Step 6: Plan Your Local Program

(June to August)

Every local gathering shows the AFSP DVD, featuring survivors discussing their experiences of loss and healing. This is the heart of the ISOS Loss Day event. Many sites provide additional local programming too. It's up to you whether you would like to serve food, hold sharing and educational sessions, or include other healing activities.

People who have attended past ISOS Loss Day events have rated these activities to be the most useful in their healing process:

  • Supportive Sharing Sessions
  • Keynote Speakers (survivors comfortable discussing their loss, and/or mental health professionals)
  • Memory Boards, with pictures of attendees’ loved ones.

Learn about other 2014 ISOSL Day Ideas for Programming .


Most ISOS Loss Day gatherings cost under $100. The DVD, and the full use of our templates and fliers, is free.

Do keep in mind the following possible costs:

  • Location rental fees: Most organizers have been successful in finding donated spaces. Try to get free or reduced-cost space rather than paying for a site.
  • On-site audiovisual fees.
  • Promotion: printing or photocopying, postage.
  • Name tags.
  • Ribbons or beads to signify loss relationship.
  • Event Program: printing or photocopying.
  • Food.
  • Materials from the online AFSP Store.

If you are worried about costs, fundraising is a great option. Ask your volunteers to help.

Possible fundraising sources:

  • Ask local businesses or foundations to sponsor your event (see  2014 ISOSL Day Sponorship Toolkit ).
  • Set a registration fee or suggested donation from those who sign up or at the door.
  • Hold a fundraiser, such as a bake sale, craft sale, or garage sale to raise funds.

For more detailed information, download our 2014 ISOSL Day Organizer Manual