Climb Out of the Darkness® is the world’s largest event raising awareness of postpartum depression, anxiety, PTSD, psychosis and pregnancy depression. The event was created by and benefits Postpartum Progress Inc., a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization that raises awareness and supports pregnant and new moms with these illnesses.
Women around the world participate in this grassroots event by going on a hike outside on the longest day of the year to shine a light on PPD and related illnesses. The event is open to anyone and everyone who supports our cause. Anyone can participate, as long as they register. Registration is free.
People who participate are not required to raise money, although of course Postpartum Progress encourages it because it’s the only way we can operate and expand our programs to support moms. We encourage every participant to raise $100, and those that do receive our official Climb t-shirt free.
Below, we hope, are the answers to every possible question you might have about Climb Out of the Darkness. Enjoy!
1. When is Climb Out of the Darkness 2016?
At most locations, the Climb will be held on Saturday, June 18th.
Please note: The main day of our event — the day most Climbs are held — is whichever Saturday is closest to the longest day of the year (also known as the summer solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the day with the most light, to symbolize our collective rise out of the darkness and despair. HOWEVER, If you want to hold yours on Friday or Sunday that’s fine. It’s even cool if you need to do it the following week or the previous week, or another time all together. Whenever – just let us know when your Climb is so when know when it is being held. The point is that you get out there in nature, and in the sunshine, and you honor your battle with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and help Postpartum Progress raise awareness and funding.
2. Where is the 2016 Climb being held?
There isn’t a single Climb — there are many held throughout the world. To participate in Climb Out of the Darkness™, you have several options:
- You can choose to do a Solo Climb. This means you plan to go on a Climb by yourself, or just privately with your own family or friends, and prefer not to join a larger group of women you don’t know. Just pick the spot where you plan to Climb and then when you register you’ll click “Fundraise as an individual”. Clicking that button and filling out the remaining info will get you registered for the Climb.
- You can join a Team Climb that another Warrior Mom in your area is leading. Team Climbs are open to all. To see the current list of Climbs and reach out to join one in your area, check out the 2015 map (coming soon!). Then register, and be sure to click “Join A Team” and select the city location for your Climb during registration from the drop down list.
- You can start and lead a Team Climb. If you’d like to be a Climb leader in your area and allow others to join, go for it! Team Climbs are groups of approximately 10 or more. As a Climb leader – we like to call them Sherpas! – your responsibilities will include recruiting participants to your Climb and encouraging fundraising and team spirit. Just indicate when you register that you’re creating a Team (or Group) Climb, and then name your team based on the state and city of your Climb. We’re happy to email you full instructions if you just send us an email to [email protected] Please know that everyone can participate wherever they are across the globe, but you MUST register.
- You can be a Couch Climber. If you can’t or don’t want to Climb, or hate the outdoors, or hate exercise, or hate events but still love Postpartum Progress and would like to simply support the Climb with a donation or by fundraising, you can choose to be a Couch Climber.
As this is a fundraising event, we encourage each Climber to raise $100 or more, and each person who raises $100 or more will receive a free official Climb Out of the Darkness t-shirt. However, you are not required to raise money in order to participate in a Climb, and registration is free.
If you have questions, please email [email protected]
3. Do I have to actually climb a mountain?
No! You can ride a mountain bike on a trail. You can do a nature walk. You can hike a mountain trail. You can visit a forest preserve or national park. You can walk a beach trail. You can stand outside and let the sun shine on your face. No matter what you do or how strenuous it is, we still call it your Climb.
4. Do I have to register to participate?
YES! Registration is absolutely required. We need to know how many are participating in each location so we have an idea of what kind of support to provide each Climb, who gets a t-shirt and other goodies, and more. It’s very important. Registration is free, and by registering you are not agreeing to or required to raise money, though we certainly encourage it. Registration simply lets us know that you’ll be participating in a Climb.
