Picture this: you’re rallying your coworkers, friends, and family to join your local business’ fundraising 5K to raise money for a cause near your heart. Whether protecting animal rights or conserving the land where you grew up, you want to involve as many people as possible.
However, it might feel overwhelming if you’re new to promoting social good causes. You might ask questions like, “How do I leverage my existing connections?” and “How can I reach more people faster?” To help you get started, we’ve drafted three easy steps to advertise your fundraising 5K:
1. Build a dedicated event website
Your event website acts as your “home base” for all things related to your fundraising 5K. It should be the first place supporters can count on to find the most up-to-date information about your upcoming event. An effective website will include elements such as:
- An event overview: Dedicate a section to explain why you are hosting your 5K event so participants can feel united under your cause. For instance, Bringing Happiness’ 5K announcement reflects its mission to provide sports and activities to vulnerable children: “Not only is this event a chance to get outside and exercise, but it’s also an opportunity to bring our community together and spread happiness and positivity through healthy activities. We truly believe in the power of movement and its impact on our mental and physical well-being.”
- An event itinerary: Break down your itinerary for race day, including location, start time, and any reward ceremonies or community activities following the race.
- Registration links: Post the links to register for your event in a visible spot so visitors can easily sign up. Test these links ahead of time to ensure visitors can access them.
- Fundraising information: Provide guidelines on how participants can create their fundraising pages, set goals, and collect donations. For instance, you might include instructions on how to sell branded 5K t-shirts to raise funds leading up to the event.
- Social media links: Inspire site visitors to connect with you online with links to your Facebook page or Instagram profiles. You can use upbeat phrases like “join our running journey” or “get to know our team” to facilitate increased online community connections.
To bring your website to the next level, you might consider posting relevant blog posts to convince your visitors to stick around. You can cover topics like The 5 Best Pre-Run Meals or How and Why You Should Recycle Old Running Shoes. You can link to these topics on social media and invite guest contributors to share their thoughts.
2. Leverage social media
Did you know that almost 60% of Gen Z are inspired to donate by a message or image they saw on social media? That means that social media should be essential to your overall marketing plan. The main channels to consider include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms, and it can help your fundraising with dedicated event page features, page creation capabilities, and sharing features. It’s also a great platform to share your fundraising results following your 5K. Twitter makes real-time reactions and updates easy with short messaging and retweetability.
In many ways, Instagram is an ideal platform to make your pre-event journey come to life because of its visual storytelling capabilities. To make full use of this channel, consider posting engaging content like:
- Livestreams: Host Q&A sessions to highlight your cause, or post training insights to engage your audience and maximize your viewers. Livestreams give followers a chance to get to know you in an unfiltered way, reminding them you’re all a part of the same running community.
- Influencer collaborations: You can use Instagram to reach out to fitness enthusiasts interested in highlighting your 5K. Invite them to join live streams, share their tips, or even become ambassadors for your cause. Their involvement can lend credibility to your cause and increase your reach.
- Giveaways: Announce giveaways or contests related to your upcoming 5K to attract new followers and engage current ones. Consider offering free registrations, branded apparel, or gift cards to get more people excited about supporting your 5K.
For the best social media marketing results, begin posting regularly at least a month or two in advance and maintain a consistent schedule. When you come closer to your event, post more frequent countdowns, relevant updates, and any final instructions. Engage with comments and direct participants to your website for any updates that need to be fleshed out in more detail.
3. Connect with Your Local Community
Aside from leveraging digital channels, you can advertise for your cause by connecting with your local community. Most likely, at least a few organizations would be interested in participating in or sponsoring your 5K.
Sneakers4Good suggests reaching out to the following groups to spread the word and expand your existing running community:
- Running stores: These retailers offer practical ways to generate funds for your 5K. You can broach the idea of gaining their sponsorship by highlighting the benefits it would bring to their store (e.g., an increased customer base). Or, suggest a percentage night where the store donates a percentage of one day’s profits to your cause.
- Gyms: Gym members already share your passion for fitness. Reach out to local gyms to recruit more participants, collaborate with instructors for 5K-specific training sessions, or engage in cross-promotional opportunities to increase gym membership.
- Door-to-door campaigning: To launch this type of campaign, you can separate your existing 5K community into groups and assign each group with the responsibility of knocking on doors to invite neighbors to donate or sign up for the race.
To increase community awareness, your team could also post flyers in local parks, gyms, and other fitness centers. Kwala’s guide to fundraising flyers offers plenty of design inspiration. Just be sure to include your event details, social media links, and website information for interested members to get involved.
Using a combination of digital and community outreach, you can effectively promote your fundraising 5K. Whenever possible, look for ways to combine your digital and in-person worlds to create a more integrated marketing strategy.
For example, you can include QR codes on printed flyers that link to your registration page. Or, you could invite your online followers to join an in-person training session to prepare for the race. These strategies will let participants get to know one another and help you reach more people faster. You’ve got this!