Are you looking for the perfect Christmas fundraiser? A Santa Fun Run might be just the thing!
In our home city of Winchester, local charity Naomi House had hundreds of Santa’s running around the city centre on Sunday, raising money for their worthy cause. Is there a better sight than hundreds of Santa’s dashing through the city? How fabulously festive, even in the rain!
Whether your Santa’s are walking, running or cycling the route, a Santa Fun Run is a great way of raising money for your charitable cause at this time of year.
It might be a bit late to organise it for this December, but if you’re wishing you had more time to plan it then have a read of our top Santa Fun Run fundraising tips below so you’re ready and raring to go for 2024 December fundraising.
How to Raise Money with a Santa Fun Run
If you want to avoid receiving coal in your donation pot, then it’s time to get your planning hat on! The most important thing about a Santa Fun Run fundraiser is how you’re going to raise the money. So let’s look at a few ways you can get the donations pouring in as fast as letters to Santa.
Get one or more local businesses involved with your Santa Fun Run event. Most businesses have a Corporate Social Responsibility policy so it will be mutually beneficial for a company to support your cause.
Asking local businesses to sponsor your event can help keep any overhead costs down. There’s a few things that you’ll need for your Santa Fun Run fundraiser, and it would be ideal if the costs for those don’t come out of the donation pot.
- Any fees payable to use the course route
- Costume supplies – It’s not a Santa Fun Run if participants aren’t in santa suits!
- Refreshments for the runners (bottled water stations, etc) and spectators (see below)
- Medals for all of those taking part
An event like this is also a great way of making your charity more visible to a wider audience through effective marketing campaigns. Don’t forget to reciprocate by ensuring your sponsors are advertised at every opportunity – Social media, marketing and even participant costumes are a great place to start. Make sure they know how thankful you are for their sponsorship.
Obviously, the donations are going to come from the friends and family of your participants so make sure you encourage everyone taking part to shout about it from the rooftops! Participants need to be scouting for support from their colleagues at work, sharing online donation pages on their social media platforms and telling their loved ones at every opportunity about the event.
Ensure you make it easy for participants to collect sponsorships – And for sponsors to make their donation. The easiest way to collect donations is to do so online using an online donation page. Not only are they easy to share via text message and social media, but they also make donating a speedy experience for the donor. If they access the online donation page on their mobile, most will be able to pay with Google or Apple Pay in a matter of clicks.
Make sure your participants have the means to collect sponsors as far in advance as possible to give them plenty of time to fundraise. At least 1 month prior to the event!
You can count on two things when it comes to a Santa Fun Run – 1, those taking part are going to bring friends and/or family to come along and watch their efforts, and 2, it’s not going to be a warm day, so spectators are likely to be feeling a bit chilly whilst they’re standing around on the sidelines.
The perfect combination for a refreshments stall to be a successful additional fundraiser! Tea and coffee always go down well, plus hot chocolate and mulled drinks would also make a festive addition to sip.
If your Santa Fun Run is first thing in the morning, consider selling some warm pastries or bacon baps for those spectating. Perhaps even some mince pies!
Remember to ask your Business Sponsor if they would be willing to cover the costs of the items, or perhaps a local bakery, restaurant or supermarket would be willing to donate the produce to your cause. Also don’t forget to recruit some volunteers to man the stall!
Selling refreshments is a great way to keep the spectators happy whilst also making some extra money for your worthy cause.
Santa Fun Run – The Logistics
Christmas magic only goes so far – it’s imperative that everything is well planned and you have the logistics of the Santa Fun Run covered.
So what do you need to consider when organising a Santa Fun Run?
Plan the Route
First things first – The route! You can’t rely on Rudolph to save the day and guide your Santa’s on their merry way.
Think of your local area and what route would be simple and safe to implement. Avoid anywhere that would require road closures as this will make things complicated.
Remember you will need an obvious Start and Finish line, with a straightforward course in between. The course should be accessible to as many people as possible, so that runners/ walkers of all levels can take part. Think no longer than 5K so it can be a family friendly event.
Consider whether it will be held on public or private land, and whether you need to get permission from the council or owner. You may also need additional permission to sell food and drink as part of the event.
