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12 Tips for an Amazing Color Run

Tips from the experts to help your PTO have the most colorful school fundraiser you've ever had!


Get Movin’ Fundraising
Brought to you by our friends at Get Movin’ Fundraising! Plan, promote, and track your next Fun Run, Read-Athon, and more, right from your phone. With Get Movin’ you get custom donation tools, a former parent group leader to guide you, and the most profit for your school! Learn more.


Add some color to your school fun run...literally! The experts at Get Movin' Fundraising have helped thousands of schools hold successful athon fundraisers. Below, they share their best school color run planning tips.


1. Create a track loop: Use colored traffic cones (we like these colored cones from Amazon). While the size of the track loop varies, you may want to plan on 150 to 175 traffic cones. 

2. Proper attire: Encourage students and anyone planning to get doused in colored powder to wear sunglasses, a hat, or bandana to keep your eyesight clear (many schools provide a pair of sunglasses to everyone who registers). Powder is non-toxic and won't cause harm to eyes, but it helps for students to have eyewear when running through the clouds of color.

3. Let's talk colored powder! Many PTO and PTA leaders swear by Color Blaze and use the ratio of 1/2 pound per student. For example, if you have 250 runners, you may want to have 100 to 125 pounds of color powder on hand. Condiment bottles are an easy way to dispense color evenly, but some opt to fill 5 gallon buckets and have volunteers use cups to scoop out powder. 

4. Incorporate 4-5 color stations: spread color stations throughout the run, every quarter mile or halfway around your running track. Depending on how many runners you have, you might want to plan on having 2-4 volunteers per color station. Encourage volunteers to spray color directly on runners' clothes (in other words, try their best to avoid spraying faces!).  

5. Wear white! It's the best for showing off those rainbow colors at the end of the run. (Some schools will sell t-shirts for $10 each to raise extra funds!) 

6. Celebrate at the finish line: Incorporate an end-of-run celebration like a dance or group picture to capture the fun of your color run.  

7. Clean up station: Have a stocked clean up station where volunteers can pass out baby wipes and towels to students to help them clean up. Tip: if you're having your color run during the school day, give your school custodian a heads up, since students will be returning to their classrooms. They'll appreciate it! 

8. Protect your tech: Let volunteers and parents know to keep their electronics in their pockets, purses, or in zipped up plastic baggies to protect them from the powder.

9. Dress in layers: Tell students to dress in layers with a tank top underneath their white T-shirt. This helps reduce the amount of color that will get on the skin from water and sweat during the run.

10. Preserving your fun run shirts: Help students remember this fun day! After your color run, send home instructions for parents to spray colored shirts with vinegar and throw them in the dryer to retain color. Ask that students return their shirts to school by a specific date so that all students can sign each other's shirts.

11. When to plan a color run: Consider hosting your color run at the end of the school day or on the weekend to avoid disrupting school time with a bunch of messy, powdered kids post-run.

12. Cleaning up after your color run: Don't worry too much about the clean up! The powder can be hosed away, easily removed from clothes in the washing machine, and removed from skin by a good scrub in the shower.


Freeman’s Mill Elementary surpassed their donation goal for their color run flying colors and raised an incredible $76,368! Their fifth successful event with Get Movin', the top-earning classes got to enjoy a foam party. Staff got in on the fun too - the principal did a color throw for students who reached $300, while the school coach sported a golden beard to keep the momentum going!


When it comes to color run incentives that motivate students to smash their fundraising goals, why not ask your principal to add "a little color"? Check out these fun principal incentives, from being turned into a human sundae to getting a real tattoo to show off their school pride!

Get more fun run ideas, tips, and resources in PTO Today's Athon Fundraising Hub. 👉



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