How to Organize a Charity Walk or Run

If you have a cause you care about, it's easy to put a plan -- and feet! -- in motion for making money.

You will need

  • Cause
  • Planning committee
  • Date
  • Route
  • Knowledge of local laws
  • Sponsors
  • Publicity
  • Website
  • Race-day plan

Step 1 Pick a cause Pick a cause that’s particularly important to you. Learn about your issue through personal interaction and statistics so you can speak about it passionately and accurately.

Step 2 Form a planning committee Find other people to help you plan your event by visiting local support groups and web forums. Gather enough people so you can delegate effectively while maintaining focus on your objective. Seek out a national group dedicated to your cause to help with additional information and contacts.

Step 3 Decide when Pick a date to hold your event, giving yourself at least six months to plan. Research other events going on in your area so you’re not competing for people’s availability, energy, and funding. Select an alternate date, so people aren’t forced to run or walk in bad weather.

Step 4 Pick a route Choose an available location and route for your event. Pick a race length that ensures people can finish and accomplish their goals while raising appropriate funds. Consult local officials regarding traffic flow, crowd control, security issues, and insurance needs.

Step 5 Find sponsors Approach businesses and individuals to donate resources or funds. Start with local running or sporting goods stores, since their business relates directly to your event. Take whatever a sponsor is willing to provide and thank them in any event-related press.

Step 6 Meet the press Publicize your event. Contact newspaper, radio, and television outlets for interviews. Find out if any public personalities have connections to your cause and would be willing to either get the word out or participate themselves.

Step 7 Sign up participants Find people to participate. Decide at least four months in advance whether to have participants pay a registration fee, collect sponsors, or both. Approach friends, relatives, and support groups; reach out to contacts on social-media services; and place fliers locally. Create a website where people can find information on the race and your cause.

Step 8 Expect the unexpected Have a plan for race day, but be willing to improvise if necessary. Maintain a cool head and rely on your team’s support as you watch your charitable vision become a reality.