The ‘Colour’ Fun Run Phenomenon

If you’re looking to add some colour to your fundraising, we’ve got the solution for you! The old school fun run or lapathon has taken on a new lease of life with the introduction of colour runs!

The first colour run took place in the USA in 2011 and has since spread across the globe. The colour aspect is adapted from the Hindu Holi Festival or Festival of Colours where participants are drenched with water and covered in coloured powder. These days colour runs have become an increasingly popular fundraiser for schools and clubs. And it’s something the whole family can enjoy!

After receiving a question about pros and cons of colour runs, we put it to our ‘Fundraising Whisperer’ community on Facebook. The post received huge interest:

“Our school ran one last year. BEST EVENT EVER. We raised double the amount we normally raise for an ‘a-thon’ fundraiser.”

“We did one of these and raised over $30K!”

“Our local kindy did one last year and it’s on the calendar again for this year. I think they are great fun and can raise a bit of money if done right.”

“Our school does a park run. Huge success, without enormous amounts of labour.”

“We held a student based fun event. Now considering one as a community fundraiser.”

With interest like that, we thought we’d take a closer look into colour runs and what involved in making them work for your school, club or group.

Getting Started

Your first question will probably be ‘where do I begin?’. You have two different options to choose from when it comes to organisation of your event and this will often be very dependent on your committee’s resources. The one thing that both options have in common is that you will need a lot of space – the school oval, local park or even a local running track. Some groups like to make it a bit more of a challenge and incorporate an obstacle course.

  1. Do it yourself

There are pros and cons with this option. It’s definitely something to consider if you have ready access to a large volunteer base who have the time to commit and cash in the back for up front costs. Here are some things to think about with this option.

  • First and foremost you will need coloured powder (and lots of it!). Depending on the number of participants you have, some resources suggest providing up to 500g of coloured powder per person. The powder is typically based on corn starch and is non-toxic. This will be far and away your biggest expense.
  • You’ll need to supply sponsorship forms and promotional paraphernalia and you’ll also need to decide whether your committee will wear the ‘hard cost’ or charge an entry fee. Charging an entry fee is a way to recoup some of your costs, but can adversely affect participation. Plus it’s possible that participants will want ‘something’ for their donation. A t-shirt, cap, food or drink afterwards.
  • Will you provide prizes as incentives for participants? This can be done by year level with a prize awarded to the person who raises the most money. Sourcing donations for these prizes will help with reducing costs.
  • Here are some other ideas from our Facebook community:
    • “We are considering it this year as a family colour fun run around our school grounds. Adding water stations with water pistols, maybe a mud pit and some hay bales and a bubble pit. Also adding a BBQ after the event.”
    • “The kids selected prizes for themselves, depending on how much they raised and then we purchased buckets of colour to turn it into a colour run. For safety issues the teachers were the only ones allowed to throw colour, but us from the P&C brought water pistols for extra fun as it was a P&C fundraiser. This was last November and kids still talk about how fun it was.”
  1. Use a supplier to arrange everything for you

There are four main reasons you would use an external supplier to arrange everything for you:

  1. Volunteers. If you’re short of them, calling in the big guns can be a great option. Fundraising suppliers dedicated to organising fun runs and colour runs have a wealth of experience and can take care of all the nitty gritty things to allow you to run an event you wouldn’t have the resources to put on yourself.
  2. No Up front costs. While you will pay a percentage of your takings at the end, there will be no up-front costs when using an external supplier.
  3. Prizes. It seems easy to organise prizes but it’s actually a bit tricky and time consuming to select ones that kids will be interested in, plus of course the cost of them. External suppliers tend to know what works and offer a wide range of prizes that appeal to all age groups.
  4. Fundraising Materials. They supply all the materials to so that your fundraiser is easy to run: sponsorship forms, posters, parent letter templates and much more.
  5. Online sponsorship. External providers have cottoned on to the ‘online sponsorship’ trend and provide it as a part of their package. Each participant gets a link to send to their family and friends. Having this available can increase your proceeds by a great extent. We heard of an annual spellathon that previously brought in $11-13K each year, and when online sponsorship came in, it went to over $25K and has stayed at that level. Grandma in Scotland can become a supporter, and when people take out their credit card, they tend to donate more than if they are digging around for cash. Having access to online sponsorship can more than make up for the costs of using an external provider.

Australian Fundraising: School Colour Fun Run

Australian Fundraising provide their own range of five vibrant colour powders for all schools and have gone the extra step to provide them pre-packed in spray bottles for your convenience. The powder is fully tested, non-toxic, biodegradable and skin safe with all the assessment certificates. They also provide UV400 sunglasses and wristbands for all of your students. Students also receive a Berri Quelch Fruit Juice Stick.

As an example of what schools receive from them, a school of 500 students will receive $2,100 worth of value in the colour powder, sunglasses and wristbands. In addition to this is the great range of over 70 incentive prizes provided for your students.

You will be shown step-by-step how a school colour fun run works, how to set it up and how to run it. All of the admin including flyers and sponsorship forms are provided to you and the online sponsorship component can help to lift your fundraising total and make this a signature event in your fundraising calendar.

Click here to request an info pack about Australian Fundraising’s School Colour Fun Run or contact their office on 1300 133 022. All requests from schools will receive a sample of the colour powder spray bottle and sunglasses.

This post is sponsored by Australian Fundraising

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