A cookie dough fundraiser is a type of product fundraiser in which an organization sells cookie dough to supporters in exchange for donations. Usually, an organization works with a product fundraising partner, a company that sells products in bulk and provides your organization with a custom web page to sell from. These companies typically offer a variety of cookie dough flavors for your organization to sell.
Cookie dough fundraisers are also versatile and able to fit your organization’s specific needs. Like many product fundraisers, cookie dough fundraisers can be run fully online, in person, or hybrid, which makes it convenient for organizations who want to reach a wide number of supporters.
How to start a cookie dough fundraiser
With so many different fundraising ideas floating around, it might be difficult to pinpoint exactly what you want and where you want to start. Planning out your fundraiser will ensure a profitable and stress-free fundraising experience.
Ready to get started? Follow these steps:
Choose a product fundraising partner to work with
Set up an online web store
Have students or volunteers collect orders from neighbors, friends, and families
Place your order
Distribute the cookie dough
Remember, planning out your fundraising strategy does not have to be stressful or difficult. A few simple steps can help your organization kick off its next cookie dough fundraiser on the right path!
Best cookie dough fundraisers
Cookie dough fundraisers are a convenient and delicious way to raise money for a good cause, but they tend to come with many considerations. What format of cookie dough do you sell? What cookie dough program is the best option? What flavors do you offer?
To launch the best cookie dough fundraiser, try these tips to maximize your success:
Sell gourmet cookie dough. Many product fundraising partners offer a variety of gourmet flavors. Research different options before deciding which product fundraising partner to use, and look for one that offers gourmet flavors.
Pair your cookie dough fundraiser with an event. For an additional fundraising opportunity, add a bake-a-thon or cookie decorating party to your campaign.
Offer cookie dough tubs and pre-portioned options. You can ask your supporters ahead of time which option they would prefer, or offer both!
Keep your donors’ preferences in mind when you make decisions about your fundraiser. Don’t be afraid to send out a survey to directly ask what kinds of cookie dough they’d prefer.
Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.
As a nonprofit, you need donors to further your mission and help the communities that you serve. Along with stewarding your existing donors, your organization needs to continuously work to find new donors to support your cause.
Prioritize securing new donors throughout the year, not only during specific fundraising campaigns. Ongoing donor acquisition should be a key part of your marketing strategy, allowing you to continue to grow your support base as you foster existing relationships.
What is donor acquisition?
Donor acquisition is the process of acquiring new donors for your organization. Through direct mail, social media, and other outreach strategies, your nonprofit can connect with potential donors and earn their support.
Expanding your existing donor base increases your organization’s capacity to support its mission. Additionally, donor acquisition is essential to ensuring that your nonprofit is able to sustain itself when donors lapse. A lapsed donor is someone who previously donated to your organization but hasn’t for a set period of time.
Donor Acquisition vs. Donor Retention
A common misconception about nonprofit donor relations is that donor acquisition and retention are opposite and separate processes. According to eCardWidget, donor retention can be defined as “the strategies and efforts a nonprofit implements to encourage donors to continue their support over an extended period of time.” Once your organization has acquired a donor, the natural next step is to try to get them to engage with you again.
Although acquisition and retention are connected, many nonprofits wonder which one to prioritize. To help you answer this question for your organization, let’s look at some of the benefits of each process:
Benefits of Donor Acquisition
Increasing your organization’s capacity for growth. If your nonprofit is planning any type of expansion, you’ll need new donors to boost your fundraising capabilities.
Reaching new audiences. When you acquire a donor, you can tap into their networks to spread awareness of your mission to different segments of your community.
Compensating for lapsed donors. No matter how much effort you put into donor retention, some of your supporters will inevitably stop participating in your organization’s activities. Acquiring new donors can help offset this lost support.
Benefits of Donor Retention
Cost effectiveness. Retaining donors typically requires fewer resources and less time than acquiring new ones.
Financial sustainability. When donors give on a regular basis, you can count on their contributions as a consistent revenue stream for your organization. This is especially true if supporters join your recurring giving program and set up automatic monthly or annual donations to your organization.
