Color Fun Runs | How To Organize a Fun Run
If you are a PTO member, school administrator, coach or teacher you may need to do some fundraising for your school. You may be searching for school fundraising ideas and thinking you want to stage a fundraising event that will get all students, parents and the community at large involved. Fun Runs seem to fit the bill. Fun Runs with COLOR are even better! Colored Powder adds a whole new element to a typical 5K Fundraising Race that gets people involved who may have never even considered running in a 5k before – and for you the more people the more funds! So how do you get on your way to school fundraising with colored powder? We have a few tips for you to get you started.
- Pick the event date, time and place
- Get permissions needed, plan the course and set fundraising goals
- Make a budget
- Set fundraising goals and gain sponsors
- Promote your event
- Day Of Preparation
- Clean Up
Pick your Event Date, Time and Place – Organize A Fun Run
When choosing the event date for your school fundraiser you will want to pay close attention to what other activities are happening at each individual school, district wide, and in your local community. For example, if the local high schools prom or your town’s annual craft festival is the same weekend you may want to consider another time so you are not conflicting with other events and trying to draw the same people to yours.
Organizing Fun Runs Around Community Activities
Also make sure that you are not sandwiching the Color 5k in between recent fundraising events or similar runs. You may not want to schedule it 2 weeks after the Spring Carnival and 2 weeks before the gift wrap fundraiser as the community may be burned out on fundraising events. When organizing a fun run, you want it to be a vibrant, exciting, event that everyone in the local community wants to participate in and choosing the right date has a lot to do with it.
Once you have picked your date you will want to consider the place. Hosting a Color Fun Run on school grounds may be a great option for you. It is easy and accessible for students and families and you can draw the attention of your local community as well. City parks and trails may also be an option.
Get Permissions Needed, Plan and Organize Your Fun Run Course
Now that you have decided on the fundraising event date and place, you need to insure you have all the necessary permissions before moving forward. If you are planning the event on your school grounds, you probably just need to get permission from the school principal. If the course will be on public property you will need to get permission and/or obtain any needed permits from your local city/county authorities. If it is on private property you of course need to insure the property owner has granted you permission to use the space for the Color Fun Run.
Once you have all the necessary permissions secured you will want to plan the course. Make sure it is easy to follow. It also works best if your Start and Finish line loop back to the same general area. As you plan your course you will want to consider how many Color Stations you will have and where you will set them up.
Set Your Budget
You may already have a general idea of how much you want to make based on what you are raising funds for – but sometimes it works well if you start with a budget – determine what the costs are and then plan out how you are going to cover those costs and raise money for the organization. In terms of a Color Fun Run here are some but not all of the costs you may want to consider:
1. Permits/Fees – are there any permit costs or fees associated with your location?
2. Color Powder Costs – you can determine how much color powder you need based on how many participants you expect and how many color stations you will have. You can find all of the info on how to organize a fun run on our popular blog post.
3. Color Powder Packet Costs -while not 100% necessary a color powder toss to kick off your run certainly creates a festive atmosphere and kicks the fun into high gear.
4. Starting Lines, Finish Lines, Cones, Signage – Are you going to use banners, or rent flags or inflatable arches to designate the start and finish lines. How about cones to mark every course, signage to mark your course or signage to indicate where the run is happening.
5. Other race related expenses –
- Race Registration Costs – while many choose to take sign ups on their own websites or collecting registration forms, you can also use sites like DoJiggy, Active.com etc. to help with race registration. These sites do make registration easier but there are costs involved.
- DJ – having great music and announcer really help to create an exciting color vibe, plus a DJ can help direct participants to the start line, finish dance party etc.
- Portable restrooms – depending on your location and if public restrooms are available.
- Water for your water stations.
6. Prizes/Incentives for school fundraising goals -If you are going to have your students and/or community participants raise funds – sometimes it helps to offer prizes or incentives based on hitting specific fundraising goals. Sometimes that is as simple as offering a free color powder packet if they hit the first fundraising goal or other race related items like colorful bandanas, backpacks, socks etc. You can also offer gift cards from local businesses. Have a grand prize to the person that raises the most money. Often you are able to get this prize donated so you don’t have an additional cost.
7. Items for Add- On Sales – you may want to think about items that you can sell leading up to the race for a profit. For example – extra color powder packets, bandanas, tattoos, t-shirts.
Fundraising Goals and Sponsorships – Organizing a Fun Run
Once you have determined the costs, determine what your fundraising goal is and how you are going to achieve it. There is a large variety of fundraising options at a Color 5k.
