What is a Paddle Challenge?
A typical Paddle Challenge is an event that uses 29', 14 passenger canoes, in a competitive event intended to build community and support for a cause.
How Do Participating Businesses Benefit?
1. Just the activity can bring a group of pepole together.
2. Your team building begins when you start recruiting your team and continues through practice, dressing alike, presenting themselves at the event, branding themselves, racing the course, and debriefing their experience.
3. An NFL football game is only 11 minutes of play and 1 1/2 hour of positioning. Measure your experience by the sum total, not just the paddle strokes on the course.
4. It presents your business as a good community partner. Your business will be branded as caring, compassionate, and active.
5. This does not have to be a donation, but can be budgeted as legitimate corporate training.
6. Unlike a golf tournament which may give a few executives an excuse to play a free round of golf, this allows rank and file employees to actively market your business while feeling rewarded for their effort.
7. Done well, the buzz will last all year.
What does a Paddle Challenge look like?
Short race model. In this model various teams enter the Challenge to compete on a 250 yd. course. Each team races against the clock with the fastest teams usually ending in a head to head race to determine the grand champion. A field of 30 teams would take about 1/2 day to run.
Long race model. In this model up to three teams would compete in a distance race ranging from 5- 20 miles. Instead of each team paying an entry fee, each team would be representative of a larger community who would be raising support for their canoe team.
Excursion model. In this model each paddler would be raising sponsorship money for their participation in a trip. Trips can range from 1/2 day to 3 or more days. Shorter trips may be paddling a river or lake and ending up at a special destination, such as a restaurant or park. Longer trips are usually run in an area of interest, such as on a scenic river or into a wilderness area.
Is this Fund Raising or Team Building?
Two things will unite people - a shared experience and money. A Paddle Challenge involves both. It is taking a team building activity and using it to generate donations to a cause.
Wild Creek Adventures is a team building company and they help to create the team building experience. WCA then helps a nonprofit cause to conduct an event where the proceeds will go to benefit the nonprofit cause.
What are the costs involved?
The big canoes can be rented from Wild Creek Trading Company, usually for around $1,500 for three canoes for an event.
After the canoes are rented, the income generated by the teams will all go to the nonprofit organizations designated by the organizer.
Some additional expenses may include permits and use fees, awards, and advertising.
How Much Can You Expect to Raise?
In a race model it is a simple matter of multiplying the number of teams entered by the entry fee. The suggested entry fee is slightly higher than the amount charged in your area for corporate for golf events. We suggest you try for at least 20 teams, but an event could handle 100+ teams in a two day event. So it could range from $10,000 to $75,000.
In an excursion model, it is determined by the average amount a paddler is able to raise in sponsorship. Most paddlers can raise $500 and some can raise as much as $5,000. Much depends on how passionate the paddler is for the cause and the worthiness of the cause. A full field of 36 paddlers could raise from $18,000 to over $100,000.