Sponsoring a 5K race can be a beneficial way for an individual or business to help a charity. The key to a successful 5K is to get as many people involved and interested in the run as possible. It also is important to give yourself or your company plenty of time and the funding needed to get your 5K event going. Funding a 5K costs between $3,000 and $10,000 as of March 2011.
Choose the charity you want to benefit. Choosing a charity that is relevant to your company's business is one possibility. For instance, if you work in health care, you could support a nonprofit hospital or another health-related organization in your area.
Assemble a group of volunteers to help with the planning and implementation of the 5K. Let others know the charity you are raising funds for and ask for volunteers to sit on a planning committee. It could take several months of meetings to plan the 5K, so be sure the volunteers have the time you will need from them. The volunteer-based planning committee can meet with you to nail down details such as the run's date, course and funding. The committee also can help you advertise for the run.
Meet with a local running store or other company that helps organize these types of events. You might be able to ask other companies or individuals who have sponsored 5Ks for advice on who to hire. The company you choose to hire can help you set up, acquire the equipment needed, and even help the volunteer committee with the planning.
Advertise to get participants interested in the run. Print posters and brochures and ask area businesses if they will display them. You also could display them at other local races. Contact the local media to see if they are willing to do stories or articles to let people know about the 5K. Local organizations such as the chamber of commerce or the Rotary Club also could help you get the word out.
Make T-shirts for the run which have the charity's name on them and your name as the sponsor. This can be an effective advertisement for the 5K run if you decide to make it an annual event.
Charge participants to be part of the run. You can ask them to get pledges for their run or you can charge them one flat but reasonable donation fee, such as $10. The donations should go directly to the charity, unless you choose to keep some in a fund for next year's event.
Work with government officials to plan the run's path. You will need permits from local governments to use the streets and you probably will need police help to keep runners safe.
Ensure that you have plenty of volunteers the day of the race. You will need people to help sign up runners, collect money, hand out T-shirts and ensure runners' safety during the event.
Establish whether you want refreshments or entertainment after the race. If desired, hire a catering company and a band.
Sarah Lambert has worked as a journalist since 2007. She has worked at the "Auburn Plainsman," a student newspaper in Alabama. Her work also has appeared in the "Chicago Tribune" and "USA Today." She has a bachelor's degree from Auburn University and is currently working as a reporter at the "Battle Creek Enquirer."