The Kidney Walks have been an integral part of our fundraising world since 1996. Since that time, the Kidney Walks have grown into an almost $1 million/year extravaganza in Michigan, and have also been replicated throughout the country! The Kidney Walks are presented statewide by Meijer.
Kidney Walks are now held in the following areas, and feature some very unique family highlights:
The Grand Rapids Kidney Walk takes place on the beautiful White Pines Trail, with all fun festivities taking place in or around Fifth Third Ballpark. From a petting zoo to face painting to a fun and “get fit” warm up, there is a lot to do!
The Lakeshore Kidney Walk will be held in Pere Marquette State Park, and is one of the most beautiful Walks in the state! Walkers can enjoy live entertainment, pony rides, a kid’s area, and a scenic walk through and along sand dunes with views of Lake Michigan. Held in the close community of Muskegon, the feeling of family is all around.
The Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo is where it all started! More than 4,000 people attend this heartwarming event each year that features many children’s activity stations, multiple food and vendor areas, a raffle of “gotta have it” items, a celebration of individual family teams, dialysis teams, and corporate teams, a Champions Tent for our kidney patients, free parking and of course a chance to spend a day at the zoo.
The Southwest Michigan Kidney Walk is a scenic walk at Celery Flats, held in a beautiful historic park located a short distance from Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. Walkers can choose between a short or longer walk through the park, enjoy a yummy lunch, VIP treatment for our kidney patients, kid’s activities and much more.
The Greater Lansing Kidney Walk, locally presented by Loomis Law, will offer a scenic stroll around Hawk Island County Park. Walkers will enjoy a hot dog lunch, free parking, tons of great kids activities, VIP treatment for kidney patients, entertainment and their choice of a one or two mile walk.
The Ann Arbor Kidney Walk is especially moving for local kidney patients and their families, as proceeds benefit the Peer Mentoring Program and other important programs for people with kidney disease. With live music, multiple food vendors, a well populated Champions Tent, and several walk routes to choose from, this fall Walk is not to be missed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Raising Money through the Kidney Walks
Fundraising Has Its Rewards
Walk day has arrived. Where do I go?
Q: Do I need to raise money?
A: The Kidney Walk is a fundraiser. The money raised through the Kidney Walks directly supports the mission of the NKFM and the more than 900,000 adults in Michigan with kidney disease. With the money raised from the 2014 Kidney Walks, the NKFM was able to accomplish many goals, including the following:
• Educated thousands of school aged children about the benefits of good nutrition and physical exercise, with the goal of preventing or delaying kidney disease.
• Helped thousands of adults to live healthier lives
• Provided direct services to those living with kidney disease
• Sent kids with kidney disease to our Kids Camp
Q: Is there a minimum donation or pledge goal I must meet?
A: Each walker over the age of 2 is expected to raise at least $10 in order to participate. The exceptions are the Lakeshore Kidney Walk, Grand Rapids Kidney Walk, Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo and the Greater Lansing Kidney Walk. This minimum expectation will be applied to the total raised by each walker and will ensure that the most funds possible will go directly to the NKFM’s programs and services. Teams can raise money together to cover the minimum registration fee for all team walkers.
All Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo walkers over the age of 12 must raise $20. Walkers ages 2-12 must raise $10. This fee includes parking and zoo admission.
All Greater Lansing Kidney Walk participants over the age of 12 must raise $20. Walkers ages 2-12 must raise $10. This fee includes free parking.
Q: Can children participate in the Walk? Do they need to raise money?
A: The Kidney Walk is a family event for all ages and everyone is invited to participate. The minimum donation expectation applies to children ages 2 and above. With help from an adult they have the potential to be great fundraisers!
Q: Do I have to register?
A: We ask all walkers, regardless of age, whether walking individually or as a team, to register online prior to the Walk. This will help us in planning for the best Kidney Walk experience. When you register online, you are automatically assigned your own personal walk page in the My Walk Center, which is designed to facilitate your fundraising efforts.
Q: How do I register for the walk?
A: Register at www.kidneywalk.org.
Q: I walked last year. Do I have to sign up this year?
A: Yes, but you will not need to create a new personal page. If you have registered for the Walk in the past, you must use the same username and password. Forgot your password? Contact us. For the Grand Rapids or Lakeshore Kidney Walks contact Kasi Hebel by email - firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (616) 458-9520. For all other walks contact Maureen King by email - email@example.com or phone (734) 222-9800 ext. 219.
Q: I don’t have a computer. How can I register?
A: Call the NKFM at (734) 222-9800 and we will register you.
