Walking and biking events may be a good fit for businesses and employers because they have a positive, healthy message and reach a relatively large number of families.
Here are places you might solicit for sponsorships or support and what they might contribute:
Grocery Store, Coffee Shop or Bakery
- Refreshments for students and parents when they arrive at school
Office Supply Store
- Paper and/or photocopies for fliers and banners
- School supplies for children's prizes (pencils, erasers, etc.)
- Publicity for an event by posting a flier in their shop
- Volunteers to help lead walking and biking groups on the day of the event
Sporting Goods, Outdoor or Recreation Store
- Prizes such as sneakers, book bags, hats and reflective materials
- Gear for volunteers and crossing guards such as reflective materials
Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions Clubs or Other Community Service Groups
- Volunteer crossing guards or group leaders
- Hosts of a reception at school
- Involve student leadership groups in the events. Student safety patrols, student government/council, Key Club, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are all great resources for your event. Give them a job such as helping crossing guards assist students across the streets closest to the school. They can serve as the leaders in a bike train (behind an adult leader). Peer leadership goes a long way in setting positive examples for fellow students. Look for contacts in the state and local public health departments who promote physical activity among children.
- Contact city or town planners to see what’s underway in your community to promote walking and bicycling.
- Invite high school or college athletes or service groups to join walking and biking parades. See if the high school has service projects that might fit with the event.
For detailed information on different steps of community mobilization and working with groups, explore the Community Tool Box.
- Acknowledge local businesses or sponsors who contribute. Thank them publicly in a press release, in keynote talks on the day of the event and in media coverage. A personal note following the event is a nice touch as well.
- Consider sending your partners a certificate of participation. You may want to award the business with the certificate on the day of the event.
- Send your partners photos from the event along with the thank you note for a more elaborate show of gratitude.