Endurance events have always been a mainstay in the nonprofit fundraising world. They bring together communities, create unmatched energy, and tend to be big money makers and great at spreading awareness.

So, whether you’re hosting a walk, run, or even a multi-day cycling event, there are things to take into consideration in order to get the most out of your event.

Let’s take a look at six best practices that will help enhance your next event.

1. First and foremost, bring your event online.

With so many online platforms available to help enhance your event, an online presence is a must have for the modern nonprofit event. Not only does hosting your event online make your supporters feel more connected to your cause, but it also puts your event front and center where they’re already at – on their computer or mobile devices.

Online ticketing and registration, team fundraising, data collection, and integrated social sharing capabilities are just a few ways your nonprofit can benefit from using an online platform.

2. Leverage all that training.

Many endurance events have training periods leading up to the big day. And during these weeks and months, your fundraisers are hard at work making sure they’re in top shape for their event. Boost your fundraising efforts by encouraging participants to start fundraising far in advance and rally their supporters throughout their training journey.

This is also a perfect time to incorporate social fundraising into their fundraising efforts. Posting about training sessions to their family and friends, educating their network about why they’re working so hard, and giving praise to their supporters are great ways to drive even more awareness and dollars raised.

3. Encourage team fundraising.

When you’re a part of team, fundraising performance tends to be much stronger. Facilitate this natural phenomenon by encouraging team fundraising within your event. You can have team organizers who reach out and recruit individual team members to join their team.

And, with team fundraising, you can foster a little friendly competition that helps motivate both teams and individuals to crush their fundraising goals and bring in more money and awareness for your cause.

4. Use gamification and leaderboards.

Gamification means adding game elements, such as points or rewards, to your fundraising model. Not only does gamification help to encourage fundraisers to raise more, but it helps convert zero dollar raisers into real players.

You can create excitement by announcing that the team that raises the most in the next hour wins a prize, or the team with the most individual donations within a certain time frame. And, the incentives don’t have to cost a lot, if any, money. Winners could get a better starting corral, decide what color tee their team gets to wear, or even get a carbo load dinner before the event.

You can also use leaderboard functionality to make it easier to see which team is in the lead and which individuals are taking their fundraising to the next level. Either way, putting an element of gamification in place creates more engagement and an element of fun that is sure to make a difference in your event.

5. Add social fundraising to your event.

Social fundraising, or the act of getting supporters to post on their personal social media networks the actions they take with your cause, is a must-have for any charity event. You’re dealing with a highly engaged group of supporters who are passionate about their contribution to your cause, and when you give them the opportunity to share this passion, it can lead to more money raised and more awareness.  

Use social sharing prompts to encourage supporters to share when they register for, purchase tickets to, or fundraise for your event. Because when your supporters share, they embrace your nonprofit’s story as part of their own, creating a personal connection that’s nearly impossible for their family and friends to ignore.

6. Make sure your event is mobile friendly.

In order to make the most out of your event, you’ll want to make sure you are mobile-optimized. And by mobile optimized, we mean not only do you have everything you need at your fingertips as an organizer, but also that your event is mobile optimized for your supporter’s experience, as well. You’ll want people to make donations on the fly, send campaign updates, and be able to manage their campaigns easily through their mobile devices.

Another good idea is to incorporate text-to-donate at your event. You can share a message with attendees such as ‘The next 10 people to give $50 will be entered to win a prize package. Text PRIZE to 44444 for your chance to win.’ Just another way to use a mobile device to create more excitement and incremental donations during your event.


By Gary Wohlfeill, Director of Marketing at CrowdRise by GoFundMe, who works with partners to develop highly engaging fundraising campaigns and leads the marketing team in developing the CrowdRise brand.

CrowdRise by GoFundMe has the features, best-in-class technology, and support to help take your events to the next level.

6 Best Practices for Your Nonprofit Run, Walk, or Cycle Fundraiser