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Organizing a Large Bicycle Ride / Event:
Charity / Fundraising / Bike-A-Thon





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There are as many ways to organize a charity/fundraising event as there are events.  No two seem to have been done exactly the same.  The following outline should cover about ninety percent of the major tasks.  Small events won't need this much structure and large events may need more.  You will need to cut, paste, edit, extend, collapse and amend to fit your local needs.  Unless you know that you have access to a substantial number of appropriately skilled volunteers, it may be prudent to start with a small success event that can grow than to set your sights on too large an event that collapses.

Prepare a timeline/task matrix.
This should show tasks, when the will start and be finished and who will be responsible for the task.  Some can be handled by a single person and some will be more successful with a working group/committee.  Major and sub-headings might be:

Overall Event Planning
            Event Directors, Organizing Committee, Treasure
                        Define goals and objectives
                        Budget (* items that can have a fiscal impact and should be considered in the budget.)
                        [Tip #1: Securing donated goods and service can go a long way to reducing the budget.]
                        Insurance *
                        Documentation/record keeping
            Concept development
            Before the day of the event
                        Publicity (see below) -- hugely important! It can make or break an event. *
                        Route Planning and Marking * (see below)
                        Check-in, Start  / Finish Area Planning (see below)
                        Participant Recruitment * / Registration *
            Morning of the day of the event
            Check-in [Tip #2: A smooth and efficient check-in goes a long way in creating an overall
                               positive feeling about the event.
                       Maps and cue sheets *
                       Goodie bags * (T-shirts, pins and patches, etc.)
                       Volunteer support *
                        Plan the course(s) [this may take special skills] (if participants are young
                        kids a "closed course" * is recommended (not using streets open to cars).
                        This can be accomplished by getting the cooperation of the local
                        authority to close streets or to close a park with a loop in it, or to set
                        the course around a school or some other campus.)
                        Permits, and permission *
                        Communications *
                        Emergency Service *, first aid, rider assistances
            Check-points / rest stops *
            Finish line
            Post-event program
                        Entertainment *
            Pledges (Generally participants given instructions and forms to collect pledges
            in advance, either a flat rate or a pledge-per-kilometer or mile. Sometimes
            pledges are collected in advance (the easiest) and sometimes participants go
            back to the pledgers after the event to collect the money. Sometimes there
            is an additional entrance fee and sometimes there is a minimum amount that
            participants are suppose to collect in pledges.)
            Incentives (tiered price structure to encourage more fundraising.)
            Reports and accountability
            Develop sponsorship package
            Recruit major sponsors
            Recruit lesser sponsors
            Solicit in-kind donations
Publicity [Tip #3: Organizers usually under staff and under fund publicity in the early years.]
            Develop news releases, articles and advertising
            Media partners
            Print media
                        Organizational newsletters
            Broadcast media
            Electronic media (Internet)
            Printed materials *
                        Direct mail *
                                    Past participants
                                    New prospects
            Organizational partners (clubs, civic, service, youth, etc.)
            Other events and venues for getting the word out
Participant Recruitment
            Developing forms and instructions
                        Pledge forms / liability release
                        Pledge raising manual
Participant Services
            Communications / First Aid / Medical Support
            Information booth
                        Equipment * (tables, chairs, power, computers, canopies,  P.A. system, etc.)
                        Supplies * (forms, pens, cash box, tape, staples, scissors, etc.)
                        Goodie bag *
                        Food, water and toilets *
            Along the route
                        Van support *
            Each Check-point/rest stop
                        Equipment * (tables, chairs, canopies, etc.)
                        Food, water and toilets *
                        Mechanic/repair station
            Finish line
                        Entertainment *
                        Food, water and toilets *
Volunteer Recruitment/Training
            Planning and preparation tasks/committees
            Liability release
            Signing/painting route
            Day of the event
                        Communications/First Aid/Medical Support
                        Information table
                        Along the route
                                    Route marshals
                                    Support vehicles
                                    Rest stop volunteers
                        Finish line
                        Take down
            Training, training, training
                        Site directors
                        Middle managers
                        Route marshals



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