Walk-a-thon fundraisers are a great way to promote supporter engagement and boost morale. They provide a fun way for individuals to stay active, build community, and support their school or organization.
Walk-a-thons are popular school, nonprofit, and sports team fundraisers because they allow a large group of individuals to come together and walk to support their favorite cause. Host a walk-a-thon fundraiser to promote healthy lifestyles and raise money for your organization at the same time.
What is a walk-a-thon?
If you’ve ever participated in a fun run, then you might be familiar with a walk-a-thon. A walk-a-thon fundraiser is a fundraising event where participants walk a designated route. Participants collect pledges from friends and family, attend the event, then collect donations for their organization based on how far they walked.
Ahead of the event, donors pledge to donate a certain amount of money for each mile or specified unit of distance that the participant walks. During the event, each participant tracks their walking distance, and afterwards, your organization earns donations based on the distance that they recorded.
How to organize a walk-a-thon
With the right tools and resources, planning your event can be stress free and easy! Follow these simple steps to host your next walk-a-thon fundraiser:
1. Gather participants for the walk-a-thon
Once you’ve decided to host a walk-a-thon, the first step is to choose a date and location to host the event. Then, to gather interested participants from your community of supporters, use these tips:
Market your fundraiser across multiple communication platforms.
Use a fundraising platform so each participant can set up their own campaign page and send it to their friends and families.
Set a deadline for registering to participate, but make sure you give supporters enough time to decide and encourage their friends to join.
2. Participants collect pledges
Using your fundraising platform, participants will start sharing their individual campaign pages to collect pledges. Be sure to provide your participants with support and advice about how to ask for donations and the best places to share their campaign pages. With an intuitive fundraising platform, you can easily keep a record of pledges for each participant.
3. Host your walk-a-thon event and raise money
On the day of the event, make sure to arrive ahead of time so you can properly set up before the attendees start showing up. Once the walk-a-thon kicks off, join the fun! Don’t forget to communicate with your participants and volunteers and thank them for their support.
Now that you have all the information, you’re ready to host a walk-a-thon!
Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.
When backed by Google Ad Grants, your nonprofit organization has the power to strengthen its digital marketing, supercharge its fundraising efforts, and connect with more prospects than ever. Make sure you understand the basics with this quick guide.
You’ve likely seen Google Ads from nonprofits before. A search engine results page (SERP) with these ads looks like this:
Here are some other key details about the Google Ad Grants program:
Eligible nonprofits receive a monthly allocation of $10,000 in Google Ad credits they can use to promote web content.
Participants conduct keyword research to understand what their prospects are searching online.
Your nonprofit can then craft ads that target these individuals and use ad credits to bid on those mission-critical search terms.
Through this program, Google’s goal is to empower nonprofits to supercharge their search engine marketing (SEM) efforts. With a more effective SEM and digital marketing strategy, your nonprofit can help more donors find and support your cause, drive more attendance to local events, enhance your social media efforts, and even help you compete with larger peer organizations.
Use Cases For Google Ad Grants
While you may think that the benefits of using Google Ad Grants are limited to increasing web traffic, one of the best parts about leveraging Google Ad Grants is that you can push your mission forward in several ways.
Some ways nonprofits use the program to achieve their goals include:
Promoting donation forms, sponsorship pages, and other fundraising activities to increase revenue
Sharing event landing pages and registration forms to boost event attendance
Advertising volunteer information pages and registration forms, strengthening your volunteer program
Promoting educational content and service pages to help supporters learn more about your cause
Sharing advocacy activities like online petitions and advocacy events to create change in your community
How to Apply For The Google Ad Grant
Before applying, it’s important to check that your organization is eligible for the program. Keep in mind that the Google Ad Grants program excludes any organizations that are governmental entities, healthcare organizations, or educational institutions.
Hold current and valid charity status within your country
Be registered with TechSoup and Google for Nonprofits
Have a functional, high-quality website with sufficient content
After confirming your eligibility status, you can confidently move forward with applying for the program. The process is pretty straightforward, but if you’re unsure about your next steps a Google Ad Grants agency can step in and help you complete the process.
Step 1: Register with TechSoup.
TechSoup partners with corporations to provide free or discounted software, hardware, and services to nonprofits. They confirm nonprofits’ legitimacy so that companies like Google can trust that they’re providing resources to trustworthy organizations.
