RUN for ProCit
ProCit is a charity organization in Pilsen, Czech Republic. ProCit supports families with autistic children, providing them with professional care for their kids. The main goal is to help autistic children to join mainstream society and live without any limitations, in the same way as everybody else.
RUN for Procit 2018 is a charity run, by which ProCit is earning the money to organize a special holiday camp for families with autistic kids. They collect charity funds from three main sources:
- The starting fee from registered runners;
- The sale of ProCit merchandise;
- The sale of refreshments (e.g. coffee, cakes, soup) during the event.
In 2018 marked the third year for RUN for ProCit, and every year the organization team is faced with many obstacles and challenges. Obviously the most difficult is to gain enough money to organize the whole event, to find sponsors, to increase the size of the event, and also to make the run a bit different in comparison with the previous year.
So far it works: every year more and more runners are participating and more money is collected to support ProCit. In 2018, we established a new record of 500 registered runners and raised almost 100.000 CZK (= 3.800 EUR) for ProCit.
Our Miracle Fruit
So what is the secret know-how and tips for success? Here are a few things that have helped us grow the charity event year on year.
1) Cover your core expenses via sponsorship from big companies.
Every year, companies like my former employer, the language school Skrivanek, and Decathlon as well as the municipalities of Pilsen help financially with the organization of the charity run. From their money, all the necessary fees are paid and the gift packs for registered runners are bought.
These funds are about one-third of the whole budget and without them, it would not be possible even to start organizing the whole event.
2) Get new sponsors and companies to support the event each year.
Gaining new funding each year is really important in order to show that the event improves each year due to that increase in funding. Sometimes new sponsors help financially, sometimes they offer help in other ways which are more comfortable for them such as giving small gifts to registered runners - that makes it more enticing for people to register.
Other sponsors show support by giving free usage of their product (e.g. electric generators) or selling their products (e.g. coffee, cakes, soup) during the event and then giving all that they earned on the day of the run to ProCit.
3) Find a new way to surprise registered runners each year.
Try to think of something that they might not expect - even the smallest of things can make runners happier. For example:
- A new website for easier registration;
- A photo booth SelfieMat with immediate free photo printing to have a nice memory from the event;
- Display a big digital clock to measure the time each runner finishes;
- Here in the Czech Republic, we know that runners also appreciate our special low-alcoholic beer at the finish line :).
4) Get people involved and passionate about the event.
Use social media! We created a series of Facebook statuses to:
- Announce the novelties for this year (e.g. gradually revealing the content of the starting pack);
- Count down the days to the start of the run and motivate new runners to register;
- Praise the sponsors for their support;
- Tease potential participants to break the records from the last year;
- Entice people with news about sunny weather (very important for the runners and the success of the whole event!).
We also found it useful to prepare an Instagram account so we could share pictures during the run and spread the joyful atmosphere of the run to those following along online.
5) Get personally involved in the run, stay positive, and believe in a happy ending.
Do not stand behind all the preparations - instead, prepare to have some fun for yourself during the event. This year, I turned myself into a "Blue Demon" and spread powdered blue dye on daring runners who chose to take the optional Adventure Shortcut!
You could also be a DJ for a day and motivate the runners with music, or give out water and refreshments to runners along the course or at the finish line. Do anything that makes you happy and helps you to enjoy the final day - celebrate all your hard work and organization!
Our pictures and video illustrate how much fun we had at the event this year, and I invite you to join our run next time. See you in April 2019!