Getting Started

You're ready to organize and Out of the Darkness Community Walk - now let's get started!

  1. Contact your designated AFSP Field Staff member to discuss your intent to host an Out of the Darkness Walk, making sure to include the city/state in which you reside or plan to hold the walk.
     
  2. Your Field Staff contact will provide you with an 2015 Community Walk Overview , 2015 Community Walk Agreement , and a Community Walk Info Sheet . Review the overview and agreement and return the signed agreement to your Field Staff Contact. Save the Info Sheet to complete later.
     
  3. Recruit a few friends and/or family members to serve on a committee to help you with planning, outreach, and fundraising for your walk.  Provide names and contact information of your committee members to your designated AFSP Field Staff.
     
  4. Pick a location. Our walks are generally 3 to 5 miles. We recommend a park with ample parking, restrooms, and shelter—all essential to a successful walk.
     
  5. Pick a date. Our Out of the Darkness Community Walks take place on a Saturday or Sunday between the weekend after Labor Day and mid-November.
     
  6. With the help of your AFSP Field Staff contact, complete any necessary permit applications,making sure to leave all signature lines blank.
     
  7. Forward the completed application (minus signatures) to your AFSP Field Staff contact and walks@afsp.org. We will then return the signed contract, along with a certificate of insurance (if required for the permit) to you.
     
  8. Complete the Out of the Darkness Walk information sheet for your walk to be posted on the AFSP website.
     
  9. Working closely with your AFSP Field Staff contact, peruse the Out of the Darkness Walk manual for information about building committees, event logistics, your event program, securing event sponsors, ordering supplies, registration and accounting procedures, AFSP's policy on use of walk funds, and wrapping up your event for the year.

Key timelines to consider:

  • At least 3 months prior to walk: - All promotional materials, including signs & banners, should be ordered.
     
  • 5 weeks prior to walk – send your t-shirt order and all sponsor logos to your AFSP Field Staff contact.
     
  • At least 2 weeks prior to walk – review the Registration & Accounting Procedures Tutorial in the walk manual and share with any volunteers that will be helping with registration at the event.
     
  • 1 week prior to walk – make sure you have your registration supplies (automatically mailed by AFSP national and should arrive a minimum of 4 days prior to your walk), t-shirts, signs & banners, etc. If you are missing anything, please contact your AFSP Field Staff member and walks@afsp.org immediately.
     
  • Max 2 business days after walk – Drop off all day-of registration & accounting materials at your local UPS store using the UPS Express Pak and pre-paid labels provided by AFSP national in your registration & accounting supply box.
     
  • Max 2 weeks after your walk – work with your AFSP Field Staff member to send thank you email to all walkers and to devise plan to call and thank your top fundraisers and sponsors.

*You can download this checklist with key timelines to remember here:  OOTD New Walk Checklist

Now you're ready to move on to your Walk Logistics.