To register with TechSoup, you’ll need to visit the TechSoup registration page and provide some identifying information about your organization. If you’re approved, they’ll reach out with a validation token within 30 days that you’ll need to provide to Google in order to move forward.
Step 2: Create a Google for Nonprofits account.
Once your organization is verified by TechSoup, you’ll need to visit the Google for Nonprofits registration website. Once you register through this website, you’ll be granted access to the Google Grants application.
To successfully apply for Google for Nonprofits, follow these steps:
Agree to Google’s non-discrimination statements.
Share the validation token from TechSoup.
Fill out subsequent forms with contact and organization information.
Submit your application and await your acceptance!
Beyond Ad Grants, Google for Nonprofits gives you access to a range of other tools, like Google WorkSpace and The YouTube Nonprofit Program. The approval process may take a few days, but you shouldn’t have any problems if you’re registered with TechSoup.
Step 3: Submit Your Google Ad Grants application.
Once you receive an email that you’ve been approved for Google for Nonprofits, you can move forward with applying for Google Ad Grants! Complete these steps to access and fill in the application:
Log into your Google for Nonprofits account. You can find this by clicking “Products” and then “Get Started” under Google Ad Grants.
Click the eligibility form link. You’ll be prompted to fill out an assessment with basic information about your nonprofit, such as its official name, website URL, and goals with the program.
Return to the Google for Nonprofits homepage. Click the checkbox to verify that you completed the form. Then, select “Activate” to submit your application for review.
Accept the program invitation. Within a few business days, you should receive an email invitation from the Google Ad Grants team. Accept the invitation and the billing profile that’s sent in a separate email.
From here, you can create your first campaign and start using Google Ads to spread awareness for your mission!
The best part is that the grant automatically renews each month, so you’ll never have to apply for the grant again. Once your organization is accepted, just make sure you comply with the program’s ongoing regulations to retain access.
How Are Google Ad Grant Accounts Structured?
After being accepted into the program, you’ll need to structure your account in a specific way so that your ads will appear on Google Search.
Campaigns. These are your account’s largest building blocks. You’ll create a few campaigns that stick to broad themes related to your cause. For example, if you run an animal shelter, you might have separate campaigns for adoptions, volunteering, and donations.
Ad groups. Each campaign contains ad groups, which you can think of as clusters of ads within your campaigns. To reach prospective and existing supporters, you’ll assign keywords that are related to your cause. Keep in mind that Google requires you to have at least two ad groups for every campaign.
Ads. This is the smallest element of your account. You’ll create ad copy, choose landing pages, and use ad extensions to create compelling ads that appear on search results pages. Google requires you to have at least two ads per ad group, and the platform will automatically rotate between these ads. After your campaign kicks off, you can analyze performance data to see which ads perform better, make inferences about why, and tweak underperforming ads.
While Google does require you to follow this account structure, it is meant to make your ads more effective. Following this structure will allow you to collect sufficient performance data to make sure your ads are set up to succeed!
How to Get Started with Google Ad Grants
With this understanding of how to structure your account, you have most of the essentials needed to start launching Google Ad campaigns. But how can you ensure you’re taking full advantage of the program?
Here are a few tips to consider when you’re getting up and running:
Work with a Google Ad Grants agency. Applying for and managing your Google Ad Grants account can be overwhelming, and you might feel unsure about how to make the most of the program. Working with a Google Ad Grants agency will pair you with experts who can take on projects like the application process, keyword research, campaign management, and maintaining compliance with guidelines for you.
Experiment with campaigns. While Google doesn’t have any strict requirements for the number of campaigns you have, don’t feel limited to just one. It’s best to run three to five campaigns at all times to capitalize on different areas of promotion (like donation solicitation versus volunteer recruitment).
Use all ad credits. Because Google doesn’t roll ad credits over to the next month, anything left unused will just be lost. To fully leverage the benefits of the program, it’s essential to use the total $10,000 in ad credits. An agency can help you find valuable ways to use every last dollar.
Try responsive search ads. These kinds of ads use Google’s algorithm to create an ad the viewer is more likely to click on. To get started, you’ll create a variety of headlines and descriptions for each ad. Then, Google will present an ad with a headline-description combination that best matches the user’s search intent to motivate them to click through.
There are many other strategies your organization can employ to make its Google Ads more effective and, ultimately, reach more supporters. As you get more comfortable with the program, consider experimenting with more innovative or advanced strategies to see what resonates with your donors.
Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.