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

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.

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.