A Walk-Run-N-Roll (WRNR) is a great way to raise awareness and funds for rare neuroimmune disorders. We here at SRNA greatly rely on people like you to help us advocate for our community through our educational programming, the training of clinicians, funding research, and much more!
A Walk-Run-N-Roll is a fun event but does require planning to execute. We’ve created answers to some frequently asked questions to help you determine if organizing a WRNR is right for you. If you have additional questions after reading our FAQs, please email our Community Engagement Manager at [email protected].
When should I schedule my walk?
We recommend giving yourself as much time as possible. For the best results, allow 4-6 months for the planning process. Additionally, be aware of local events such as sporting events, other charity events (ex: 5Ks), and holidays (religious or national) that might detract people from attending.
Where should I hold my walk?
Previous events have taken place at local parks, school track and field areas, zoos, etc. We can help you locate the perfect place for your walk. Keep in mind that people coming to the event might use wheelchairs or have walking aids, so make sure there are accessible pathways, restrooms, etc.
Will SRNA help me promote the walk?
Yes! We are here to help you every step of the way. Including:
- Creating an event page on our website
- Emailing our members to announce the event
- Sharing the event on our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
Don’t forget to ask your friends and family to help too! They can get involved by sharing the event on their social media platforms, posting flyers at their work or local coffee shops, etc. SRNA will create an amazing flyer upon request. You can also reach out to local media outlets (newspaper, radio, TV) to ask for inclusion in any community calendar or even day-of coverage. Again, SRNA can help create a press release…just ask!
How do I get local businesses involved?
Our WRNR events are more successful when we receive sponsorships. We do this through our Sponsors Packet. We design a detailed trifold that includes a welcome letter, personal story and photo, and levels of participation for businesses. As organizer you are responsible for:
- Writing a welcome letter outlining why you are holding the walk — we will provide a template for you to use
- Writing a story that highlights someone affected by a rare neuroimmune disorder — this can be your story, your loved one, or someone in the community
- Including a high-quality photo of the person in the story — a minimum 2MB/300 dpi file works best, and an SRNA staff member can help you choose the right file
- Deciding sponsor levels — a sample Sponsor Packet can be seen here
Getting the Sponsor Packet in front of businesses as early as possible is key. Most businesses have a specific allotment of money each year to donate to charitable events. The sooner you can ask them to participate, the more likely they will have funds available. Larger companies can also have a longer turnaround on decisions, so be prepared to present your Sponsor Packet months in advance.
SRNA will provide you a PDF copy to email to businesses, and a print version to deliver in-person. Making a personal connection with someone often works better, so prepare an elevator pitch when meeting business owners face-to-face. Practice what you will say and be confident. It’s a good idea to read over the Sponsor Packet and know how the funds provided by the business will be used by SRNA. A SRNA staff member can help you too!
- Businesses that sponsor your WRNR receive:
- Logo placement on the back of the event shirt
- Logo placement on the event page
- Logo/name in our Annual Report
- Logo or name placement on signage at the event
- Mention in opening remarks at the event
- Mention in recap of event that prints on our blog and in our newsletter
You mentioned event shirts. How does that work?
Event shirts are a great way to create a feeling of togetherness and community. We love to see everyone* at the event in a WRNR shirt. Plus, it’s a great way to create awareness as people wear their shirts throughout the year.
SRNA likes to support local businesses, so we ask that you find a vendor^ that prints shirts in your community. We will provide the art for the shirts and will work with you and the vendor to select the color, sizes, quantity, and/or type of shirt for the event. SRNA requires a price quote for approval of all shirt orders (or any other expenditures related to the walk). Once the quote has been approved, SRNA will make payment. WRNR organizers are then required to arrange for pickup and delivery of shirts to the event.
*We want everyone who attends to receive a shirt, but registration does not guarantee a shirt in the participant’s size.
^Alternatively, we have a vendor who can print and ship shirts to you.
What kind of activities take place at a Walk-Run-N-Roll?
All kinds! We like to tailor these events to the individual organizers as much as possible. In the past, we’ve had walks at zoos, and people are able to stroll around the park looking at animals; we’ve done pet-friendly walks with animal rescue organizations involved; some walks include balloon twisters and face painters for kids (and adults!); raffles and silent auctions; wheelchair basketball demonstrations; and much more!
It’s important to note that while we call this event a Walk-Run-N-Roll, participation in any activity is completely optional/voluntary. We want to make sure everyone who attends feels comfortable and knows they aren’t required to walk or run a 5k.
You might also want to provide food and beverages. It’s a good idea to ask local businesses (coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, etc.) to donate goods or gift cards. At the 2018 Ohio Walk-Run-N-Roll, the organizers used gift cards from a grocery store to buy ingredients to make blue cupcakes! In Arizona, they had a hot dog vendor; Massachusetts had Texas Roadhouse come out and provide warm food on a cold, rainy day; and Illinois got PepsiCo to donate snacks from their subsidiary companies.
One of our walk organizers suggested asking local businesses and vendors to sign up for a table at the walk and donate a portion of their sales (or a raffle prize) to SRNA. Walk participants can shop, enter to win prizes, and support local businesses!
As mentioned before, SRNA will provide a budget (see below for budget information) for the walk for shirts, refreshments, and other costs, but all purchases much be approved beforehand. It’s important to remember that these are fundraising events, in addition to awareness events, so the more money spent reduces the amount that goes towards research, programming, etc. This is why sponsorships and in-kind donations are important to the overall success of the event.
Do I need to charge a registration fee for the event?
This is entirely up to you. You know your community better than we do. Some of our organizers choose to have a registration fee, and others choose to have the event be free. Also, the amount of the registration fee is up to you and what you think is a reasonable amount for your area. People in Los Angeles might be more willing to pay a $25 registration fee than people in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Other considerations when deciding on registration fees:
Prices for kids versus adults Do you want kids under a certain age to be free? Do you want price differences for several age ranges (16 and over, 12-15, 6-11)?
Reduced rate for early registration versus day-of registration Providing a reduced registration fee might encourage people to sign up early so you have a better idea of how many people will show up
We want as many people to attend these events as possible. If you think cost is a barrier for some people in your community to attend, then you should discuss registration with a SRNA staff member. We can help you decide if you should have no registration fee or come up with a solution for those who may not be able to afford the registration fee should you elect to have one.
Does SRNA provide a budget for expenses related to the WRNR?
Yes! Your WRNR will start with a $1000 budget. This is why it is important to get local businesses to sponsor your event. Each dollar of a sponsorship offsets the overall cost of the event and allows more of the funds raised to go towards SRNA programming!
You can get creative with sponsorships. Get a quote for the event shirts and then ask a local business to cover that cost for the right to put their name prominently on the shirt. Want to have a face painter at the event? Get a quote and present a business with the opportunity to be the sponsor for face painting. Set up a sign by the face painter that lets participants know that face painting is free due to the generous contribution of that business. You can make announcements throughout the event reminding people, too!
The point of these events are awareness and fundraising. Each dollar we save on the budget is a dollar that can fund SRNA’s Quality of Life Family Camp, James T. Lubin Fellowship, Ask the Experts podcast, and much more!