Q: Is there a deadline to register?
A: Online registration closes at 5:00 pm on the Wednesday prior to the Walk. Miss this deadline? You can register at the Walk site on the day of the Walk.
Note – credit card donations can be made after registration has closed. Please bring a copy of any donations made after the close of registration with you when you check in so you get credit for these donations at that time.
Teams are made up of two or more. Corporate Teams are comprised of co-workers, vendors and other company employees. Family and Friends teams can include family, friends and neighbors. Dialysis teams include patients and unit staff.
Q: How do I join/register a Team?
A: All you need is two or more walkers and a team name. The team captain must register first to establish the team and then team members may join. Register by visiting www.kidneywalk.org.
Q: How do I join a team?
A: To join a team ~
• Go to www.kidneywalk.org
• Select Michigan from the drop down menu.
• Find the walk you wish to participate in.
• Click the button on the left hand side of the page – Register - and follow the instructions.
Q: What if I have already registered as an individual and want to join a team?
A: If you have already registered, please contact us. For the Grand Rapids or Lakeshore Kidney Walks contact Kasi Hebel by email - firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (616) 458-9520. For all other walks contact Maureen King by email - email@example.com or phone (734) 222-9800 ext. 219.
Q: Are team members eligible for prizes?
A: Each team member who individually raises $100 or more will be eligible for prizes including a Kidney Walk T-shirt. Walk shirts will be available for pick-up the day of the Walk. Those raising $250 or more will be eligible for other prizes depending on the level they achieve.
Q: Can I send in pledges for the entire team?
A: Yes. If you would like each team member to receive credit for a portion of the donations, please indicate that on the Walker Donation Form (this form can be obtained by clicking on the Helpful Materials tab at the top). If the pledges are for the overall team, please indicate that on the Walker Donation Form and they will be credited to the team as a whole.
Q: How can I see who is on my team?
A: Log in to the site using your Username and Password. Go to your My Walk Center and click the “Team Progress” tab. This will allow you to view your roster and the amounts raised by your team members.
Q: How can I get a brochure and collection envelope?
A: Past walkers will receive a brochure in the mail. Call the NKFM at 800-482-1455 for a collection envelope. Team Captains will receive brochures, envelopes and posters for all their team members at the Team Captain Kick-Off.
Q: Is my information safe? Is the information of my donors safe?
A: The www.kidneywalk.org website and its provider have made every effort to protect your information. We use Veri Sign Trusted to ensure that your password, personal information, and your donors’s personal information travels securely over the Internet.
Q: Are donations tax-deductible?
A: Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Unless otherwise specified, donations of $50 or more will receive an acknowledgment letter.
Q: How do funds raised at the Kidney Walk benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan?
A: Almost 90¢ of each dollar raised benefits the Foundation’s prevention programs and patient services. Last year, the NKFM was able to directly serve more than 40,000 people in Michigan. For information on the programs and services the NKFM offers to the people of Michigan, visit the Patient Services, Communities & Families, and Kids & Teens sections of our website.
Q: Who can donate to me?
A: Anyone. Walkers can sponsor themselves. Ask friends, family and co-workers to support your efforts.
Q: How can donors support me online?
A: They can make a credit card donation online by visiting your personal page. All online donations will receive confirmation/receipt of their donation.
Q: What is a Matching Gifts program?
A: Many companies match employees’ charitable donations through a Matching Gifts Program. This is a great way to double donor’s gifts and increase your fundraising efforts. Ask your donors if their company has a matching gifts program. Please check out the Matching Gifts link for more information.
Q: Where can I get a pledge sheet?
A: Click on the Helpful Materials tab at the top. This is a great way to keep track of your donors.
Q: How can I Fundraise Online?
A: Once you register online, you can access your personal page which is located in your My Walk Center. This page is a quick and effective way to reach out to your friends and family to ask them to support your walk efforts. Customize your page with a personal message, photos or video and email. It’s a great way to offer donors the immediate opportunity to support your efforts by making a credit card donation online. On average, walkers who ask for donations by email raise eight times more than walkers who don’t use email for their fundraising efforts. The personal contacts you upload will not be accessed by Convio nor NKFM staff. It is only available for you to use as a fundraising resource.
Q: Is my personal page private or public?
A: By default, a personal page is public, which means your name will appear in the participant search list and anyone accessing the site will be able to support you. If you don’t wish to have your name on the participant search list, you will need to set your page to private and only people you personally invite will be able to support you.
Q: How can I fundraise through Facebook?
