12 – 6 MONTHS:

  • Register your Buddy Walk® online at www.buddywalk.org. Once your Walk registration is received (the date and location need to be determined at this point), you will be emailed a customized license agreement for your Walk. Your Walk registration will be processed when NDSS receives your signed license agreement.
  • Contact your committee and recruit new members. Designate co-captains for each area of responsibility: publicity, registration, t-shirts, sponsorship, food, site approvals/permits, etc.
  • Select a Walk site and date and contact site for permit information


  • Contact previous sponsors to renew support and solicit new sponsors


  • Develop and print your Buddy Walk® brochure and other promotional materials. This should include registration form, pledge form, location of all activities, fundraising incentives, etc.
  • Make sure to send all artwork using the Buddy Walk® logo in for approval to buddywalkartwork@ndss.org


  • Visit businesses, schools, hospitals, etc. to encourage participation
  • Solicit/secure food and beverage, entertainment and other donations, including local elementary/middle/high school band, dance groups, cartoonists, face painters, jugglers, clowns, etc.
  • Follow-up with all potential sponsors: re-send materials from two months prior, if necessary


  • Send brochures and open phone/email line for questions about event to local parent group mailing lists, schools, houses of worship, social service agencies, community clubs, etc.
  • Invite VIPs and local media to participate in event
  • List Walk in newspaper event calendars, get mayoral proclamation
  • Solicit/secure volunteer assistance for day-of-duties from Best Buddies, fraternities and sororities, high school and college athletic teams, community and church groups, local parent groups, child-oriented businesses, etc.
  • Order shirts, hats, sweatshirts and other items for sale or distribution
  • Book photographer and create photo shot list


  • Order signs, pennants, banners and other custom signage, and make sure all sponsors receive exposure as promised
  • Order port-a-johns and other event rentals such as tents, tables, chairs, etc.


  • Continue follow-up with Buddy Walk® teams until day of event (and after event)


  • Send out thank you letters and have a post-Walk evaluation meeting, at which you should select a date for next year’s Walk, decide if your venue serves your needs or if you will need to find a new location, confirm future leadership (event co-chairs) and set a date for the first meeting for the following year (approx. 6 months later).