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This past Sunday my Rotary Club had our big fundraising event, the Bellevue 5K & 10K “All in for Autism” run and walk. There are some insights and lessons from an event like this that are applicable to our everyday lives and businesses.

  • You can never do too much marketing. You have to start early, be constant and be consistent. There is a lot of “noise” in today’s world and it takes incessant messaging to be heard.
  • A smooth running operation is something for which to be joyful. This is our fifth year in our current location in downtown Bellevue. Our team is on top of everything, which meant the most exciting thing that happened was a car being towed out of the race village amidst all the tents (the tow truck driver sure knew what he was doing).
  • You have to ask. Nobody will do anything if you don’t ask. I personally got three sponsors for the event by picking up the phone and asking. I have a potential (major) sponsor for next year by simply making a couple calls and asking. People don’t buy if you don’t ask, so ask!
  • Partnerships can be great and we’ve partnered with what I think will truly be a win-win cause, autism. When you’re not close to something you’re not fully aware of its impact. I’m not aware of any autism in my family. Yes, I have friends with autism in their families and as I become more aware of the symptoms I know a high school friend’s brother had it. There are a “ton” of autism groups, from major programs like (our sponsor and beneficiary) Children’s Hospital to small, community parental support groups. When you get a good partnership, both sides need to exploit it.

So, next year when I ask if you’ll run or walk in this event, I hope you’ll say yes. 🙂

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