5. Where and when do I register?
Registration for Climb Out 2016 will open in March 2016. We use Crowdrise for our registration and fundraising platform. You can register up until the day of the event via Crowdrise, or on the day of the event at your local Climb by filling out a paper form and waiver.
6. Is Climb Out of the Darkness only in the U.S.?
NO! Wherever you are in the world, we’d love for you to join us, even if it’s not the longest day of the year where you are. In 2015 we had Climbs in the US, Canada, England, Scotland and Dubai. 2014 we had Climbs in Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the US, Switzerland, Australia. We realize that our June date is the longest day of the year only in the Northern Hemisphere, and we don’t want to offend our Southern Hemisphere friends, so if you’d rather hold your Climb in December we’ll be happy to work with you.
7. What if I have no idea where to do my Climb?
Try checking out these resources:
- National Park Service Trails – USA
- Trails.com – USA
- Trailink – USA
- Hike Canada – Canada
- United Kingdom National Trails – UK
- Irish National Trails Office – Ireland
- Scotland’s Great Trails – Scotland
- Te Araroa – New Zealand
- Walking Australia – Australia
8. What if I can’t do my own Climb or participate in another one but would still like to help?
You can be a Couch Climber! Maybe you’re busy that day, or recently broke your ankle, or are allergic to hiking … you can’t Climb but you still want to be a part of the big event. That’s okay! Join our Couch Climber Brigade – just fill out the registration form on Crowdrise as an individual Climber and help us raise money for the cause — we’d love to have your help!! — or you can pick a particular person who is Climbing and donate to help her reach her fundraising goals. You are still eligible to receive our official t-shirt if you raise $100 or more. On Climb day, we’d love you to send in your couch climbing pics as well!
9. What if I’m not currently struggling with or a survivor of perinatal mood or anxiety disorders? What if I’ve never had a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder but I care about this cause? What if I’m a dude? Can I still participate?
OF COURSE! We welcome any and all who support our cause and our organization!
10. Who is already climbing and where, and can I join them?
Here is our 2015 map so you can get an idea where Climbs have been held in the past. You can also create your own team. If you’d like to be a Climb team leader in 2016, please reach out to [email protected] We’ll start creating our 2016 map in February 2016.
11. Is my donation tax-deductible?
Your donation to Postpartum Progress Inc., a US-Based 501(c)3 charitable organization, through CrowdRise is 100% tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. You’ll automatically receive an email receipt that meets the IRS requirements for a record of your donation. If you are asked to provide a paper receipt for IRS purposes, please print out a copy of your email receipt. If you lose your receipt, email [email protected] and they’ll send you a duplicate. Be sure to include your first and last name and the email address you used to make the donation.
Postpartum Progress is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization. Our EIN tax ID number is 27-3100405. You can check us out on Guidestar here.
12. Is my donation secure? Is it safe to use my credit card on the Crowdrise platform?
CrowdRise processes donations through Network for Good and WePay. Neither WePay nor Network for Good are affiliated with CrowdRise. Both are PCI Level 1 Compliant and they offer best in class security. WePay and Network for Good use industry-leading Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. WePay, based in Palo Alto, CA processes transactions for over 250,000 merchants. Network for Good is a Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance accredited charity that meets all of the BBB standards for charity accountability. They have processed more than $500 million in donations for 50,000 charities through their giving system.
13. Is there a minimum amount of money we need to raise for Postpartum Progress to participate?
Unlike most other nonprofit walks and runs, we do not require a minimum amount of funds raised in order to participate in Climb Out of the Darkness™. We do however, have a few special things that we hope will spur you along if you raise money for this cause. Every Climber who raises $100 or more will receive (free!) our official Climb Out of the Darkness 2016 t-shirt.
Any individual Climber who raises $3,000 or more will become a member of the brand spanking new Climb Out of the Darkness Everest Club, and receive recognition on our website as well as free registration to our annual Warrior Mom™ Conference.
