Hosting a city-wide Relay for Life fundraiser is a wonderful fundraising idea. It is a great way to get lots of people involved in a worthy cause. You cannot expect for everything to fall into place, however, without doing some planning before the big event.
First you need to pick a time and location. Find a place that is easily accessible for the general public, and has a parking lot that is easy to maneuver (remember that people will be coming and going at all times of the night). If you intend to hold the fundraiser outside then make sure you have a back-up location (or date) in case of inclement weather. School track and field areas are good candidates, as well as large gymnasiums.
Second, you need to find sponsors/volunteers. Contact local banks, grocery stores, churches, YMCA's, rotary clubs, etc. Find teams of people who are willing to donate money, who are willing to walk, who are willing to provide refreshments ?anything.
Third, you need to advertise. If people do not know about the event, then they can not participate. Try to get everyone involved. Put up flyers and posters. Advertise on the city website, on bulletin boards and during city hall meetings. Make a Facebook group event, send out emails or make a blog about your Relay for Life fundraiser. Do whatever you can think of to get the word out.
Fourth, plan for the actual event. Once you get the logistics taken care of, work on the actual event. Will there be entertainment? Will you have contests or games? Will there be special areas for children? Can you map out areas for specific groups to set up camp? Plan out the refreshments, an announcer, a DJ, a movie, anything you can think of to make the time enjoyable.
With a little bit of pre-planning, your Relay for Life fundraisers will be a huge success!