Should I Charge A Registration Fee For My Walkathon Fundraiser?

If you are organizing a walk-a-thon or a pledge fundraiser to raise money for your organization, here are reasons you should not charge a registration fee.

Eliminate all barriers to participation

By their very nature, pledge events put donors and volunteers in charge of raising money. Making the task of raising money as easy as possible is a win-win, both for your organization and for the fundraiser. Plus, once your fundraisers pay a registration fee, they will be less likely to strive higher and raise more.

Do the math

Once you’ve eliminated any potential barriers, you have more people that ask for money on your behalf. This will increase the amount of money they can raise for your event. For example, is it better to get one $25 registration fee from one person or 2 $25 donations from new donors?  Which brings us to our next point.

Expand your donor pool

When you eliminate registration fees, you can focus your expectations on increasing the pool of individuals that care about your cause year after year. Organizations that encourage the number of donations raised over the total amount raised will end up with more returning donors and a bigger donor pool to cultivate post-event.

Promote a culture of philanthropy

The word “fee” conjures up negative images of a penalty or an erroneous charge on a billing statement. Philanthropy is about willfully and generously donating time and treasure to move a mission forward. By eliminating registration fees, you prioritize good stewardship over nickel and diming your supporters!

Communicate NO Registration Fee!

As a final note, we recommend that you communicate to your supporters that you will not charge a registration fee! Let them know why and highlight your appreciation in advance for their participation. Further, attach an easy to share event sign-up link that they can promote to friends and family. And as an added benefit, offer an incentive, like a donation match for every new supporter that they can sign-up! 


Blue Sky Collaborative’s fundraising software platforms support events and campaigns of all types. Several hundred companies, non-profits, and schools, in multiple languages, use Blue Sky Collaborative’s fundraising software to raise millions of dollars every year.  The company was founded in 2002 and has offices in Boston MA and Southwestern CT. 

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your fundraising efforts.

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