14. How do I raise money?
Ask 10 people for 10 bucks. Or, ask 20 people for 5 bucks. Ask local businesses. Once you register you’ll have your own special fundraising page on Crowdrise. Give friends, family, co-workers and others the link to your page and tell them to click the orange donate button to support you in your Climb.
Tell them it matters to you that pregnant and new moms can find the information and help they need. It can be as simple as sending an email to friends and family with a link to your fundraising page on Crowdrise. You can also let people know what you are doing and why on your Facebook page. You can write a blog post if you have a blog. You can ask a couple of local businesses to support your Climb. And if you need help with tools (what to say or how to say it), let us know. We can share tips to help!
15. Where does the money donated to Climb Out of the Darkness go?
Great question. It goes to Postpartum Progress, a national nonprofit that raises awareness for pregnant and new moms with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. The Climb is the primary funder of all of Postpartum Progress’ work. Funds raised provide:
- Free educational materials distributed upon request to obstetrician, therapy, psychiatry, support groups and pediatrician offices upon request
- The development of tools like the New Mom Checklist for Maternal Mental Health.
- Programs like our award-winning blog, which had more than 1.6 million pageviews in 2014, and our private support forum for struggling moms, which supports more than 2,100 mothers around the world
- Our annual Warrior Mom Conference which prepares survivors of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders to become peer advocates for struggling moms in their own communities and raise awareness
- Advocacy for better support, less stigma and increased services for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders
16. We are a local organization that supports moms. Can we use the Climb Out of the Darkness idea to fundraise for our own organization?
Climb Out of the Darkness is a registered trademark of Postpartum Progress Inc. and as such you or your organization may not use the name of the event or its likeness in order to host your own awareness or fundraising events. At the same time, we encourage local organizations to consider participating in the Climb. You can sign up to be part of what we are doing, create a team and join the movement. The Climb generates a lot of excitement, and is a great way to raise awareness of all that you do in your area for moms in addition to sharing information on the national support Postpartum Progress provides.
Please note that all Climb Out of the Darkness events require registration through out system, and funds raised must be donated to Postpartum Progress Inc. This event cannot be used to raise funds directly for other organizations. Please know that Postpartum Progress does give select grants to local nonprofit organizations in both the US and elsewhere out of funds raised by the Climb (see #17 below).
17. Does any of the money go back to local organizations?
Yes. Each year our board elects to donate a percentage of funds raised by Climbs held in selected states to local, independent, registered nonprofit organizations that provide direct services, such as support groups, or that lead community network development (building up systems of referral between OBs/pediatricians/PCPs or hospitals and reproductive psychiatry specialists). We believe it is important to support local organizations that are truly making a difference directly for moms in their communities.
In 2016, 15% of the funds raised by team Climbs in the following states or provinces will go to the following grantees, all of which will be using their grant funding to support underserved women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in their areas:
- Moms Bloom (Michigan)
- Open Arms Perinatal Services (Washington)
- Supporting Mamas (Northern California)
- Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center (Southern California)
- First Connections (Massachusetts)
- Perinatal Depression Outreach Program at Sinai (Maryland)
- Heartsounds Mother & Infant Care (Arizona)
- Postpartum Education & Support NC (North Carolina)
In the future, as our event grows, we hope to make more grants to help support more independent, local organizations that provide direct support and services to mothers, based on the feedback of Warrior Moms. If you have an organization you’d like to nominate to receive a Climb Out grant, please email us at [email protected] Please remember they must be a registered charity or nonprofit organization in their country, should be independently run (not paying dues to a larger organization or fiscally sponsored by another organization), and should provide direct services to moms locally.
18. Who should checks be made out to? Where should I mail them?
If someone wants to donate by check rather than donating through the Crowdrise platform, we welcome it. Checks should ALWAYS be made out to Postpartum Progress Inc. Our mailing address is: 4920 Atlanta Highway #316, Alpharetta, GA, 30004.
