Your can extend your love of your four-legged family members to your community at large and even have your pups participate. Proper planning and legwork for a charity dog walk helps create a smoothly run event and increases your chances of getting funds to dogs in need.
Choosing Your Charity
The first step in planning your walk is choosing the charity that will benefit. This could be a local animal shelter, a national animal rescue organization, an animal health organization or other place with dogs in need. After you've selected your beneficiary, notify it of your plans. Even if you don't yet have all the details in place, you can still give it a head's up that you're planning something in its honor. Staffers there may even help you promote it.
When, Where, How & Other Logistics
Pick a date and a rain date. Often, walks are held on Saturdays when more people are off work. Next, choose beginning and end locations, along with a start time and estimated end time based on the walk's length. When choosing locations, consider parking along with walking safety. Also, determine payment amounts and levels, whether it's a flat entry fee for the walk or a tiered donation plan that allows people to donate amounts of their choice. You may need to arrange permits with your city and notify officers of any major streets on your route. You may wish to require that all dog participants be current on their shots.
Promoting Your Event
Promotional planning includes developing a flyer or postcard and a website or Facebook page. If you're collecting funds online, set up a PayPal account and link it to your site. Bring flyers to vets' offices, pet supply stores and elsewhere, asking them to display some for you. Send your website or Facebook URLs to friends, family, coworkers and other contacts. Local print media, radio and TV can also help you gain exposure. Develop a news release and send it to local media, asking them to attend your walk.
Gaining Support & Summarizing Plans
Volunteers and other dog lovers can help spread the news about your event. When conducting your promotional planning in the community, make it clear that you welcome volunteers to help greet walkers, put out water bowls for dogs walking in the event, and assist with clean-up and other post-event needs. Planning these details in advance lightens the workload and increases efficiency. Before the walk, summarize the plans you've made to ensure everything is in place before the big day.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.