Are you “Walk Coordinator” Material?December 2, 2010
Has the thought of being a Promise Walk Coordinator ever crossed your mind? Did you think about it and wonder…could I do that? What’s it take? Have a seat, put up your feet and curl up with our blog for the scoop and low-down on what we do!
A Walk Coordinator is a little like a party planner…if you’ve put on a birthday party or organized a wedding you are likely qualified. The smaller the walk, the less time it takes and how big you make it is only dependent on how big you can dream, how much effort you put in and what help you can recruit.
There are five main components of the Walk Coordinator’s job: Walk Logistics, Sponsorships, Registration, Advertising/Public Relations and Finance.
Here’s where you get comfy with your local government officials. As a Walk Coordinator, your first responsibility will be finding a location. This can be a park, a school, any outdoor area that will accommodate your size group, have parking, restrooms and fit your budget will do. You’ll then need to determine what, if any, permits are required and arrange to satisfy those with your city or local government. Requirements vary greatly city to city.
Additionally, you will need to arrange for tables, chairs, pop-up tents if you want them and all your “day-of materials”. You’ll also need to plan the day…will you have speakers, a moment of silence, a silent auction, what will your walk route be? These things are all up to you and your committee—even if that committee is just you and your sister!
A Walk Coordinator is also responsible for trying to gather sponsorships from local businesses. This isn’t required, but definitely contributes to the overall success of the walk, both in the dollars it raises and the potential to reach additional people if that business puts together a walk team or in some way involves their employees. Some companies hold bake sales, match employee contributions or give incentives for their staff to participate in the walk. Each and every person that learns of preeclampsia and our cause brings us one step closer to our mission as a Foundation.
Aside from making sure you check in all walkers on Walk Day and handing out their t-shirts, the more people you have at your walk, the more impact you’ll make. Walk Coordinators drive registration with Facebook posts, word of mouth to family and friends, e-mails, forum postings, contacting local doctors and midwife groups and with…
The Foundation provides press release templates for all coordinators to use to send out to local media to generate news articles and awareness. You just need to look up those contacts and send them out, then follow up. This is easy-peasy in some cities while others (many of the larger ones) struggle for media attention. Whatever you are able to get is wonderful!
You’ll also talk with your city officials again and request a Proclamation declaring May as Preeclampsia Awareness Month. Copies of these proclamations will be sent on to the Foundation and they are helpful in gaining national attention. Again, the Foundation will give you a template for your city and/or state to follow.
Lastly, the money! You will be responsible for generating enough funds to cover your costs and hopefully a decent amount extra. You will have to keep track of all donations, sponsorships and registration fees, enter them into our Promise Walk site and then tally it all up once your walk is over.
It helps if you start out with a budget and a plan but you definitely don’t need any experience beyond handling your own finances to tackle this one.
So…roughly…that’s it! Think you have it in you? I promise you, you’ll be standing there on Walk Day, you’ll take a moment to look around and you’ll realize you did it! You made it happen and all these people are there because you said yes! People donated and are aware of preeclampsia because you raised your hand and said…”I think I can do this…”
We have a national Promise Walk team headed by Becky Sloan and a whole community of Walk Coordinators that will be there with you each step of the way to cheer you on, help you out and listen to you vent as you go through the process. Feel free to e-mail Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re ready to join us. I know you can…