Supporter loyalty. You’ll build deeper relationships with the donors you retain, allowing you to provide them with a better giving experience. Plus, you can encourage them to get involved with your organization in other ways, such as volunteering or attending fundraising events.
In summary, your nonprofit should prioritize donor acquisition if you’re planning for organizational growth or want to expand your reach in your community. However, focusing on donor retention day-to-day will provide more stability for your organization’s finances and supporter relationships.
Donor Acquisition Strategies
You can use a variety of different strategies to secure new donors to support your cause. The best donor acquisition plans involve using multiple strategies, all of which should be targeted to your organization’s specific audience. We’ll discuss three options here.
A multi-channel nonprofit marketing approach allows you to connect with multiple audiences that have different communication preferences by communicating with donors across several platforms. It also gives you a variety of touchpoints with supporters who engage with you across channels.
Market your nonprofit across a variety of communication channels, such as:
Direct mail. Sending physical mail to supporters’ addresses often feels more personal to donors than email.
Email. Comprehensive email marketing includes regular newsletters, campaign updates, fundraising appeals, and invitations to events and volunteering opportunities.
Social media. Use social media to highlight successful examples of your nonprofit’s work, share volunteer stories, and interact directly with supporters.
Direct Mail Donor Acquisition
Direct mail remains an impactful way to reach donors, especially when combined with digital marketing techniques. Physical mail can offer a personalized touch to your donor communications and gives supporters a tangible representation of your nonprofit.
When using direct mail as a donor acquisition tool, include information about your nonprofit’s mission and explain how their support would directly further your organization’s goals. Direct mail outreach to potential donors might also encourage them to interact with your organization in another way, such as by visiting your website or following your social media accounts.
Google Ad Grants
Google Ad Grants are a powerful tool for nonprofits. Under the Google Ad Grant program, nonprofits are eligible for $10,000 in Google Adwords spending each month. This allows nonprofits to feature their marketing content at the top of the search engine results page, more easily reaching potential donors who search for terms related to their work.
Growing your supporter base through donor acquisition efforts is essential to ensuring your nonprofit is able to sustainably further your mission. If you’re unfamiliar with Google Ad Grants, there are agencies dedicated to helping nonprofits increase their reach through Google Ads.
Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog
Text-to-give is a powerful tool for nonprofits to expand their reach and drive revenue. As supporters spend more time on their phones than ever, your organization can meet them where they already are by offering a text-to-give donation option.
What is text-to-give?
Nonprofits can leverage text-to-give to offer supporters a simple and convenient donation option. Text-to-give allows donors to quickly make donations from their mobile devices. This fundraising method makes donating to your nonprofit intuitive and accessible, expanding your organization’s reach and providing additional support for your mission.
There are many benefits of text-to-give:
It’s convenient for donors. Supporters can easily give from anywhere at any time, as long as they have their phone in hand.
It can be paired with any fundraising event to maximize donations. Alongside your peer-to-peer fundraiser, auction, or other event, you can add in a text-to-give component to incorporate even more opportunities to give.
Text fundraising can help your nonprofit take its fundraising strategy to the next level, allowing you to raise more money and deepen your community impact. With the right text-to-give software, your nonprofit can access all of these benefits and streamline the entire set-up and execution process, giving your staff more time to advance its mission.
How does text-to-give work?
With the right technology solutions, text-to-give is easy for nonprofit professionals to set up and manage. Once implemented, your nonprofit and its supporters will find this donation method intuitive and simple to use.
Here’s how text-to-donate works:
Partner with a text-to-give provider with fundraising experience and create a keyword. Supporters opt-in to receive texts from your organization by texting the keyword to your designated shortcode or long-code.
Send out donation appeals with a mobile-friendly link to your donation page. A mobile donation page should have limited fields and be optimized for phone viewing, making it easier for supporters to donate via their mobile devices.
Receive donations from your supporters. By sending emotionally compelling donation requests, your donors will feel inclined to tap on your donation link and contribute to your impactful work. Test out different message content and frequencies to maximize the impact of your text-to-give campaign.
Text-to-give has the potential to skyrocket your fundraising potential, all while saving your nonprofit time and energy so you can focus on pushing your mission forward.
