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Halloween Costume Fun Run Basics

How does a Halloween fun run work?

If you’ve ever hosted a traditional fun run or 5K before, you know the drill. All you have to do to turn your regular event into a Halloween fun run is host it in October and encourage costumes!

In case this is your organization’s first time hosting any kind of running fundraiser, don’t worry. Here are the simple steps to follow to create a spooky and successful event: 

  1. Create a plan and determine logistics. The first step is to set goals and a budget for your fundraiser. Then, choose a date for the event (usually a weekend in October), reserve a space, and determine how many volunteers you’ll need. 
  2. Sign up for a pledge fundraising website or platform. This is where your actual fundraising will take place. Register your organization and create a campaign page, then your eventual participants will be able to collect pledges and raise money directly in the platform.
  3. Promote the event and gather participants. Create some spooky flyers and social media posts to get supporters’ attention. Start marketing well in advance to ensure you recruit enough participants plus a large crowd of other guests.
  4. Encourage runners collect pledges from friends and family. When someone signs up to run, send an email right away with instructions on how to create their page on your pledge fundraising website and start collecting pledges. In the weeks leading up to the event, send out reminders to ask their friends and family to pledge to donate.
  5. Host the run, enjoy the costumes, and collect donations! After the fun run ends, your school or organization will collect the pledged donations. Based on each pledge, you’ll receive a certain amount of money for each mile or kilometer participants’ ran. 

That’s it! Now that you know how it works, we’ll go into more detail on the resources you need, plus some tips to make your event even more fun for everyone.

What do you need to host a Halloween costume fun run?

The main ingredient for a successful Halloween fun run is willing participants, but you’ll also need:

  • A pledge fundraising platform to collect pledges for donations.
  • A large outdoor event space.
  • Volunteers to sign runners in, collect additional donations, sell merchandise, and man water stations. Ask your volunteers to come in costume, too!
  • Plenty of water for your participants.
  • Spooky decorations. 

If you have a little extra room in your budget, you can also purchase plenty of Halloween candy or other treats to give out to guests. 

Who can participate in Halloween costume fun runs?

Typically, fun runs are very flexible in terms of participation. Anyone that can run (or even walk!) can join the race, and those who can’t are welcome to watch and cheer others on. Runners often include adults, children, students, or whole families. This makes fun runs a good choice for schools, community organizations, or any nonprofit that works with children. 

For Halloween costume fun runs, kids will be especially excited to participate, but plenty of adults will want to join, too!

Can you run a Halloween fun run virtually? 

Yes! Virtual Halloween costume fun runs will give guests a different experience than having all your costumed participants together in person, but you can still collect pledges and encourage people to dress up at home.

Use these tips to keep everyone engaged as they run in different locations:

  • Ask participants to post their costumes on social media.
  • Create and send out a Halloween-themed running playlist to all your runners.
  • Post live updates of your fundraising progress on your organization’s social media accounts.

Turning your Halloween fun run virtual can increase participation by allowing people across the country to join in on the fun. Just be sure to advertise far and wide!

Tips to Make Your Halloween Fun Run More Exciting

Go all out with decorations.

This is your chance to let staff and volunteers get creative. Purchase low-cost Halloween decorations or make your own, then place them all along your run’s route. Determine the right level of spooky or scary based on your participants’ ages. Young adults might be interested in a haunted run, but you don’t want to scare away any younger runners. 

To really get into the Halloween spirit, use speakers to play spooky music or classic Halloween pop songs throughout the day.

Sell branded merchandise at the event.

Fun runs that gather your entire community of supporters together are perfect chance to sell water bottles, stickers, or t-shirts featuring your nonprofit or school’s logo. Sell any merchandise you have on hand from other fundraisers, or create special Halloween-themed merchandise. 

Give a prize for the best costume.

Since your runners are already dressed up, why not hold a costume contest during your Halloween fun run? Guests can enter the contest as they sign in, other attendees can vote, then you can announce the winner(s) after the run is over. Holding a contest will also inspire more creative costumes and make for great pictures you can use in future marketing materials.

More Great Fall Fundraiser Options

If you want to get the most out of this popular season this year or you’re already inspired to branch out for next fall, consider these other engaging fall-themed fundraising ideas:

  • Pumpkin carving contest – Your especially artistic supporters will love this opportunity to showcase their creativity.
  • Haunted house – Perfect for a high school or sports team to host, this option will bring more fright into your fundraiser.
  • Standalone costume contest – Want the fun costumes without all the running? No problem. Host a Halloween costume contest alongside another event or as a standalone fundraiser.