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How to Host a Virtual Treadmill Fun Run

The easiest way to host a treadmill fun run is to use pledge fundraising. This way, your volunteer participants can collect pledges for donations in advance of the event and raise more money the longer they run.

Let’s break it down into five simple steps for hosting the best treadmill fun run:

1. Choose a date and time for the event.

The first thing you need to determine is your event’s logistics. Since the event is virtual, you don’t have to do much work here! Just decide on the best date and time for the event to take place.

Unlike a traditional fun run or 5K, you don’t have to take weather or seasons into consideration when choosing a date for your treadmill fun run. All you have to do is determine which times your supporters might have more availability to join. Make sure to select a date far enough in advance that you have time to recruit plenty of runners. 

2. Use a pledge fundraising platform.

While you can ask participants to keep track of pledges on paper and collect donations afterward on their own, the process will be much easier for everyone if you use a pledge fundraising platform. 

With an online pledge fundraising platform, the process of managing pledges will look like this:

  1. Your nonprofit sets up a main campaign page for your treadmill fun run.
  2. Each participant receives their own individual donation page and shares it with friends and family.
  3. Donors make pledges for donations on participants’ donation pages.
  4. You host the run fun and participants log their running distance.
  5. Your nonprofit receives donations based on how far each participant ran!

Research options online to find the platform that works best for you. Look for features like automatic reporting and intuitive setup. After all, you want the process to be as easy as possible for your supporters!

3. Promote your treadmill fun run & recruit participants.

In the weeks and months leading up to your treadmill fun run, promote the event on all of your usual marketing channels. Use email, social media, and flyers to get the word out about this exciting opportunity to support your organization.

Your promotion here serves two purposes:

  • Recruiting runners: To make your treadmill fun run a success, you’ll need plenty of volunteer participants. Ask supporters to sign up early to participate, and emphasize the larger impact they’ll be able to make on your organization by collecting pledge donations. 
  • Encouraging donations: When you promote your event, you’ll also be advertising to the wider community that they have the chance to pledge to donate. Marketing this opportunity ahead of time will make your participants’ jobs easier when they ask their friends and families for donations.

Consider creating a marketing plan to distribute your emails and social media posts effectively leading up to the event. This can also help keep your team on track and make sure you don’t miss any marketing opportunities.

4. Host the event & track miles

On the day of the event, stay in contact with your participants to keep the energy high and provide any support they need. Remind them to log their running distance throughout the day, and send periodic messages of encouragement. 

5. Collect donations!

Finally, your nonprofit will receive donations based on all of the pledges your participants gathered. See if you met your fundraising goal, and don’t forget to thank every donor and participant for their generosity. 

Ways to Add Excitement to Your Treadmill Fun Run

Running at home on a treadmill may not sound as exciting to supporters as a large in-person, outdoor event. To spice up your virtual fundraiser and recruit more participants, try these strategies:

  • Add a hybrid option. Partner with a local gym to give participants the chance to run together in person. This way, those who don’t have a treadmill at home or just want to experience more of a community feel can run at the gym, while those who would rather run at home can still do so. Just make sure you have enough treadmills for everyone!
  • Use social media to maintain excitement throughout the event. It can be hard for participants to feel connected during virtual events and fundraisers. To remind participants that they’re not running alone, maintain a steady stream of social media updates throughout the day. Invite runners to post their own photos and Stories, then share their content on your nonprofit’s accounts.
  • Add a competition element. Consider giving out prizes to the top three runners who log the most miles. Send them a small gift after the event, such as a gift card or branded item. Highlight the winners on social media to celebrate their accomplishments, too.

When in doubt, ask your supporters for feedback on what they’d like to see at the event. Send out a survey ahead of time and after the event to source ideas for making next year’s treadmill fun run even more engaging.