Text-to-give best practices
While text-to-donate is a fairly simple process, it will require ongoing efforts from your nonprofit to come up with moving messages that will not only be read, but acted on. Explore these best practices to develop a winning text messaging campaign.
Choose a catchy text-to-give keyword.
Supporters text a keyword to sign up for your messaging. The keyword should be relevant to your campaign and memorable. Keep it simple, as overly complicated keywords are more difficult to type and can cause prospective donors to get frustrated. Examples of good keywords include:
If you’re running multiple campaigns, choose different keywords for each campaign.
Build your contacts list.
Promote your text-to-give campaign on your website, email, and social media to build your contact list. You’ll also want to include a prompt on your website’s donation page for donors to fill in their phone number and opt into your text messaging campaign. If your nonprofit has received supporters’ phone numbers in the past, you can add them to your text-to-donate campaign.
Always allow your supporters the ability to opt out of your campaign at any time. This can be done by enabling your supporters to text “STOP” or a related word or phrase to leave your texting campaign. Not only is this legally required, but it helps build trust with your supporters.
Send inspiring text messages.
Use storytelling elements to highlight the issue at hand and why donors should take action and give. One of the most impactful ways to inspire your supporters to donate is by telling an unfinished story. For example, if you’re a healthcare organization, you might tell the story of a 10-year-old patient who needs lifesaving treatment and explain that donor support is needed urgently to fund this child’s care. This allows the donor to be the hero of the story, further incentivizing them to step in and help.
Include a clear call to action so donors know what their next step should be in the donation process. Link directly to your mobile donation page so donors can take action quickly.
Collect and analyze data.
Pay attention to metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate with the help of your text messaging provider. This will help you enhance your text messaging strategy, from optimizing the frequency of your text messages to improving your segmentation efforts so messages are more likely to resonate with donors, thereby increasing donations.
With the help of a leading software provider, your organization will be in great shape to create a robust text-to-give campaign. Do your research to find a provider that will help you elevate your nonprofit’s mission and drive fundraising success.
Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog
Dating back to the invention of the Gutenberg Press, flyers are one of the oldest marketing assets around. Even in a world that’s driven by technology, they’re still used to promote worthwhile causes today.
While for-profit entities can certainly create flyers, this type of marketing is especially beneficial for nonprofits. Fundraising flyers have the power to promote your campaigns and amplify your mission to supporters on a more personal level.
Let’s explore the basics of fundraising flyers and how they can fold into your current marketing strategies.
What Is A Fundraising Flyer?
A fundraising flyer is a nonprofit marketing tool used to promote campaigns and events. Flyers share background information about the nonprofit, its cause, and how funds will be used. They also provide important logistical information, like the date, time, and participation details, so readers can get involved.
Beautifully-crafted fundraising flyers can catch prospects’ eyes and inspire them to contribute to your cause by communicating your campaign’s purpose and telling them exactly how to support your work.
Benefits of Fundraising Flyers
Flyers have been around for quite some time — and for good reason. They work! When you take the time to create an eye-catching design, they’re a fantastic addition to your marketing.
Some of the advantages of fundraising flyers are that they’re:
Informative and digestible. When you follow graphic design best practices, your flyers can communicate a lot of information in a way that’s not visually overstimulating for readers.
Great for digital and in-person marketing. While flyers are traditionally printed, you can kill two birds with one stone by creating a digital version and sharing it on social media and in your email newsletters.
Easy to disperse. You can easily distribute fundraising flyers to a wide audience. Mail them to supporters, post them on community billboards, and create a digital version to share online.
Put some thought behind your design and how you’ll share your flyers with supporters. In turn, you’ll drive a lot more people to get involved in your campaign!
What to Include In Your Fundraising Flyers
Depending on what you’re promoting with your nonprofit flyer, you’ll want to incorporate certain elements, such as:
Your nonprofit’s name, logo, colors, and other branded elements
The campaign name and branding
The date, time, location, and activities associated with the fundraiser
Entry fees or suggested donations, particularly if it’s an event
Your nonprofit’s contact information, such as your URL, email, and phone number
Eye-catching graphics that represent your cause
Captivating yet readable typography and colors
A call-to-action that tells readers whether they should donate, attend your event, or something else
Pairing must-know details with powerful graphics, colors, and typography will result in a cohesive design that tells prospects everything they need to know about your fundraising campaign or event!
