Getting people to show up for your Charity Firewalk is going to be high on your agenda. And that applies for the Firewalk participants as well as the spectators and supporters. Communication is key to all of this and there are a few things you should consider.
Before we discuss getting people to show up there is one piece of advice we always offer, and this comes from experience. When you ask people to take part in a Charity Firewalk they usually will give a resounding yes or no. There are very few who say maybe and then say yes. For now, we will deal with those who say yes. You should always ask for a deposit from those who say that they will take part in your Charity Firewalk.
Time and time again, people will back out at the last minute, and this is significantly reduced if they have paid a deposit. We advise asking for a £25 or £30 deposit and if they don’t turn up, at least it will be a contribution towards the cost of organising the Firewalk.
When people pay a deposit, they are much more committed to fundraising and showing up. During the process of asking for a deposit they get a better understanding of why you need them to take part. And they will have a better understanding of the costs you are committed to.
You see, with the greatest intention in the world, people will tell you they will take part in your Charity Firewalk. But as time ticks along other commitments (or fears) take over and suddenly, that yes becomes a no. They are much less likely to pull out when a deposit has been paid.
Charity Firewalk organisers that ask for deposits are also less stressed worrying whether people will turn up. It’s worth it for that alone!
Now, back to getting people to show up for your Charity Firewalk.
Communication is key to getting people to show up
Communication is the single most important aspect to getting people to show up for your Charity Firewalk. How and where you communicate with people very much boils down to you, but you should also consider what is easiest for them.
Regular communication before your Charity Firewalk is very important and common methods are Facebook events, Facebook groups, and WhatsApp groups. People also use text messages, email, and newsletters. All of this can be enhanced through local press and radio.
Create a buzz and build trust
Through your communication you will create a buzz and build trust, especially with the Firewalk participants you don’t know. You can ask questions: Who’s looking forward to the Firewalk? Has anyone managed to recruit a friend to Firewalk with them? How’s the Fundraising going?
Get the conversation long before the Firewalk
Send personal messages
Send personal messages to everyone taking part in your Charity Firewalk. This is great for people that aren’t using your main communication platform and for those who would rather reply privately. It helps you further build the trust and encourage them with their Fundraising. Getting to know them this way, offering advice and support, is a sure-fire way to make sure they turn up.
One week to go
Get in touch with everyone one week before your Charity Firewalk. Remind them of the venue and times, remind them why they are taking part in the Charity Firewalk and remind them how much you value their participation.
You should read our Checklist before a Charity Firewalk too.
Handy Hint: Tell your story
It’s a good idea to tell people why you have organised this Charity Firewalk. Tell them about the excellent work of the Charity too, but definitely tell them why you are organising this event. Your story, your reason for organising this Charity Firewalk is personal and inspiring – we know this from experience. Your why will get and keep more people involved than anything else.
Handy Hint: Balance
We are all bombarded with emails and notifications every day. You need to balance how much you send. If you send too many emails or messages, essential information will get lost. You might even put people off. One or two emails or key messages will usually be enough. Regular conversations in groups are great. Strike a balance.
Handy Hint: Follow up
Sometimes, Charity Firewalk organisers think that their work is done as soon as the last person Firewalks. This is not true. You should communicate with your participants after your Firewalk, especially if you are thinking about organising another Firewalk next year. This year’s participants are going to be great ambassadors and recruiters for you.
Thank them for taking part and let them know how much money you raised together. Share the photos from your Charity Firewalk and any media coverage.
Our Post Charity Firewalk Checklist can help with this.
So, there you go. Getting people to show up for your Charity Firewalk will take a little bit of work from you and it will be worth it. It really is no more than simple, friendly, and regular communication and we can help you with it.