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Your 9-Week Plan to Organizing a 5K Charity Run


By Allison Gauss

Woman Running 5K

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Published March 4, 2015 Reading Time: 2 minutes

One of the best tricks for tackling a huge project is to break it up into smaller tasks. It’s far less intimidating to work on a list of small jobs than to take on one big endeavor. This strategy can also help you plan a run for charity.

A training program called Couch to 5K has grown in popularity over the last few years, in part because it gives runners a series of manageable workouts that slowly build up to the race. The nine-week plan tells people exactly what they should do each week to prepare to run a 5K.

To help nonprofit professionals who are planning an event like this, we’ve created a nine-week plan for organizing your own charity run/walk. Ideally, you would have months to prepare for an event like this, but if you fall behind or get a late start, this plan can help. This checklist isn’t exhaustive, but it includes many of the most common tasks that a nonprofit must complete before race day. By spreading these tasks over a series of weeks, you can make continual progress toward your goal without becoming overwhelmed.

The tasks are split into three different categories:

Administration – This includes all the logistic, legal, and safety details such as insurance, getting permission to use a location, and registering participants.

Sponsors and Supplies – From water stations to T-shirts to banners, there are a lot of supplies you need for a run/walk. Sponsors can help you fund your event and provide some of the amenities.

Promotion and Recruiting – A run/walk won’t succeed unless people know about it and sign up. This section covers some important tasks to help market your event and recruit participants and volunteers.

Use this checklist and schedule to help plan your next run/walk event.


This plan lays out many important elements to organizing a run/walk, but you can also create your own timeline. Start by making a list of all the different tasks you need to complete (it helps to sort them by categories like the ones here). Then prioritize these jobs and distribute them over the number of weeks you have before the event.

However you choose to organize the many moving parts of your run/walk, remember to take it one step at a time. The responsibility can feel huge, but breaking it up into smaller steps will help you progress toward your goals.

woman running a marathon

A Beginner's Guide to Planning a Run/Walk

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