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Setting SMART Goals for Your Fun Run/Walk Fundraising Event

Like any fundraising event, charity runs and walks need to have clear goals to be successful. Planning can be stressful, and we know it’s easy to get all caught up in the logistics of coordinating the actual event, but it’s imperative that you start out with well-defined goals and a strategy to achieve them.

Thanks to their inherent operating costs, runs and walks aren’t always the most lucrative fundraising events for nonprofits. However, their potential for creating brand awareness and increasing community engagement means they’re still often a good choice for your fundraising efforts. To get the most out of your run/walk, you need to set smart goals, track your metrics, and take action toward achieving your goals!

Be SMART

We’ve talked about what it means to set a SMART goal before, but for a quick refresher, they’re essentially Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based.

Track the Right Things

There are several ways to track run/walk revenue.

  • Peer-to-Peer fundraising revenue
  • Registration fees
  • On-site donations
  • Sponsorships

These can all be managed in one place

Some other helpful metrics:

  • Total Registrations
  • Total Peer-to-Peer fundraisers
  • Social impressions and hashtag uses
  • New contact acquisition

Examples of SMART Fundraising Goals

Let’s assume that your organization is holding its fifth fundraiser walk, and have successfully raised money and had good attendance previously.

Goal 1: Raise $30,000 in registration fee revenue.

  • Specific in the particular revenue stream.
  • Measurable in dollar amounts.
  • Ambitious/Attainable, based on past events.
  • Relevant because the event is fundraising for programs.
  • Time-Based because registration has a specific end date.

Goal 2: Raise $10,000 in cash sponsorships by the end of race day.

  • Specific in the type and source of revenue.
  • Measurable in dollars.
  • Ambitious/Attainable, based on past events.
  • Relevant because the event is fundraising for programs.
  • Time-Based because there is a clear deadline.

Goal 3: Acquire 100 new contacts (first name, last name, and email address) by the end of race day.

  • Specific in how detailed the information needs to be to be qualified as a contact.
  • Measurable in complete contacts.
  • Ambitious/Attainable, based on nature of event.
  • Relevant because new contacts will help them grow their base of support and fundraise in the future.
  • Time-Based because there is a clear deadline.

Bonus: Worst Case Scenario

Sometimes, in spite of all of our hard work and good intentions, we come up a little bit short. Here’s what to do when you miss your fundraising goals.

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