Tips to Design Compelling Nonprofit Flyers
Once you nail down all the information you’ll include, put some thought into the actual design. After all, you want your flyer to stand out to people among crowded bulletin boards, busy inboxes, and social media feeds.
Create eye-catching designs with tried-and-true tricks like:
Create compelling graphics. Your graphics are what will draw readers in, so choose bold, striking images. Depending on what fits your brand, you might choose stock images or create more artsy graphics. Just make sure whichever visuals you choose directly relate to your campaign. For instance, a bake sale flyer might feature doughnuts, cookies, and other baked goods to entice readers.
Choose a striking color scheme. Kwala’s guide to nonprofit graphic design explains that effective colors and contrasts can make your artwork pop. Our eyes are naturally drawn to high-contrast designs, which might mean that you use bright splashes of color on dark backgrounds. Experiment with your colors and find combinations that pop!
Get creative with your typography. The design process is when you can let your creativity shine, but don’t go too wild with your fonts! Choose one or two that are readable yet still bold enough to catch people’s eyes. You can also choose different font sizes to draw the reader’s attention to key information.
Take this fundraising flyer for example. It reels readers in with a striking image, interesting typography, and a cohesive color scheme while also hitting the key details of the campaign.
The right information paired with thoughtful design can make a huge difference in your nonprofit’s flyers.
Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.
As a nonprofit, you use every tool at your disposal to advocate for your cause and your community. From navigating new social media platforms to creating podcasts, your staff know how to innovate to get supporters’ attention. Nonprofit videos are one of the many creative methods you can use to market your organization to supporters and raise awareness of your mission.
If you haven’t tapped into the potential of nonprofit video production yet, we’ll go over the basics of what it is and how videos can work for your nonprofit.
What is nonprofit video production?
Nonprofit video production is the process of creating videos for your nonprofit to use for marketing, often with the help of a video production company.
You can create any type of video that aligns with your organization’s goals, from fundraising videos that promote a specific campaign to testimonial videos that feature the voices of your beneficiaries. By adding videos to your nonprofit’s marketing strategy, you’ll create long-lasting content that tells your story creatively and captures the attention of a wider audience.
How can video production benefit your nonprofit?
While producing a video does involve a significant amount of time and resources, there are plenty of benefits that make the process worthwhile. We’ll explore some of the key benefits of nonprofit video production.
Tell your organization’s story
Videos give you the opportunity to tell your story in your own words, using compelling imagery and footage to explain your mission and impact to the public. Create a video that gives an overview of why your nonprofit exists, which communities you serve, and exactly how you make a difference.
Start with these ideas to tell your story effectively:
Explain your mission in-depth by starting with your nonprofit’s founding.
Film testimonials from constituents, staff, volunteers, or supporters.
Use storytelling techniques to craft a compelling narrative, with an easily identifiable beginning, middle, and end.
End the video with a specific call to donate and guidance on how to make a contribution.
When creating an organizational video, emphasize the impact your organization makes with the help of donors.
Market your fundraisers
Adding video production to your marketing strategy can help you effectively promote fundraising events or campaigns and increase funds. Use footage from past fundraising events, or showcase the initiatives these funds will support.
Educate supporters on key concepts
Explain concepts that are important to your nonprofit’s activities with an animated explainer video. When supporters better understand the complex work you do and why, they’ll be more likely to donate.
You can also use videos to raise awareness of your cause itself, using key statistics or providing updates on current events that impact your work. Or, explain a program that benefits your organization which your supporters may not know about, like these matching gift video examples from Double the Donation.
Nonprofit video production companies
Many organizations choose to work with a nonprofit video production company to gain their expertise and reduce their staff’s workload. These companies work with your nonprofit to create a video marketing strategy that aligns with your goals, then complete each step of the video production process with your input.
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Among a sea of charitable causes, your nonprofit needs to do what it can to stand out and attract supporters. That all starts with creating eye-catching marketing materials that feature powerful nonprofit graphic designs.
From your nonprofit’s website to your direct mail outreach, graphics are entwined with your nonprofit’s overall image. Everything from your colors to your typography is associated with your cause. Let’s review the basics of effective graphic design for nonprofits, so you can capture your brand and pique supporters’ interest.
