Human Race Agency Campaign Guide

Basic Info | Key Dates | Best Practices | Developing Your Plan


Section I- Human Race Basics


How Does the Campaign Works?

The 6-week fundraising campaign provides an opportunity for local organizations, schools, churches, and community groups to raise money for their programs and for individuals, businesses, and social groups to support the nonprofit of their choice at a high visibility community-wide event.

Campaign Support and Donor Management

During the campaign the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County will provide ongoing support with the free online fundraising website, training with top development experts, connections to supporters, weekly incentive prizes, and we manage all of the main event marketing so you can focus on your fundraising goals.

While most participating agencies utilize our online fundraising platform, some choose to go old school with good old fashion paper pledges. Learn more about the paper pledge gathering process.

Race Day Culmination

The campaign culminates with a community celebration on Race Day- May 11, 2019. Race Day consists of a walk and fun run, complimentary breakfast and lunch, music, games, street performers, gifts and prizes after the event.

Learn More About Race Day

How Much Does Your Agency Earn?

Participating agencies earn a minimum of 75% of all pledges collected.You can increase the percentage by bringing in $10,000 or more. The table explains how higher collections translate into a higher percentage of earning for your agency. The Volunteer Center retains the remaining balance to cover administrative and event management costs.



Section II- Key Dates for the Human Race


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Section III - Best Practices

Board and Volunteer Engagement

As ambassadors for your organization, your board and volunteer engagement in the Human Race is a crucial element for success. What roles will you ask them to take for your campaign? Check out the Board Engagement resource here.

Questions to consider

  • What will be your goal for board and fundraiser giving?
  • What donor engagement strategies will your board and fundraisers employ?
  • What social media/marketing activities will you ask of your fundraisers?
  • What other tasks or strategies would you like your board or fundraisers to participate in?

Know Your Audience

To craft the most effective message, you need to know your audience. Who are they, how can you reach them, and how can they be your best ambassadors?

Questions to consider

  • Who is your current audience?
  • Who is your prospective audience? 

  • How will you reach them?
  • What stories of impact can you share?
  • What tools do you need to 
implement your strategy?

Donor Engagement

Stewarding your donors – before, during and after the Human Race – keeps them aligned with your organization for continued engagement and support.

Questions to consider

  • How will you engage your current donor base?
  • How will you thank your donors when the campaign ends?
  • What is your plan to follow up with donors 1, 3, 6 months after campaign?
  • How will you engage new donors?

Goal Setting

Goals for the Human Race can be more than financial. Manage your expectations for setting your overall philanthropic goals: new donors, visibility, marketing, social media.

Questions to consider

  • What is your financial goal for the Human Race?
  • How many donors would you like during the Human Race?
  • What other goals do you have?
  • Are there internal vs. external goals?
  • How do you plan to share your success with your donors and volunteers?
  • What tools do you need to make this happen?

Communication Tools

Once you’ve defined your audience, crafted your message, and set goals, be sure to maximize the communication tools available to you. A press release can provide a broad overview, email marketing and traditional marketing can engage existing volunteers and donors, and don’t forget to use your board, volunteers, staff and fundraisers as effective community ambassadors. Use what works best for you!

Questions to consider

  • What communication tools does your organization already use?
  • What tools are you not using that you may want to incorporate for the Human Race?
  • What current marketing materials can you add your Human Race message to?
  • What other tools and resources do you need?

Social Media

For an online event, social media plays a huge role. Utilizing Facebook, Twitter and other platforms will help you communicate with your current and future donors at every stage of the campaign.

Questions to consider

  • What social media platforms will 
you use for the Human Race?
  • What are the key messages you will 
convey through these platforms?
  • Who will run your social media campaign?

Section IV. Develop and Execute Your Plan

Now that you’ve answered some key questions let’s put it all together. Use the tools in the Non-Profit Toolkit and attend our trainings to support your work plan.

The month prior to the Human Race Campaign Kick-off should be dedicated to planning and preparation, so that you are ready to implement your plan starting on March 27th; starting with soft marketing and then transitioning into heavy marketing at the 3 week mid-campaign mark.

Sign up for Our Trainings

Learn More About Our Training Prizes and Incentives Learn More About Our Training Prizes and Incentives

View the Communication Timeline

• Download Our Human Race Planning Workbook

• Download the Human Race Agency Campaign Guide