Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Be part of 'Walking for Dreams 2013', Raise $$

Last year, over 1500 walkers raised over $100,000 for the 35 participating nonprofits. Over the past 8 years, close to 100 organizations have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, in total. I have been involved since the 2nd or 3rd year. I think of 'Walking for Dreams' as the walk-a-thon event for organizations who: 1) aren't big enough to do their own event or 2) don't want to spend valuable volunteer or staff time on event organizing, or 3) want to gather a group of their supporters around fund raising for one particular program.

Here's how it works: There is a $400 upfront fee, but then the Sycamore Foundation plans, manages, and runs the event and your organization keeps the remainder of funds that you raise. They even provide an on-line donation website where your walkers can form teams and receive donations. All your nonprofit does is solicit walkers to participate and raise funds for your organization. Whether you have 5 walkers or 50, it is a fun event and can raise a meaningful amount of money for the effort you invest.

Promoted as the 'Walking for Dreams Family and Pet 5k Walk', the event encompasses just a couple hours of a beautiful Sunday afternoon on the scenic Canal Walk downtown. The energy is terrific, the colors are bright, the faces are happy. Each organization is assigned a table to greet and gather their walkers plus promote their organization to others in attendance. Everyone steps out together and then winds their way through the walk route and back to food and festivities at their own pace.

I have discovered that a Walk-a-thon event is a great way to introduce people to your organization, a good strategy to give reluctant board members or staff a 'harmless' way to talk about your organization with friends and family, and a nice time for social connection between people who care about your organization. To learn more or get your organization signed up for the May 19, 2013 event, visit: www.WalkingforDreams.org.

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