What Is Nonprofit Graphic Design?
Nonprofit graphic design refers to the visual aspects of your nonprofit’s brand. It’s a craft that involves creating visual content to communicate messages and tell your organization’s story. Graphic design includes the typography, colors, images, and any other artistic components used in your printed and digital materials.
Visuals that require design work range from your logo to the images you use across your website, and they communicate to supporters what your organization is all about.
By applying layout and visual hierarchy techniques, your nonprofit can create artwork that helps communicate your message, spruce up your marketing materials to be more digestible, and strengthen your brand identity.
Types of Graphic Design for Nonprofits
Regardless of the cause you’re furthering, creating a strong brand identity is vital to your success. Your graphics are a major contributing factor to your nonprofit’s identity and can be broken down into a few main types.
Note that each type of nonprofit graphic design requires varying levels of design expertise, which may mean you should outsource some of the heavy lifting to a professional if you don’t have a dedicated designer on staff.
Now, let’s dive into the five main categories of designs your materials will fall under.
Your nonprofit logo is one of your most important brand assets. From your website to your fundraising letters, your logo appears across all of your brand creatives, meaning it will be one of the first things that comes to mind when someone thinks of your nonprofit.
Your mission. Nonprofits should choose symbols, images, and words that are closely associated with their cause.
Colors. Different colors evoke different emotions and symbolize different things. For instance, green is commonly associated with the Earth and is primarily used by environmental organizations. Red can communicate urgency, love, or violence, which is why disaster relief, health, and anti-violence organizations use it in their nonprofit graphic designs.
Typography. Fonts also elicit different emotions. If you’re shooting for a traditional font, go with a serif font, but if you’re looking going for a modern and minimalistic design, go with a sans-serif font. To mimic real handwriting and calligraphy, use a script font, which can either look elegant or playful depending on the exact one you choose.
Simplicity. The most memorable nonprofit logos are simple and not overloaded with too many elements. A simple design will incorporate white space effectively and feature only the most important colors, symbols, and words related to the organization’s mission.
Take the World Wildlife Fund’s logo for example. This unique logo features a minimalistic design, a symbol of the endangered giant panda, and the organization’s acronym.
By ensuring all of these elements shine through in a logo, any nonprofit can create a memorable graphic design that perfectly encapsulates its cause.
Digital Graphic Designs
In a digital-first world, visually-compelling content is more important on social media, email, and other digital platforms than ever before.
Here are some common types of graphics that will come into play when creating digital marketing materials:
Your website: Effective graphic design for nonprofit websites can optimize the user experience and guide readers through your content. Choose banners and supplementary images that demonstrate your values and feature your beneficiaries and volunteers. Feature graphics like your logo, carefully choose your color scheme to match your brand, and use colors and headings strategically to highlight important content and establish a visual hierarchy.
Email newsletter: Newsletters heavily rely on striking the perfect balance between content and graphics. Avoid walls of text by using images, headers, and graphics to break up the text and make your organization’s newsletter easy to digest.
Videos: Great for featuring on social media and embedding into your website, videos enable supporters to hear directly from your nonprofit’s leadership, staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries. This is a fantastic way to humanize your nonprofit’s work, but creating videos requires some level of experience with video, audio, and graphic editing.
Infographics: These types of nonprofit graphics break down complex information and put it in a digestible format. Most commonly, they feature statistics related to the cause that help supporters visualize your impact.
These are just a few common nonprofit graphic designs you’ll use across your digital outreach. Whether you’re launching a fundraiser or sharing updates on a project, your artwork can play a part in connecting with supporters in the competitive online space.
The internet might dominate today’s world, but print marketing is still awfully important for pushing your cause forward.
A few common print materials that incorporate nonprofit graphic design include:
Brochures: Give rundowns of your programs, services, and major fundraising campaigns through colorful brochures with compelling images, readable fonts, and well-organized copy.
Letters and postcards: Instead of sticking to plain black ink on white paper, get creative with your solicitation letters and postcards. Spruce them up by including your logo in your letterhead and on the envelope, artistic graphics representing your mission, colors emphasizing key information, and a perforated return envelope that’s pre-addressed.
