How to Organize a Successful 5K Fundraiser

Posted by Gladney Intern on 10/10/18 11:30 PM

The process of adopting is stressful. However, footing the cost shouldn’t be. One way to raise money for the adoption fee is to organize a 5K walk/run in your community. Groups across the country have successful raised a lot of money doing this such as Deer Park-5K Color Run, and you can too! Here are some helpful steps in organizing the run/walk:

Adoption Financing Thru 5K Race

  1. Contact town officials such as the mayor or others who work in your local town hall. Together, you can pinpoint a specific route and date that would work for you and the town. In addition, town officials can help contact the local police department in order to make sure all necessary roads are blocked off during the time of the race. Through doing this, you are also assuring the safety of all runners.
  2. Make sure to acquire necessary permits. Permits are usually required depending on what type of race you want to hold. Contact local town officials to make sure you have the correct paperwork filled out.
  3. Create an online registration form. This way people can register for the race in advance and you can have a rough estimate of how many people are going to show up. Make sure to provide the link to the form on all the advertisements for the race.  
  4. Come up with a name for your race. For instance, “The insert name Family Fun Run” or “5k for Adoption.” You could even give your race a theme and make everyone wear Halloween costumes or neon depending on the time of year or nearest holiday. In addition, you could have custom t-shirts made that all participants receive after registering and paying the fee before the race. The t-shirt could have the name of the race and a design or picture of your family.   
  5. Promote the race. Create flyers that advertise the race and a brief description behind the cause for the race -- your adoption journey. Hang these in local stores, restaurants, and libraries. Contact the local paper and school and ask them to advertise your race. Text, email, or call close family and friends and make sure to tell them to spread the word. Utilize social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat and post about the race, asking friends and family members to spread the word! 
  6. Contact local businesses and see if they are willing to sponsor the race. Local businesses might be willing to supply products such as food or prizes.
  7. Get a good timer. Since it is a race, you’re going to have to invest in a timer so people know how fast they finished and in what place they finished. If this is too expensive, you could gather a group of volunteers to stand at the finish line and record times.
  8. Make sure to have water stops along the way. If you are racing in the summer or in a place that has hot weather, hydration stations are a must. Plan to have a table at each mile marker with a volunteer to hand out cups or water to the passing runners.
  9. Create motivation for people to stay once they’ve crossed the finish line. Have tables set up with food so people can refuel after the race. Set up a portable speaker with upbeat music people can dance to. If it’s in-budget, consider a live band or lawn games people can play with family and friends after they’ve finished walking/running.
  10. Follow-up with all the people who participated in the race. Make sure to post about how much money was raised to go towards your adoption expenses and thank people for coming out and supporting your family.

Now you can support other fundraisers you see, provide support to another family trying to fund-raise, and share about your fundraising experience with us! Email your story (and photos too!) to

If you have questions about fundraising or other financial aspects of adoption, please reach out to our Senior Vice President of Finance.

Topics: Adoption Finance

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