The cost of running a Mood Walks program will vary based on organizational needs and resources. On average, groups have been able to successfully start a program with $500 to $1000. Some funding is often needed to cover costs of transportation, food, or other materials associated with participation.
Program contributions can come from your agency budget, from cash donations or corporate sponsors, from grants, or from in-kind contributions such as donated goods, commodities, services (e.g., volunteer hours), equipment, or meeting space.
Mood Walks group leaders should track their budget related to the group, as well as the value of in-kind contributions. Keeping a record of in-kind contributions is just as important as tracking cash expenditures, as it helps to show the “real” total cost of running a program.
Calculating the Value of In-Kind Contributions: Examples
- A local sporting goods store donates T-shirts and water bottles to your group. The cost is the estimated total cash value of the donation.
- Your local conservation area waives entry fees for your group, or provides a training space for your Safe Hiker training free of charge. The cost is the estimated cash value of entry or rental fees.
- Volunteers pre-walk a hike for your group. Volunteer hours are calculated at minimum wage ($11/hour) unless acting in their professional capacity, which is calculated at a fair market value. The attributed cost is the total cash value of their time.
- A permanent staff member (other than one of the group’s designated leaders) provides a portion of their time to the project. This person receives a salary equivalent to $15/hour. The cost is the total cash value of their time.
Please see the Appendices section for an Expense Tracking Form and usage instructions.