Will there be space for spectators to cheer their Santa’s on? Is it safe for them to do so – Or will you need to provide barriers?
It’s a good idea to share the route with participants once they’ve signed up so they know roughly where they are going on the day without solely relying on volunteer stewards.
Think about where on the route would be good locations for water stations (if required) as well as refreshments stalls for the spectators.
Make It Easy to Sign Up
The easier it is to sign up, the more likely you’ll get lots of participants! The easiest, most accessible way of taking sign-ups is via an online form. Once it’s live, make sure you share the link on your website, social media platforms, email footers and anywhere else you can make your event visible online.
Remember to also share it with your sponsors so that they can increase visibility and raise more awareness. The more people that know about the Santa Fun Run, the more people you’re likely to get signed up.
Send Out Sponsorship Forms
As we said above, it’s really important that participants get their sponsorship forms in good time and that donations are easy to make.
Setting up an online donation page is a really accessible way to collect donations in a secure, simple way. Not only that, but it saves the participants time chasing sponsors for their money after the event! It’s much more motivating for the runners if they can see how much they have already raised prior to the event itself.
Remember to state clearly on any sponsorship form or online donation page the closing date for donations. Perhaps midnight on the day of the event so that post-run photos can be shared on social media and drum up last minute donations!
A Santa Fun Run wouldn’t be a Santa Fun Run if everyone wasn’t dressed as the big man in red himself! You will need to decide whether you are going to provide the Santa costumes for all of your participants or whether you will ask them to provide their own.
If you are providing the costumes, find a supplier that can sell you them in bulk to keep costs to a minimum.
If you are trying to cost-save and ask participants to provide their own costumes, make sure you make a clear suggestion of what to wear, for example, red clothing and Santa hat.
One of the wonderful things about a Santa Fun Run is the visual effect of seeing all the Santa’s in their outfits! So make sure everyone knows what they need to be wearing and where they can get it.
Don’t forget to share your event far and wide – Both online and in person. Publicising your event on email newsletters, website blogs and social media and free and easy ways of getting the word out about your Santa Fun Run.
Are their businesses along the route you have chosen? Perhaps they wouldn’t mind putting a flyer in their window with all the details for their customers.
And don’t forget your sponsors and participants too! Everyone involved in the Santa Fun Run can share the information with their customers, colleagues, friends and family to reach a large and varied audience.
The press also loves a Santa Fun Run event! Invite your local reporter to come along and take photos of all the Santa’s for a follow up article; Another great way of raising awareness of your charitable cause.
Do you have a local celebrity as a patron to your charity or just that live locally? Perhaps they would be willing to shout Ready, Steady, Go to set your Santa’s off? They would be another way of attracting spectators to your Santa Fun Run event.
Donater Can Help You Raise Money This Festive Season
Here at Donater we have a suite of fundraising tools specifically designed to make giving easier. Easier for the donor to make a donation, and easier for charitable organisations to receive that all-important fundraising.
Our suite of online fundraising tools include:
- A dedicated online fundraising page, personalised to your charity or good cause. Supporters will immediately recognise your branding and thus, trust that they are in the right place to make a donation. Online fundraising pages are easy to share online via a handy link, and can be easily linked to your website with a ‘Donate Now’ button. Perfect for a Santa Fun Run fundraising event!
- QR codes. We’ve all become more accustomed to QR codes, so you’ll know how quick and easy it is to scan one with your smartphone. QR codes can be just as handy for taking donations. All your supporter has to do is scan the QR code with their smartphone, and it will take them to an online donation page. Once there, they can choose to donate with a tap via Google Pay or Apple Pay, or pay with their bank details. QR codes are a great addition to any physical marketing about your Santa Fun Run event, such as posters, newsletters or even the Santa costumes themselves.
- NFC Tags. Our NFC tags take the above QR code concept a step further, and enable any supporter of yours with an NFC enabled smartphone to merely tap the tag or sticker. They will then be taken to an online donation page where they can make their donation quickly and simply. These work really well with in-person events, and could easily be placed on collection boxes during the Santa Fun Run so spectators can donate to your cause if they wish.
Get in touch today if you think Donater could help boost your donations digitally.