- Registration Fees – set a registration fee for the Color Fun Run. Check to see what other races in the area are charging so you don’t price yourself out of the market and also keep in mind what you think the community is willing to pay to participate.
- Color Run Race Kits and /T-shirts – sometimes you can charge a higher registration fee if the registration fee includes a t-shirt or goody bag. Or you can offer different levels of registration. For example – Race registration only is X $’s, Race registration with a t-shirt is XX $’s, Race registration with a t-shirt and goody bag is XXX $’s.
- Sponsors – Obtaining sponsorships from local businesses is the key to having a successful fundraising campaign. You can ask local business to sponsor the whole race or sponsor an individual color station, the start line, the finish line, a water station, the color powder packets etc.
- Food Vendors – another option is to create a fair like atmosphere and have food trucks or other local vendors like face painters at your event. It gives participants more incentive to attend. You can either charge these vendors a small fee for the space and/or ask them to donate a portion of their afternoon sales to your cause.
- Add-On Race Product Sales – you can raise additional money by offering race related products for sale on the day of the race. For example, people love the color powder packets to throw on themselves and at other participants – offer those for sale at a profit. Bandanas, sunglasses, t-shirts, gatorade, are all possibilities.
Promote Your Event
Promoting the event is perhaps the most important aspect. You need to get your community EXCITED about attending a color fun run! Make sure to let them know why you are having this event – what you are fundraising for? People are much more likely to rally behind a cause if they know the specifics.
How To Organize A Color Fun Run Promotion
To promote the event you need to start early and you need to promote often.
- Start promoting at least 3 months prior. Make sure it is on all of your school calendars, website and social media pages.
- Consider having a pep rally to let the entire school know how much fun it is going to be and to plan on attending.
- Send flyers home with your students with all of the specifics about the run.
- If you have a sign out in front of the school put your event info up for the community at large to see.
- If you have a weekly email that goes out to parents – make sure to include it EVERY single week. In the beginning you may be providing basic information – what, when, where, why etc. But each week you can add information to it – perhaps give them an update on why you need the funds – how is it going to benefit their child. Update them on the progress reaching your fundraising goal – perhaps include a goal thermometer in each email. Always make sure to include a link to where they can sign up.
- Consider working with a fundraising website that will help you with registration and allow you to send out emails to relatives and friends across the country who may not be able to attend but would love to donate to your school. There are many options out there. Dojiggy and Active are a few that people have found helpful.
- Post on social media weekly in the beginning. As you get closer you may want to post more often.
- Ask you sponsors if they will promote it for you. Will they hand out flyers, allow you to put up a poster, put the event on their social media and/or website.
- Contact you neighboring schools and let them know about your 5k run. For example if you are an elementary school – you may want to let the local middle school and high school know about the event so they can promote it to their student population.
What to Do on the Day of your Event
You have planned and planned and planned and now it is finally here! Now you just have to set up and start your party! One little trick is to plan extra time for set up. If you think it is going to take 2 hours to set up the course, prepare registration area, start and finish lines, water stations, vendors etc. – then allow 3 hours. You won’t be rushed and if you have any surprises along the way you will have time to deal with them. The same goes for all volunteers – if you think they need to arrive at 8:30, tell them to arrive at 8:00. That way you will insure that everyone is arrives on time. Make sure to prepare a detailed checklist of everything that needs to be done on race day. Share it with other planners and put them in charge of sections.
After Your Race To-Do List
The race is over and hopefully it was a huge success! One thing that often gets forgotten about in the planning stages is the clean-up. Make sure you have a dedicated team of volunteers for the race clean- up. Breaking everything down and making sure the area is as clean as when you arrived takes just as much time as the set up.
Organize For Efficient Fun Run Clean Up
- Make sure to have a dedicated volunteer team in place for cleaning up and break down.
- Walk the race course and check the area for trash.
- Blow away or hose away any color powder residue that may be left.
- Have any vendors check in with you before they leave so you can insure that they have left their area clean.
- Don’t forget to say “Thank You!” We suggest sending an email and publicly acknowledging sponsors and volunteers on your website and social media channels. Send an email to all participants and thank them for attending. You may want to mention whether or not you achieved your goal – people feel good when they can be a part of something positive! Finally, don’t forget to thank any local police, fire, city or school officials that may have been of service to you during your event.
- Take note of what went well, what didn’t go well, and what you would like to change for next year’s event. Make sure to have a dedicated volunteer team in place for cleaning up and break down.
A Color Fun Run is a great fundraising event! We hope this guide was helpful! We also have a few other guides to planning and fundraising with a Color Fun run that you may be interested in: