When a Sponsored Walk Becomes An Annual Fundraiser
by Paul Carter
The Walkers Celebrate 2010
We are a UK based company. As part of our employer community department and Charity Partnership (for Jan 2009-Jan 2011) Help the Hospices, we organised a walk for 6 people from Severn Hospice in Wellington to Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton with the view to aim £500.
Through word of mouth we ended up with 2 walks - the main 25 mile walk and a shorter walk just after 1/2 way start (approx 10 miles) A total of 117 walkers took part raising an amazing £17,000.
In 2010 We decided to do a similar walk for the same charity and walked this time from Kemp Hospice in Kidderminster to Compton Hospice. 2 walks again - 21 miles and 11 miles along the Staffs and Worcs Canal. This walk involved 240 walkers and raising an amazing £25,000.
Both events ended in celebratory parties in the grounds of Compton Hospice, a buffet in 2009 and with a volunteer run BBQ in 2010.
The main issue in the whole organisation of both years was sorting out transport as we had to lay coaches on from several locations in the West Midlands and Oxford areas to the starts of the walks or collection and return to walkers cars at the end.
The event is now looking to be annual event for the business no matter who we raise the money for.
We seem to have got the recruiting of walkers to a fine art - email and posters seem to work well but word of mouth and asking people to challenge themselves seems to be the best method.
We were very fortunate to be able to get a local radio station to be promoters too and invited the radio presenter to hand out medals and certificates to all participants (whether they finished or not). We also benefited from live on air sessions both before and on the day which gave us a good publicity buildup and climax for the walks.
To think that 6 people were going to raise £500 initially led to over £42,000 being raised by 300 over the two years was amazing.
Regards and good luck Paul
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