Author: Jen Franklin Kearns, ds-connex team member
The FRIENDS Buddy Walk® was held on Saturday, September 20th, at the ETSU Soccer Warm Up Field. Allison Mains, Vice President of the FRIENDS Down Syndrome Support Group, has kindly shared her insight into planning a successful event.
1. Food Is an Important Component of Your Event
Allison says that FRIENDS believes that having food at their event is very important. She shares that food keeps their participants energized to stay longer and enjoy the games and music. Food always makes events better. Keeping your participants engaged at your event is crucial, as they are more likely to return the following year (and bring their families and friends!) if they have a good time at the event. Also, keeping people on site allows them more opportunities to participate in activities like raffles and silent auctions, which will increase your event’s fundraising totals.
2. Online Fundraising Saves Time
Allison and her committee have used online fundraising for their recent Buddy Walk events, and she shared that processing credit card donations and registrations (online) does save time as compared to accepting checks through the mail and the day of the event;. With the bulk of this work already complete, you can utilize your volunteers for other tasks on the day of the walk.
3. Set Up a Welcome Tent
New to their event this year, Allison says that they set up a welcome tent to organize volunteers and take questions from participants. This is a great idea, as many people will have questions the day of your event, and a well-signed or conspicuous place for questions will ease a lot of confusion that may otherwise occur.
By incorporating these tips into the FRIENDS walk, Allison and her committee succeeded in hosting a wonderful Buddy Walk® event. We look forward to another wonderful event next year!
The FRIENDS Buddy Walk® fundraising site is still accepting online donations. To donate, please click here.
If you enjoyed this post, please check out the rest of our Event Coordinator Tip series. We feature event tips from around the country in an effort to share ideas and help build our Down syndrome community.