19. Is there a hashtag to use on social media like Twitter and Facebook?
Yes, if you’re social savvy, use the hashtag #ClimbOut. And be sure you follow us on Twitter at @postpartumprog and join our Facebook page at http://facebook.com/postpartumprogress. If you’re on Instagram or Pinterest, tag your Climb Out photos with #ClimbOut as well so that we can see and share them!
20. Can we create our own t-shirts or our own logos for Climb Out of the Darkness?
That’s a big no-no, and here’s why: Postpartum Progress works hard to create high quality design and communication materials that have the potential to create the biggest impact on awareness and support for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. We are committed to our high brand standards as well as protecting our intellectual property. We ask that you stick to using only official Climb Out of the Darkness merchandise and follow our graphic standards.
Nonprofit (501c3) organizations supporting maternal mental health that request and receive written approval will be allowed to raise money at their local Climb via sales of their own merchandise at their Climb (for example: t-shirts, buttons, mugs, etc.) — those sales would go directly to your organization and do not need to be processed through Climb Out of the Darkness. To request approval, email [email protected] For-profit organizations or businesses cannot promote themselves or sell items at Climbs unless they are official sponsors of a Climb. To learn more about sponsorship, visit http://postpartumprogress.org/climb-out-of-the-darkness/cotd-sponsorship/ .
21. Can I just buy the official Climb Out t-shirt without raising $100?
No. When we developed the Climb and our t-shirt program, we benchmarked all of the big walk/run events that support nonprofits. We found that raising $100 to get the official t-shirt is standard across the nonprofit community, and so that is what we settled on. While supporters are not required to raise money in order to participate in a Climb, the money raised from Climb Out of the Darkness is Postpartum Progress’ primary source of funding. Our official Climb t-shirts are special fundraising incentives – to both motivate and to thank our Climbers and supporters who raise $100 or more. Selling them for a lower price would likely generate confusion and also weaken what we are trying to achieve, which is why we do not sell them. We always encourage people who want a t-shirt to try reaching out to 10 people who might be willing to donate $10 each to support your Climb. We will also soon be opening our Warrior Mom shop, which will have basic Warrior Mom tees (not Climb tees) available for sale under $30.
22. I’m a team leader, aka Sherpa. I’m in charge of organizing or plan to organize a group Climb in my area that is open to all and will have approximately 10 or more people. What do I need to know?
Yay you! You’re the best Sherpa ever! As a Sherpa your responsibilities include recruiting participants to your Climb and encouraging fundraising and team spirit. We are putting together an information packet to send to you with lots of tools and other info to help you make it a great Climb. Also, we may have some fun and friendly team competition among group Climbs just to make things exciting, so keep a look out!
When you register, make sure to select “Create a team.” As you go through the registration process on Crowdrise and are asked to name your team, give it the name of the state and city where it’s being held. Example: California – Glendale or New York – Cold Spring/Hudson Valley. We just want to make sure team names on the registration page make it easier for women in your area to find and join you. If you named your team something fancy like “Best Warrior Moms Ever Who Can Climb Like A Boss” on Crowdrise, no one would be able to tell your Climb is being held in Houston, TX, and since they live near Houston, TX, they can join you. You can always call your team something much more fun with the actual team once you get going.
You are such an important part of making Climb Out of the Darkness a success, and we are grateful for your leadership.
23. How does my company become a sponsor of Climb Out of the Darkness?
We sure would love to have you! To learn more about our sponsorship levels, visit http://postpartumprogress.org/climb-out-of-the-darkness/cotd-sponsorship/.
Have we missed a question? Something we haven’t explained well or something you need information on. Let us know and we’ll add it here! Email us at [email protected]
Photo credits: © WavebreakmediaMicro – Fotolia.com, © RATOCA – Fotolia.com
Climb Out of the Darkness® is a registered trademark of Postpartum Progress Inc.