Merchandise: From t-shirts to mugs, nonprofit graphic design elements are infused into your branded merchandise. Make sure merchandise captures your organization’s identity with elements like your name, logo, colors, and graphics that communicate your mission.
Annual reports: Transform a dry summary of your nonprofit’s year into an eye-catching masterpiece. Use charts, photos, and striking colors to show donors what their support helped you accomplish this year.
Fundraising flyers: Filled with colorful typography, varying font sizes, and eye-catching images, a powerfully-designed flyer like the one below can inspire someone to attend your event or donate to your fundraising campaign.
Our nonprofit marketing guide explains that well-designed print materials can help you connect with supporters who aren’t active online. Plus, it comes across as more personal since it takes a bit more effort than publishing a social media post.
Think of it this way: a well-designed fundraising letter among stacks of bills and junk mail is much more likely to mean something to recipients.
Nonprofit graphic design even plays into creating a unique and inviting environment at your organization’s office and events. Combine interior design and graphic design best practices to create an immersive environment that captures your brand with elements like:
Donor walls: Show appreciation to your sponsors, major donors, and partners by featuring a donor wall. Be creative with your design by moving past generic metal plaques, though. You’ll need to choose a layout that complements the architecture of your space. The donor wall should also be branded with typography, colors, shapes, and other images that communicate your mission. Enhance your office and help donors visualize their impact all at once.
Banners: Lightweight banners are easily transportable, so you can reuse them at your office, fundraising events, and industry events. Your banner should be simple, featuring only your logo, tagline, and basic imagery.
Murals: Whether at your office or somewhere around town, a well-painted mural will raise awareness for your organization’s cause while also beautifying the community. Beyond the artwork itself, be sure to include your logo and contact information like your nonprofit’s URL or social media handle.
Spruce up your office, events, and community with these types of designs. No matter what environmental designs you create for your nonprofit, make sure to focus on tasteful artwork that blends into your environment.
Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.
Hosting an a-thon style fundraiser is an engaging way to raise money for your nonprofit. In an a-thon fundraiser, participants collect donations based on their ability to do an activity as much or as long as possible. A bikeathon is a creative and scalable type of a-thon fundraiser that can attract a wide audience, plus it works for many types of organizations.
What Is a Bikeathon?
Also called a cycling fundraiser or cycle event, a bikeathon is a peer-to-peer fundraising event where participants ask friends and family to pledge donations based on how far they can cycle. As a peer-to-peer event, bikeathons involve individuals fundraising on an organization’s behalf.
During a bikeathon fundraiser, participants share individual fundraising pages where friends and family can pledge their financial support. For example, supporters might pledge $1 per mile or lap around a track. The further the cyclist rides, the more money they raise for the cause they’re supporting, offering a fun athletic challenge.
Benefits of Bikeathons
Bikeathons offer a unique and engaging way for supporters to raise money for your organization. They stand out among other fundraising events for several reasons:
Nonprofits of all sizes can bring in a lot of revenue, as anyone from avid cyclists to families with children can participate.
Bikeathons attract participants of different ages and skill levels—all they need is their own bike or access to one for the day.
Many organizations do walkathons, so doing a different type of a-thon style fundraiser makes yours stand out.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to bring in new donors. Friends and family members of your bikeathon participants that see their fundraising pages and pledge their support may be introduced to your organization for the first time.
As participants promote their pages, they’ll also share information about your mission and potentially bring in new supporters. So, a bikeathon can help spread awareness as well as raising funds.
5 Steps to Host a Bikeathon Fundraiser
Hosting a bikeathon fundraiser can be broken down into five simple steps:
Set a fundraising goal. What would you like to achieve with your fundraiser? How much money are you seeking to raise? Your goal should be specific and measurable. Looking at the outcomes of past events can be a helpful way to determine what might be achievable for your organization.
Plan the logistics. Planning should be done well in advance, ensuring you have time to complete all of your planned tasks. Consider the date and time of your event, staff and volunteer responsibilities, your race course, and marketing materials.
Register event participants. Promote your fundraiser and make signing up easy for supporters who want to bike in the cycle event.