use the Race/Walk Participants as Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers
When participants signup for your race/walk have a secondary goal of getting them to have their network donate to your cause on their behalf. This secondary event could be used as a tool where participants not only compete in the race/walk but also compete for funds raised for your organization. You can partner with a local shoe store that specializes in running shoes and apparel to provide a gift card to the participant who raises the most money for your cause or any other retailer in your community.
Need help managing your relationships with runners and walkers? Request a demo today!