How to Organize a 5k for Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness Month occurs in October and is a time to cherish those affected, remember loved ones who have passed, and educate and fundraise for the future. Raising awareness is essential, as breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the United States, and an excellent way to raise awareness is through hosting a 5k.

We will guide you through organizing a breast cancer awareness event that will have a memorable impact on all involved.

Why Organize a 5K for Breast Cancer Awareness

Organizing a 5k cancer event is one way to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month and create a full day of fundraising and solidarity. Putting on an event like this shows your clients and local community that you care about and value important issues.

People support businesses for various reasons, including because they share values. Cause-related marketing with genuine intent connects with your customers’ expectations and betters your reputation. Hold your 5k event as a campaign that:

  • Improves the morale of those affected.
  • Gets employees and the community involved.
  • Garners awareness about the severity of the disease.
  • Raises funds and donations for a worthy cause.

Once you raise the money from the 5k, you can donate to a worthy charity or foundation to help people get breast cancer education, access to mammograms and lifesaving treatments.

Organizing a 5k for Breast Cancer Awareness

As a school, business or local organization, you want to positively impact your community. This how-to guide will take you through the organizing, promoting and hosting of a 5k in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

1. Assemble a Team

Decide who in your organization can commit to the 5k event tasks. Consider your employees’ schedules and realize you may need volunteers to assist them. Choose people according to their strengths, as you will need people to:

  • Oversee and coordinate the event.
  • Plan certain aspects of the event.
  • Budget the available funds.
  • Market, promote and liaise with media.
  • Organize elements before and on the day.
  • Implement practical measures.

2. Set the Event Goals and Function

Decide your event goals and functions upfront. Your 5k might focus on the following:

  • Promoting a healthy lifestyle.
  • Addressing breast cancer education.
  • Raising money for charity.
  • Celebrating breast cancer victories.

3. Plan and Decide the Finer Details

It is time to decide on specifics. Consider the following details:

  • Choose your charity: There are several breast cancer charities, each unique in its vision and mission to aid people.
  • Choose the nature of the 5k: Do you want a run, walk, cycle or combination?
  • Open or closed event: Do you want it open to the public or invite only?
  • Registration and payments: Decide on registration and entry fee prices.
  • How to accept donations: Ensure people know how to donate additional money.
  • Date, time and venue: Consider the venue, route, potential weather, parking, traffic and safety. Have a check-in and race start time.
  • Permits and permissions: Contact your local authority for the permits and permissions required and how to apply. Additionally, you typically need insurance coverage.
  • Post-race events: Keep people around after with refreshments, raffles, entertainment, giveaways, prizes, acknowledgments and special activities.

4. Make an Event Budget and Find Sponsors

It’s important to understand the funds needed to cover all of your ideas. Find ways to keep your expenses down to cover costs and maximize the proceeds.

Sponsorships are an excellent way for breast cancer awareness fundraisers to cover the expenses, and they might be a source of unique and valuable prizes and giveaways. However, ensure the businesses align with the event’s nature. To encourage sponsors, offer a chance to set up vendor and advertising booths for those promoting health and cancer awareness.

5. Open Event Registration

Before promoting the event, ensure your registration process is seamless. You can choose from several U.S. race registration tools or create online and print forms. Begin the registration process well in advance and offer early-bird discounts so people sign up early, which helps estimate expected numbers. There are a few things you need to include in the registration:

  • A liability waiver: You need insurance and protection in place.
  • Bib numbers: Entrants need to receive their assigned bibs either posted or collected along with other race swag and items.
  • T-shirt size: Order pink youth T-shirts and adult T-shirts with business and event logos. Have the design ready so people can preview it.
  • Add optional extras: Give people a chance to add additional items, like an awareness ribbon tote bag, that you fill with exciting promotional items.

6. Market the Event

You need effective and informative marketing and promotion for your 5k event. Generate and attract attention to boost the number of participants and coverage for the day. Decide on a combination of free and paid marketing, and create a strategy using the following channels:

  • Social media.
  • Local press and media, such as newspapers, radio, podcasts and television.
  • Word of mouth.
  • Pamphlets, banners and posters.
  • Email lists.
  • Partnerships with charities and other businesses.

7. Create Promotional Material

Create promotional material

Invest in the right breast cancer awareness promotional items to solidify your business as an advocate for breast health. You can find awareness ribbon tote bags or pink drawstring bags and fill them to the brim with thank-you items like a stylish promotional pink capfashionable pink promo sunglasses or a translucent pink water bottle. You can also pass out awareness items like a promotional magnetic to-do board and a self-exam shower or door hanger.

Along the trail, you can set up booths to pass out flower-shaped cold packs and promotional sunscreen. After the race, you can sell promotional items to increase donations. You might offer an embroidered pink hoodie, a breast cancer awareness phone grip and stand, a pink coffee mug or a breast cancer awareness umbrella.

These items help market your breast cancer 5k event, advocate for breast health, celebrate survivors, bolster awareness and offer people practical things that remind them of the event and your business.

8. Plan for Event Day

The event day is set, and preparations are well underway, though there are crucial tasks to complete leading up to the day, such as:

  • Ordering T-shirts and awards.
  • Printing signs and markers.
  • Involving local traffic officials.
  • Organizing marshals.
  • Hiring professional medics and security.
  • Setting up hydration stations.
  • Creating food and drink stalls.
  • Setting up portable restrooms.
  • Finding trash cans.
  • Finalizing post-race events.

9. Recruit Your Volunteers

Volunteers will ensure everything runs smoothly. Events encouraging social awareness interest people, so your breast cancer 5k event should attract plenty of willing individuals ready to help with the following:

  • Assisting with setup.
  • Working as marshals.
  • Checking people in at registration.
  • Handing out water.
  • Directing parking.
  • Handing out additional swag.
  • Helping tidy up after the day ends.

Also, remember to care for your volunteers by providing food, beverages and heartfelt gratitude.

10. Host Your Breast Cancer Awareness 5k Event

With all employees and volunteers at their posts, it is time to welcome the participants. Stick to your schedule and stay on time — it sets the tone for the entire event. Have contingency plans for when things change, such as the weather or an entertainer canceling at the last minute.

Send a survey with a thank-you note to all race attendees, volunteers, corporate partners and sponsors, as the event is only a success because of them. Note what they compliment and what they felt was missing, and make changes to pull off an even better event the following year.

Partner With ePromos and Raise Awareness

Partner with ePromos and raise awareness

Keep your business and the noble cause of supporting breast cancer fresh in attendees’ minds. View the ePromos quality product selection and our excellent range of promotional services to help you leave a positive impression. For added assistance, contact us today for award-winning service, and experience our satisfaction guarantee for yourself.

Additional Breast Cancer Awareness Resources:


About Author

Katie Salerno Avatar

Katie S.

Reviewed By: Kaite S. - Marketing Brand Specialist

Tenacious brand warrior who is laser-focused on boosting our brand through effective social media presence and multiple resources. Principal producer of marvelous messages and email exposés. Message + Creative maestro who has an opening for a puppy co-worker with the expectation they stay clear of her pommes frites.