I found myself asking this exact question in 2018. I had more questions than I had answers, so I turned to the internet to research as much as possible. What I found were incredible ideas and suggestions. But what I still didn't quite understand was why would people donate money for nothing in return? After experiencing the success of our event I understand why and I am going to explain why in the rest of this blog.
We went ahead and started planning a Glow Run, found a way to accept donations online through a company like the one we are starting, and I crossed my fingers hoping we would have a successful event raising as much as we had in years past doing a carnival with a silent auction.
We had two months to throw this event together and zero budget, so we started sending out letters for sponsors for the event to buy supplies, rewards, and shirts for every child. What blew me away was how willing our local community and small businesses were willing to support a fun run. In hindsight it makes sense, the sponsors receive advertising from having their logo or names on the backs of 100's of shirts that get worn often. The sponsors are also helping to fund an event that motivates kids to get moving and build a sense of community.
Once we knew we had enough money to put on the event at zero cost to the PTO, we moved forward with planning our Glow Run. We made up pledge packets to receive offline donations, partnered with an online fundraising company like Pledge Monster and sent home instructions on how to set up a family page. We started the 2-week fundraising event with a kickoff assembly showcasing the prizes that kids could win and what we were offering to teachers to get them to encourage their classroom to participate.
Needless to say that weekend I was incredibly nervous. That evening we started seeing donations and pledges rolling in. By the end of week one, we had raised $7,000.00 online. I was in awe, I could not believe it. By the end of week two, we had surpassed our previous carnival profit. I felt relief, knowing that we made enough to fund our PTO budget for the year. As we started collecting pledge packets and entering offline donations into our event software, my mind was blown. We ended up raising over $27,000.00 and had a total profit of over $26,000.00.
What I learned is that the kids got to enjoy a fun event earn cool prizes and have to sell nothing. The kids in our school are still talking about the Glow Run two years later and are so excited we are doing one again this year. We did not have a fundraiser last year and were able to fund more for our school for two years. Adding the online platform allowed people to donate from all over.
If 10 people donate $10 to a single child that is $100 raised for your school's organization. We only had 300 kids in our school when we raised that much money. We live in an incredibly small community as well with less than 2,000 people. What the Glow Run made me realize is how much people want to support your organizations, but would rather know that you are keeping as much as possible instead of buying candy, wrapping paper, candles, etc.
Planning the event was so simple and we are here to help you all the way. If you want to try a fun run with any theme please contact us or book a package. If you already have an event where you collect money via pledge packets and just want to add an online donation method we can offer that for you as well. We want your organization to be as successful as we have been.