When I first came up with the idea of Run4Dreams, a virtual 5k to raise money for Help Fill a Dream Foundation, I wasn’t sure how I was going to initially get people to sign up. This was my first attempt at organizing a charity event of this nature (although I’ve done a number of other different charity events). Since I’ve never organized a virtual race before, I wasn’t yet ready to invest time and money into a website specifically dedicated to Run4Dreams.
With that in mind, I decided to create a pilot project called Run4Dreams on my already established Blog. I wanted to get the virtual race going as quickly as possible and creating a website would take time. In my case, it would take me longer because I’m not a website developer. When it comes to the internet, my strongest skills are content creation and social media marketing but I’m not too savvy on the technical side of things.
My goal was to do the virtual race in a cost-effective and efficient way. When I started the project, I hadn’t been introduced to Manny from Q Academy yet. Manny and his team can definitely create a functional website a lot faster than I could and it would definitely look much better than any of the ones I’ve built in the past.
Therefore, I felt that the best way to organize the initial Run4Dreams virtual race was to write an article about it on my own blog and promote the link on my social media platforms. I made sure to invest money in the swag (Endur socks) and really exciting draw prizes. I decided on Float House Victoria, Muscle MLK and MEC Race entries. People like to get awesome stuff for free and draw prizes and swag are a big part of any running event.
The article on my blog allowed me to describe in detail what Run4Dreams is all about. I was also able to explain how the Help Fill a Dream Foundation makes a positive impact on the lives of critically ill children. It allowed me to give potential registrants instructions on how to sign up and how to submit their results. I was able to show them pictures of the socks that come with their registration. I also added a Paypal “Buy Now” button so that people who were reading the article could sign up as soon as they were finished reading about the Run4Dreams 5K Virtual Race.
To be honest, registration was slow for the first three weeks. August is definitely not a good month to launch a new virtual fitness fundraiser. After the initial slow period, more and more people started registering and sharing the article link on their social media inviting their friends to do the 5k run/walk. Manny also gave me some great ideas on how to get more people to participate as well as engage in the social media discussions about the virtual race. I sent that link out to my Viking Air TC10k run clinic participants as well as other friends who are interested in running.
September 21st was a great day. That was the day that the original Run4Dreams sold out completely. I will be doing another blog post about the outcome of the first Run4Dreams. I’m excited, because, given the success of the first Run4Dreams, I have decided that there will be another one in 2018. I’ve hired Manny and his Q Academy team to help me build the website for it. I will also use their expertise to help me grow Run4Dreams and inspire even more people to participate. While the website is being built, I’ve opened up Early Bird Registration for Run4Dreams 2018. Stay tuned for more updates on Run4Dreams. Together, we can make the next event bigger and better. Let’s unite the worldwide running community and help a great charity.
by Yana AKA The Cubicle Dweller