5K/10K Fundraising Run/Walk Event Planning Checklist

On November 19, 2008 by Allan Woodstrom

I was searching online for a event checklist for holding a fundraising run/walk. Much to my suprise my searches were not that successful. Most of the checklists for planning a run/walk event were only available through signing up for a fundraising help website.

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Needless to say I spent a couple of hours putting this together. This checklist should only be used as a starting point for your planning your own fundraising run/walk, not the bible for how to do it.

If I forgot any important steps, please let me know by leaving a comment.

Planning a Fundraising Run/Walk Event Checklist:

Pre-Event Planning

  1. Determine Date & Location
    i.  Get the necessary permits from the city.
  2. Map out exact race route.
  3. Create volunteer committee
    i.  Set committee meetings
    ii.  Determine volunteers needed
  4. Determine Registration Logistics
    i.  How will people pre-register?
    ii.  What information do we need to gather?
    iii.  Signed Liability Waiver Approval
  5. Determine Race day set-up.
    i.  Determine timeline for Set-up
    ii.  Where will people park?
    iii.  Where should we place the registration table?
          1.  Determine sign-in process and numbering.
          2.  Hand out timing buttons.
    iv.  Where should we place the medical tent?
    v.  Where should we have water stops?
    vi.  Where should we have the award ceremony?
         1.  Obtain race medals
         2.  Determine ceremony host.
         3.  Determine A/V needs.
         4.  Write ceremony script.
    Determine where we need signage.
         1.  Design Signage
         2.  Print Signage
    Set-up place and time for sponsors to drop of bag filling cache keys.
          1.  Gather volunteers and have bag filling get together.
    ix.  Find a volunteer photographer or videographer.


  1. Confirm Naming
  2. Create & Approve Logo
  3. Create the “why” story
    i.  What challenges are faced that drive fundraising?
    ii.  Contact poeple who have or will benefit from fundraising and tell their story.
  4. Create Brochure & Registration Form for Runners/Walkers
    i.  Distribute brochures to running stores or places of interest
  5. Create Brochure & Registration Form for Sponsors
    i.  Determine Sponsorship Levels & Incentives
  6. Create Posters/Flyers for Distribution
  7. Create Website
    i.  Allow people to register online
  8. Additional Marketing Online
    i.  Create YouTube Video Channel
         1.  Make video promoting event
         2.  Shoot video at event to promote next year
         3.  Gather stories of people who have benefited.
    ii.Create a Flickr Account
         1.  Post pictures online.
         2.  Create social networking profiles
         3.  Create Events
         4.  Make Friends
  9. Design & print volunteer & racer t-shirts. Add to racer bags.


  1. Gather list of potential donors
    i.  Send Brochure
    ii.  Hand brochures to every forseeable participant or sponsor 
    Make follow-up phone calls
  2. Determine how money will be collected.

Race Day Operations

  1. Set-up
         1.  Hand out numbers & timing censors & goodie bags
         2.  Coat check, bag check?
    ii.  Signage
    iii.  Watering Stations
         1.  Water must be pre-purchased
         2.  Volunteers in place
    iv.  A/V, Award Ceremony
         1.  Electricity must be available, figure how much you need.
    v.  Handout radios for on-site communication
    Medical tent
         1.  Find volunteer medical staff
         2.  Gather ice & supplies
  2. Run the Race
  3. Post results for serious runners.
  4. Tear down the event

Follow-up & Evaluation

  1. Match goals with actual results
  2. Follow-up communication with racers and volunteers
    i.  Send out report on how money was used.
    ii.  Promote next year’s race

A couple final notes: When planning a 5K or 10K remember that you are going to need plenty of water. Take the amount of water you think you’ll need and double it.

Additionally, it is very smart to hire a company or person to administer the timing of the race.

15 Responses to “5K/10K Fundraising Run/Walk Event Planning Checklist”

  • Great Post. These days online registration should also be a big factor. Paper forms just aren’t as convenient as clicking a mouse. Although not as thorough as yours, here’s another checklis for charity events http://hubpages.com/hub/Top5Components. Also, check out http://www.Compete-At.com which offers the registration piece for 5k & 10k races as well as the website, photo gallery, sponsor pages and more to help promote the event.

  • Thank you for our post, very clear, step by step procedure. I have made a note of this.

  • Are there rules on awards for 5K fun runs? Are there specific age categories that must be adhered to? What is the difference in a 1st, 2nd 3rd place winner for their age category, vs the “master’s” and “overall” winners?

  • Thank you very much. This outlining of tasks is very useful.

  • Thanks so much for the checklist. We’ve got some of this in place already for our run come Dec. 4th, but this is very helpful nonetheless.

  • HI! I want to start my very own 10k in honor of my brother Salvador Lopez who passed away three years ago due alcholo intoxication. I want to do this to bring awarness to myour generation aganist underage drinking!! I want to have theis event “Win for Sal” annually as well as go toschools and do some public speaking :) I have already started aising money so that i can start but I have no idea how to being! I need an event planner that can set everything up for me do you recoomend anyone or how did you start? Its difficult for me since I still have a full time job. help!!

  • Thank you for putting this info together!!

  • this is a very helpful site. thank you for putting the checklist together. I am working with a small group of people to handle the logistics for a similar event and there may be a need for walkie talkies to ensure communications between the volunteers at different locations.

  • I did not see any comment about liability insurance for the event organizers. Did legal counsel conclude that the signed Liability Waiver was sufficient?

  • This information has been very helpful. This year will be the 4Th year my race is going on. and as expected i would like it to be even bigger this year. and i know it will be because of the feed back i have been getting. There a few things you mention that i’ll be considering such as giving out goodies bags. At the end of the race i usually have a table with water and health snacks and what i found is people who r not even in the race come and take up things. so i think goodies bags for racer would be better.there i something else i would like help with i’ll check you out on FB and hope we can chat there. Thanks again

  • Thank you for the information on planning races/walks. I am a newcomer to the planning field & the liability question has me thinking- is that necessary in races and if so, is that something that should be directed at time of registering online? Also, do you have any advice on registering on line- how do you start that process? Thanks again- very helpful to a novice planner!

  • Thanks so much for your post! I’m planning a 5k walk/run for Sept 15, 2012 in the Mocksville/ Winston Salem, NC area. Since I have no experience organizing an event like this your list will be really helpful. I posted about my event tonight here

  • I truly thank you for this wonderful post… extremely useful as I research my 5K event. God bless you richly. :)

  • Thank you for the post. Very useful.

  • This is a great checklist. Organizing a 5k seems like a daunting task, but having this will definitely make it easier. Thanks!

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