On this page, we've posted a collection of walk-a-thon resources and other walk-a-thon related tips, tricks and lessons learned. If you have any good walk-a-thon related suggestions and ideas that you would like to share, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post them here.
Do-It-Yourself Walk-A-Thon Guide
Be sure to check out our proven Do-it-yourself Walk-a-thon Guide. It will guide you
through all aspects of planning an running your own walk-a-thon.
Example Getting Started Materials
Download this .zip file which contains example letters, promotions, sponsor sheets and more
to help you plan and implement your walk-a-thon:
uWalk accepts online donations, but you should still consider providing a students with a
sponsor sheet by which they can record and turn in regular cash and check donations they
collect from local friends and family. The sponsor sheet doesn't have to be fancy, as per
this simple example:
You might want to spruce it up a little by adding your school name/logo.
UWALK TIP: You may customize the sponsor sheet that is available for download on the uWalk "Participants" page.
UWALK TIP: Note that from the uWalk Admin Panel, you can manually enter the pledge sheet totals so
that uWalk will maintain an accurate account of all donations received during the event (not just those donations received online).
When planning your Walk-a-thon, here are some supplies you might want to consider:
UWALK TIP: Remember that uWalk has a "Supplies Signup" area on the Volunteers page by which people can signup online to bring supplies and signup for other volunteer positions.
- Water cups. The 5 ounce Dixie cups are ideal. Any larger, and the kids won't finish them. The 3 ounce one's are a little small, but work fine as well. Depending on the size of the school, you may want to have 1500 to 2000 cups on hand.
- Gatorade-type Coolers. Consider getting 3 or 4 of those big 5-gallon coolers filled with water on hand to be used to fill up the cups at the water stations.
- Orange slices. Orange slices are always a healthy and refreshing treat for the walkers. Just consider following food service guidelines such as volunteers at the orange station having sanitary gloves and etc.
- Music and PA. Walk-a-thons are always funner with music. And make sure your sound system has a PA/Microphone if you want to be able to make announcements during the event. Or maybe even just hire a DJ if you don't have some good and loud equipment.
- Tables. Consider arranging for tables for use at water stations and orange stations... and for the music/prize area.
- Tents. Consider having several of those large soccer-type tents for use also at the water stations, orange stations and music/prize area.
- Garbage Cans. Don't forget to have some garbage cans out there for all those paper cups and orange peels.
- First Aid. It is also a good idea to some basic first aid supplies. Band aids, ice, etc.
- Cones. If your course is not obvious, you might want to have some cones on hand to mark boundaries, turns, etc.
- No Parking Signs. If your course covers a parking lot or areas where cars might normally park/drive, you might want to utilize some strategic "No Parking" signs.
- Prizes! See prizes below.
Walk-a-thon Volunteer Positions
When planning your Walk-a-thon, here are some volunteer positions you might want to consider:
UWALK TIP: Remember that uWalk has a "Volunteer Signup" area on the Volunteers page by which people can signup online to bring supplies and signup for other volunteer positions.
- Water Station Helpers. Consider 2 or 3 volunteers at each water station to help fill cups, hand out cups, refill water jugs, etc.
- Orange Station Helpers. If you have any orange stations or other refreshment stands, you'll need volunteers there too.
- DJ/Announcer. Consider having one or two volunteers in charge of the music and announcements. Or maybe even just hire a DJ if you don't have some good and loud equipment.
- Setup and Cleanup Volunteers. Have some volunteers to help setup tables, water stations, etc.... and other to help clean up and put things away afterwards.
- Prize Coordinator. If giving out any prizes or promotional items during the event, consider getting 1 or 2 volunteers to handle that.
- Photographer. Consider getting a volunteer or two to take pictures during the event. Makes for great publicity on the school website and/or Facebook page.
- Course Helpers. Depending on how your course is setup, it may pay to have volunteers at stategic locations to help keep the kids on track.
- Donation Entry. It is a good idea to assign a (reliable) person to enter all of the donations turned in on walk-a-thon day. There will usually be a large number of participants who turn in their donations on the last day so recording them all that day will allow you to know your event totals before the end of the walk-a-thon. This will allow you to announce the total money raised at the event and also ensure that all participants who qualify for prizes are rightfully included in any drawings.
Prizes and Incentives
To help inspire the students to raise money, consider coming up with prizes that students or entire classes can earn - or win - based on the amount of donations that each student or class collects.
UWALK TIP: Remember that uWalk has several tools to help with prizes such as the ability to generate donation reports based on student or class. uWalk also has a built-in "Prize Manager" feature to manage the list of prizes and incentives. uWalk also has a "Prize Picker" feature by which you can randomly pick prize winners based on customizable prize thresholds.
TIP: An incentive that works great on the day of the event, is to give each student another bracelet each time they complete a lap. You can purchase colorful jelly bracelets from places like Oriental Trading ... about 1750 of them for only $30. The kids really love them. See Jelly Bracelets at Oriental Trading.
The purpose of the Walk-a-thon is to raise money for the school and so attracting sponsors to make donations or even just help offset the cost of prizes can really make a difference.
UWALK TIP: Remember that uWalk allows you to manage sponsors and will automatically/randomly show sponsors on a banner at the top of all of the uWalk displays.
TIP: Asking local businesses to donate prizes such as free ice cream from the local ice cream store, free pizza from the local pizza parlor, or free golf from the local mini golf place are pretty easy ways to involve sponsors and be able to offer "Family Night Out" prizes/incentives for the students.
TIP: Some chain business - such as big movie theators or national restaurants - are often very willing to donate gift cards as prizes, but often such national businesses require you to fill out a form about a month ahead of time... so give yourself that extra month when planning your event.
Other ideas that you might be able to use to attract sponsors:
- Consider getting sponsors to pay a certain amount to "Sponsor A Lap" during the event. When sponsoring a lap, the sponsors name could be announced... and maybe even everyone will get a coupon or prize bag from that sponsor.
- Consider getting sponsors to pay to put their name on a "cool down tent" during the event. And during the event, students could win 10 minutes under the "Bob's Ice Cream Cool Down Tent" or something like that.
- For certain amounts, sponsors could get their sign displayed prominently during the event.
- If making tee shirts for your event, sponsors could pay to have their name on the shirt.
More ideas to make walk-a-thons successful and fun? Let us hear them and we'll post them here!