Wheeling Walks Training Manual

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Chapter 1:
Mass Media Public Health Campaign:
Securing Funding
Evaluating the Campaign
Campaign Staffing and Job Descriptions

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Securing Funding

The simplicity and universality of walking is a double-edged sword.  Because it is so simple to do and most everyone can do it, you may have a hard time convincing a funding organization or government official of the importance of walking.  This is why it is important to identify and gather information about the health status and behaviors in your community, especially focusing on overweight and obesity, which seem to be more emotional issues than other health conditions.   Your state and county Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) information about physical activity and obesity will help you explain why a walking campaign is needed in your community.

Funding Sources

There are several funding options available for health promotion programs.  Private foundations, local businesses, hospitals, HMOs, insurance companies, and community organizations are good sources of funds for new programs.  It is important to network with community leaders to learn about the funding sources available in your community.  As with many community programs, you may need to secure funding from more than one source.  In addition, do not overlook the value of in-kind contributions in the form of labor, materials, and technical assistance. 

Because the WHEELING WALKS Campaign was an intense, multimedia campaign that developed and communicated the message to 418,000 people, a large amount of funding was required.  Our funding sources were:

  • Private foundations  (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
  • Community foundations  (Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation)
  • Corporate foundations  (WesBanco, Wheeling Hospital, Ohio Valley Medical Center)
  • Local, State, Federal Government grants (Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, WV Bureau for Public Health)

Writing the Proposal

Before requesting funds, be sure your walking program meets the criteria of the funding source.  Do your research.  Each funding source has a specific set of criteria that must be met in order to receive their funding. 

Once you generate a list of funding sources whose requirements you and the campaign meet, prepare the appropriate information for the funding request.  Most funding sources require you to submit a proposal.  The proposal criteria are usually quite specific.   Be sure to follow the directions exactly as written.  Provide the information that is requested and meet the deadline. 

In addition, look to the local colleges and universities in your community for assistance.  Academicians have a research, service, and education commitment.  A community walking campaign may match well with their professional commitments. 

Note:  A copy of the WHEELING WALKS Grant Proposal to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is available.

Evaluating the Campaign

To measure the impact of your efforts, you should carefully evaluate your overall campaign, as well as the individual campaign programs.  The evaluation should help you determine the strengths, weaknesses, and overall effectiveness of the campaign.  In addition, the evaluation results can be used to help elicit support for the campaign, as well as future health-promotion programs. 

The WHEELING WALKS Campaign used a random digit dial a telephone survey questionnaire.  

Telephone survey questionnaire:  A telephone survey questionnaire was used to measure physical activity and walking habits in a random sample of 1,500 households.  (750 in the intervention community of Wheeling, WV and 750 in the comparison community of Parkersburg, WV.)  (The Baseline and Post-Intervention Telephone Questionnaires are available.)

The households were randomly selected.  We interviewed the first available adult, age 50-65.  The survey was administered to this individual on four different occasions?baseline, immediately post-, six months post-, and twelve months post-campaign. 

Note:  For more details on the methods of evaluation and the tests used for data analysis, please refer to the Evaluation section of the grant proposal located here.

Earned Media:  In addition to the above methods, the amount of earned media generated by the campaign was also used for evaluation.  Earned media refers to the number of free news programs, interviews, print stories, etc., generated by the campaign.

Campaign Staffing and Job Descriptions

 Job Descriptions are included in this Chapter?s Appendix for:

Local Program Coordinator (Appendix 1A)

Local Program Facilitator (assistant to Local Program Coordinator) (Appendix 1B)

Also needed:

Media Developers / Ad Buyers

Special guests for media events

In addition, if managing a grant and/or conducting research (evaluating the project) you will likely need:

   Principal Investigator/Project Director

   Bookkeeper

   Comparison Community Coordinator

   Data Analyst

 

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