Q. What is happening with the Walk for Arthritis?

A. We are immensely grateful for the efforts and contributions of our donors, sponsors, volunteers and participants in support of the Walk for Arthritis. Over the past decade you have not only helped to build a tremendous community of compassion, encouragement and support, you have helped the Walk for Arthritis raise over $12 million for projects in support of our mission. Thank you!

After extensive deliberation and analysis, we have determined that 2019 was the final edition of the Walk for Arthritis and we will no longer be running this event. Going forward we will shift our focus to other more efficient fundraising initiatives in order to increase the impact that our supporters can make for Canadians living with arthritis.

Q. Why are you making this decision now?

A. As an organization committed to delivering impact through the donor dollars we receive, we always strive to both grow our fundraising revenues and to improve the efficiency by which those revenues are generated. This allows us to direct more of the funds we are entrusted with towards the fulfilment of our mission.

Events like the Walk for Arthritis tend to have a natural lifespan, after which their efficiency as a fundraising vehicle tapers off. After 10 years of the Walk for Arthritis and some remarkable accomplishments along the way, we feel that we have reached the point where the Walk is no longer an efficient means of generating support for the mission work of the Arthritis Society.

It’s worth noting that we are not alone in this experience this is a trend that is shared by charitable organizations across North America, as recent years have found events of this type cost increasingly more to run while producing diminishing net returns. Having reviewed the numbers with an eye to how best to fulfill our growth strategy, we determined that now was the right and necessary time to make a change to more sustainable fundraising initiatives.

Q. What does this mean for the mission activities supported by walk revenues?

A. There will be no disruption to the mission commitments we undertake on behalf of Canadians living with arthritis as a result of this decision. In the immediate term, we will draw from our reserves where necessary in order to ensure we are able to continue funding our full slate of ongoing mission activities. Going forward we are focused on developing new, more efficient ways of generating the necessary revenues to not only sustain but grow our revenues and in turn deliver a greater positive impact on the lives of Canadians with arthritis.

Q. Will the Walk for Arthritis be replaced by another fundraising activity?

A. Yes. We are currently in the process of examining alternative fundraising options, with a focus on efficiently engaging not just the arthritis community but the broader Canadian population. We still believe in the importance of bringing the arthritis community and our supporters together and we know that the generosity and kindness of Canadians is the greatest force we can bring to bear to oppose this disease, so that will remain a focus of our fundraising just in a different, more sustainable form.

Accordingly, we are currently shortlisting alternatives for new signature fundraising activities and we anticipate piloting one or more in 2020/2021, with an eye to growing successful pilots in the following years.

Q. What are you doing to communicate this news?

A. As the trusted voice for Canadians impacted by arthritis, we believe firmly in our responsibility to be transparent and accountable to the people we serve, the people who support us and the public at large. We are working to ensure that all of our stakeholders understand how much we appreciate their past support and involvement and that we remain committed to keeping them connected with the arthritis community.

We have therefore developed a comprehensive plan for communication and outreach across our channels, engaging all key stakeholders who are impacted by this decision, including updates to the Walk for Arthritis website, emails to the past three years of donors, participants and volunteers and direct outreach to strategic partners. We will continue to communicate as our fundraising strategies evolve to foster their ongoing connection to the arthritis community and provide more opportunities for meaningful impact.

Q. I really loved the Walk - how can I help ensure it continues in my community?

A. The Walk for Arthritis was a special event for many individuals, families and communities. If you are passionate about continuing that experience, we encourage you to run your own walk in support of the work of the Arthritis Society. 

Move Your Way is a fun and easy way to make a difference in the lives of people with arthritis that lets you decide how and when you want to participate. Just pick your way to move, create a fundraising page using our easy-to-use tool, and ask your friends and family to support you it’s simple as that!

How do you move? That’s up to you! Take the stairs at work for a week, go for a walk at your local park, run a marathon, do a yoga class, throw a dance party or host your own community walk. There isn’t one way to move or a specific day to do it, it’s all about staying active by doing what you love.

As a virtual, self-guided fundraiser, Move Your Way makes sure that more of the funds you raise go to what matters most supporting cutting-edge research, championing the needs of Canadians affected by arthritis, and helping to fund innovative information and support that will deliver better health outcomes for those affected.

Q. I still want to support the Arthritis Society. How can do I that?

A. While we work to create exciting new fundraising activities, you can continue to support us by making a donation, volunteering, registering for Move Your Way; our new self-guided virtual fundraiser, or Hosting Your Own Event.

Q. Is the Arthritis Society a registered charity?

A. A. Yes. The Arthritis Society's charitable number is 10807 1671 RR0003. When you donate to the Arthritis Society and the Walk for Arthritis you will receive a tax receipt. The Arthritis Society is also accredited by Imagine Canada, which means we are one of only a small number of national health charities that has been accredited for our commitment to transparency and accountability.

Q. What does the money raised by donors support?

A. Funds from our generous donors and sponsors have given the Arthritis Society the power to raise the profile of this devastating disease and to advance knowledge of the disease and explore solutions by funding best in class researchers. These funds also allow the Arthritis Society to challenge the status quo by undertaking advocacy into public policy, and to ensure our information and support programs address patient needs that are current and evidence-based.
We will continue to support these priorities through the development of alternative fundraising activities going forward.

Q. If I have any questions or have trouble registering for Move Your Way, who do I contact for assistance?

A. A. We are happy to help! Please feel free to give us a call at 1.800.321.1433 or info@arthritis.ca.

Q. May I use my username and password from previous years to register for Move Your Way or to register to host an event?

A. A. Yes, your username and password from last year can still be used. Having trouble logging in? Please contact us at 1.800.321.1433 or info@arthritis.ca.