A: Go to your My Walk Center
• Go to #4 and download the Facebook App
• Log in to Facebook
• Then you can:
- Share your progress with your friends
- Ask your friends to support you
- Change your profile and cover photos
Become a fan of the NKFM on Facebook to hear the latest walk news. Please visit www.facebook.com/KidneyMI. There are also Facebook pages for each of the Kidney Walks, which can easily be accessed by searching for the name of the Walk when logged into your personal Facebook account.
Q: Are there prizes?
A: All walkers who raise $100 or more will receive a Kidney Walk T-shirt. All those raising $250 or more will receive an incentive certificate redeemable online 4-6 weeks after the Walk. For a complete list of prizes please visit www.kidneywalk.org. Walk T-shirts will be available for pick-up the day of the Walk.
Q: Who should the checks be made payable to?
A: National Kidney Foundation of Michigan or NKFM
Q: Where can donations be mailed to?
A: Grand Rapids and Lakeshore Kidney Walks should be mailed to:
National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
260 Leonard NW Suite 2
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo, SW MI Kidney Walk, Greater Lansing Kidney Walk and Ann Arbor Kidney Walk should be mailed to:
National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
1169 Oak Valley Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
When sending in donations (no cash) please include the Walker Donation form (Walker Donation Form- Ann Arbor Office & Walker Donation Form- Grand Rapids Office). Upon receipt, the NKFM will add them to your total.
Q: Do you have receipts I can provide to my donors?
A: Yes. Click on the Helpful Materials tab at the top.
Q: Can I turn in my donations prior to the day of the Walk?
A: We recommend turning in your pledges prior to the day of the Walk. This can be accomplished by:
~ Mailing donations to the NKFM. Please include the Walker Donation form with donations. You can mail them in as you receive them. It’s not necessary to send them altogether.
~ Turning in donations at one of the Bank Days held prior to the Walk. Bank Days are usually held about two weeks prior to the Walk. This will eliminate the need to check in the day of the Walk. Please visit the page of the Kidney Walk you're participating in for more information.
*Team Captains – It is recommended that you collect your team members’ donations of cash and checks and turn them in prior to the Walk. Bank Days are the ideal method for facilitating this and will eliminate the need for you and your team to check in the morning of the Walk.
• If you have pre-registered online please check in at the Pre-Registered Check-In. At that time you will receive your admission ticket (for Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo only) and your Kidney Walk T-shirt voucher (for those raising $100 or more).
Check-In Exception. The only exception would be for those who attended the Bank Days – those walkers do not need to check-in as they received their vouchers and admission ticket, if applicable, ahead of time. If you are one of these walkers please proceed to the start of the Walk to enjoy the festivities.
If you ~
• Have donations of checks and cash, please turn them in using the Kidney Walk Collection envelope. The NKFM will have a list of your online donations which we will confirm at the time you check-in.
• Did all of your fundraising online? We will confirm your online donations at the time you check-in.
• Have you not collected all of your pledges? Please turn in what you have and send in the rest after the Walk.
• Once you have checked in – enjoy the festivities and get ready to walk!
Day-Of Registration ~
• Those who did not register online or missed the registration deadline, visit the Day - Of Registration table.
• Complete the Walk registration.
• Present your donations.
• At that time you will receive your admission ticket, if applicable, and Kidney Walk T-shirt voucher (for those raising $100 or more).
• Once you have checked in – enjoy the festivities and get ready to walk.
Q: What time does check-in and the Walk begin?
A: Click on the Kidney Walks tab at the top and then visit the page for the Walk you're participating in to get the check-in and start times.
Q: What happens if it rains? Will we still walk?
A: The Kidney Walk is a rain or shine event.
Q: How long is the walk?
A: It’s approximately one mile in length and is a marked, non-competitive route. Some Kidney Walks offer a longer route as well.
Q: Are there maps of the Walk route?
A: The routes will be clearly marked with signs. In some cases, maps are available on Walk day.
Q. Are there restrooms?
A. Restrooms are located at the Start/Finish. Depending on the location, some may be available along the route.
Q. Will food and beverages be provided?
A. There will be a variety of healthy snacks and beverages.
Q. Are strollers allowed?
Q. Can I bring my dog?
A. Due to the high volume of walkers, we ask that you not bring your dog. Dogs are NOT allowed at the Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo with the exception of service dogs.
Below are some documents that will help you along the way as you raise money for the Kidney Walk. If you have any questions about these materials, please contact Kathy McGrath, Walk Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-482-1455 ext. 248.
Painting with a Twist
Please contact Kathy McGrath at email@example.com with any questions.