Fundraise > 10 Steps to a Successful Fundraising Event

Step 1

What Fundraiser Works for You?

  • Brainstorm with your friends and family. Come up with a fundraising idea that is fun, manageable and has buy in from those who are prepared to work with you.
  • Looking for more ideas? Check our Fundraising Events A-Z and the Parkinson’s CHAMPs in Action to view some of the creative ways our walkers have raised funds on behalf of the Walk.

Step 2

Call the PUW office at any point in the process to let us know of your plans, if you need assistance and/or we can answer any questions for you.

Step 3

Recruit Your Committee
The expression “It takes a village” applies to planning your fundraiser. No one needs to do this alone. There is strength in numbers and it’s more fun when you’re sharing the satisfaction AND the work of creating your event. Identify the roles that need to be filled (e.g., securing sponsors, designing promotional materials, etc.) and give your friends and family the opportunity to get involved based on their personal skills and strengths.

Step 4

Work Out the Logistics

  • Determine the date, time, place, venue, space constraints, etc. Leave yourself enough time for planning depending on the complexity of the event.
  • Contact the venue to confirm their requirements to secure the space (e.g., permits, deposits, applications, insurance, etc.).
  • Possible venues include but aren’t limited to schools, parks, places of worship, and restaurants.

Step 5

What’s Your Plan to Raise Money at Your Event?

  • Will you charge an admission/registration fee?
  • Will there be one level or tiered admission/registration fees?
  • Will you encourage discretionary donations?
  • Will there be a silent auction?
  • Will you charge for food and beverages?

Step 6

Sponsors are a Great Way to Up Your Game and Generate Even More Support

  • Reach out to local businesses. They often support community events for a good cause. You never know which potential sponsors may have their own personal connection to the Parkinson’s community.
  • What benefits can you offer your sponsors? Have your written material with you when you approach potential sponsors. Some benefits include:
    • the sponsor name or logo on signage and/or event t-shirt
    • providing company information at a display table
    • providing space for a company representative to speak to people at your event.
  • In-kind sponsors can provide you with goods and services that will reduce the expenses for your event.
    • If you receive an in-kind donation, complete the In-Kind Donation form and email us or mail it to the Unity Walk office, PO Box 275, Kingston, NJ 08528, so the donor will receive an acknowledgement for tax purposes.
  • Provide documentation to monetary and in-kind sponsors of the Unity Walk’s status as a non-profit organization. You can provide them with the PUW’s EIN #13-3842415 or contact the PUW office to request a copy of our 501(c)(3).

  • Sponsors and donors will receive an acknowledgement for tax purposes only if their check is made payable to the Parkinson’s Unity Walk or if you send a check representing their cash donation to the Parkinson’s Unity Walk along with their name and address.

Step 7


  • Prepare an event budget as part of your planning process.
  • Can you commit that the expenses will be covered by sponsor money and guarantee that 100% of funds raised by attendees will be donated to the Unity Walk? If you can, that information should be included in your promotional material.
  • Will you need to use some of the individual donations to pay for the expenses associated with your event? If so, communicate that the net proceeds from the event will be donated to the Unity Walk and that 100% of all funds donated to the Unity Walk support Parkinson’s research.
  • If you have any questions about how to structure the finances of your event, please call the Unity Walk office before you finalize the details and start promoting your fundraiser.

Step 8

Prepare Your Promotional Materials and Spread the Word!

  • All registered walkers have the option of downloading the PUW logo from a link in your Participant Center for inclusion on flyers, brochures and posters created in support of your event, as long as you agree to PUW’s terms of use.

  • Create your flyers, brochures and registration forms.

  • Develop a strategy to promote your event.
    • Read Champ in Action stories for ideas.

    • Consider creating a Facebook page for your event.

    • Promote your event on all social media sites. Check out PUW’s Go Social & Fundraise on the Go for more info.
      • Our social media accounts are public and can be another tool for you to raise awareness of your event. Share/post info about your event on any of our social media sites and mention us so we can like, tweet, etc.
      • Let us know about any twitter accounts OR group/team Facebook Timelines (we cannot link to personal Facebook accounts) that you want us to consider for tagging/mentions/inclusions.

    • Continue to spread the word with emails, mail and phone calls.

    • Post flyers and posters throughout your community.

    • Post your event on online community calendars.

    • Prepare a press release and submit to the news media in your local community.

    • Invite the local TV station or newspaper to attend your event.

    • Encourage coverage before, during and after your event.

Step 9

Enjoy your event! Take satisfaction in knowing that you have raised funds for Parkinson’s research and take in the support expressed by your donors.

Step 10

Celebrate Your Success!

  • Thank your sponsors and supporters.
  • Share photos of the event on social media sites.
  • When you mail in the funds raised for the Unity Walk, keep in mind that only sponsors and donors donating more than $250 routinely receive an acknowledgement for tax purposes. They will only receive this acknowledgment if their check is made payable to the Parkinson’s Unity Walk or if you send a check representing their cash donation to the Parkinson’s Unity Walk along with their name and address. Sponsors and donors donating less than $250 will receive an acknowledgement only if it is specifically requested. Click here for more information about requesting a tax receipt.


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