Walk Information Meeting
Purpose of the Walk Information Meeting
After a first year Volunteer Information Meeting, you want to shape your future
Walk Information Meetings a little differently. Now that you have one year of
Walk activity that includes an initial volunteer base, sponsors, team captains,
walkers and other Walk supporters, you can begin with this information to build
your second and following years of core volunteers.
You want to recruit and build a core group of volunteers to support your Walk in
many different ways, which may include:
-Commit to forming a Walk Team and being their first contribution
-Lead by example in developing a team, implementing their own fundraising campaign and coaching their team to do the same
-Help identify and/or recruit corporate sponsors, both cash and/or in-kind
-Lead and/or support one of the following key activities in the Walk:
o Volunteer Coordinator
o Sponsorship Campaign – cash/in-kind
o Kick-Off Luncheon
o Walk Day
o Post-Walk Celebration
-Promote Walk by recruiting Team Captains/Walkers
What Does a Walk Committee Look Like?
Ideally, you want a strong core group of individuals serving on this Committee that are willing to take on various activities leading up to Walk Day. Identifying and targeting individuals with various interests and talents can help to shape the foundation of your Walk Committee.
Because the NAMIWalks Program is timeline-driven, it may not be necessary to have regular, ongoing Walk Committee meetings – especially if you have some key leaders taking on specific areas of responsibility. However, as time nears to any of your key functions, your Committee should meet to review timeline, commitments and progress.
Developing A Walk Committee (Word)
How to Create a Core Group of Volunteers
When developing this core group of volunteers you will continue to look within
your NAMI circle of contacts, but you will also want to open the door to other
avenues of support.
Internally, within your Walk history base, the first and easiest place to look is your current and past list of individuals that have supported your Walk either by creating a team, being a walker, raising funds, or serving in some capacity in walk activities. The more you know about these supporters and their stories of why they are involved in NAMI, the greater chance you may enlist them to help you further. They may have an interest, if just asked, to serve in some capacity on your Walk Committee. Work with your National Walk Manager in reviewing your NAMIWalk history for this purpose.
What about your NAMI membership base? There are many talented people with varied interests in our membership base that may have an interest in doing one or more activities for the NAMIWalks Program. Explore your membership base to better understand these individual’s interests, who they work for, what their vocation, is, etc. Many people, if asked, would be honored to step in to share
their strengths and/or interests to support our cause.
Are there community partners or organizations that have collaborated with NAMI, whether it is the NAMIWalk or another NAMI function? Outreaching to this group or potential group of supporters can help your Walk – here are some ideas of outreach:
-Community Service Organizations: Rotary, Eagles, Shriners, etc.
-Labor Unions (NALC, SEIU, SWA, AFSME, etc.)
-Faith community leaders
-Public safety leaders (police, fire, sheriff, etc.)
-Association organizations (construction, visiting nurses, realtors, psychiatrists, social workers, etc.)
-Clubhouses and drop-in centers
-Universities (student associations)
-Local sports teams
-Community art programs/groups
-Corporate Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
Possible Sources for Volunteers for your Walk
Additional ways to enlist volunteers for your Walk Committee beyond the above, include:
-Healthcare and mental healthcare providers
-Community service clubs (men’s and women’s)
-Volunteer March, Hands On or their local equivalent for connecting volunteers looking for a cause to connect with
-Chamber of Commerce
-High school and university students – community service hours
-Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
-Department of Corrections (community service hours for criminals)
-Boy & Girl Scouts
-Special needs students
-NAMI Family-to-Family Classes
-SCORE (free small business counseling/mentoring program)
Tips for Increasing WIM Attendance
1. Send out an invitation, with RSVP information, three or four weeks prior to the date
of the meeting.
Sample Walk Information Meeting Invitation (Word)
2. Follow up by phone with those on the invitation list who have not responded. It is also a good idea to call and confirm with those who have.
3. Communicate often, in different formats (e-mail, mail, phone calls, etc.) Don’t assume that telling someone about the WALK once will put it on their radar, even if they’re interested. People are busy, juggling many things demanding their attention and time.
4. Use colorful paper for your fliers, so they don’t get lost in the shuffle. Considering using graphics, pictures, and different size fonts. Just make sure the basic information—time, date, location of the WALK—is not lost.
5. Listen to your own instincts. If you think a meeting is boring, or an announcement too unappealing to send out, that’s probably the way your audience will perceive it. Energy is infectious – good or bad….Get excited and it will spread!
6. If you don’t really understand the purpose of an information meeting or kick-off luncheon, call your National WALK Manager. They’re essential to the success of your WALK.
Keeping Track of your Volunteers
It is essential to keep track of the people you contact about the WALK, as well as those people who contact YOU. Track your sponsors, team captains, and volunteers (confirmed and potential) using spreadsheets or databases. Sample Walk Information Meeting RSVP Form (Word)
Include a meeting RSVP Form in all your mailings out about the WIM, like the one below:
Walk Information Meeting Agenda
Walk Information Meeting Agenda (First Year Walk Sites) (Word)
Walk Information Meeting Agenda and Guidelines (Returning Walk Sites) (Word)
The most important thing to do after your information meeting is:
-THANK your volunteers (try to keep your communication to one page)
Sample Walk Information Meeting Thank You Letter (Word)
-Follow up on any tasks that were assigned
-Review the timeline of the WALK
-Follow up with any of your contacts who were not able to attend
Sample Invitation Letter (Word Document)
Sample VIM RSVP form (Word Document)
Maryland VIM email (Word Document)
Iowa VIM email (Word Document)
Iowa volunteer spotlight email-1 (Word Document)
Iowa volunteer spotlight email-2 (Word Document)
Developing a Walk Committee (Word Document)
Walk Information Meeting Agenda (First Year Sites) (Word Document)
Walk Information Meeting Agenda (Returning Walks) (Word Document)
WIM Sample Thank You Letter (Word Document)