Buddy Walk Team Captain Guide

Being a Team Captain

Team Captains play a key role in the success of Maine Down Syndrome Network’s Annual Buddy Walk.  You are the personal face of the walk, sharing your stories, increasing awareness of Down syndrome in our communities and educating others about MDSN.

You also raise vital funds for our organization.  MDSN receives no state or federal funding for it’s work.  The funds you and your team raise enable us to continue our mission of providing support, education and advocacy to Mainer’s with Down syndrome, their families and their communities.

A Team Captain:

  • is the leader of a Buddy Walk team
  • recruits family, friends, and colleagues to join their team
  • builds excitement and commitment
  • maximizes the fundraising potential of all team walkers
  • provides inspiration and motivation
  • recognizes and acknowledges all efforts made by the team

Your leadership is invaluable to MDSN, and your dedication and hard work are greatly appreciated.

Form your team by visiting here:  http://www.firstgiving.com/dsmaine/2015-buddy-walk

Build and Motivate Your Team

Whether it’s with family, friends, colleagues, or members of other organizations you belong to, building a team can really boost camaraderie and morale.  As a team captain, it’s important to find ways to build excitement and commitment with team members.

A few ways to do this:

  • Host a kickoff party
  • Email people weekly with a fundraising tip, inspirational quote or story, etc.
  • Make event posters for bulletin boards, doors, waiting rooms
  • Post sponsor and walk sheets in high traffic areas at work, where colleagues can make a pledge or join your team
  • Create friendly competition between different departments or family members

Tips for Achieving Your Fundraising Goals:

  • Start now!  There is no such thing as too early!
  • Ask people who are likely to support you.  Past supporters are the best and easiest people to start with.
  • Make it easy to donate.  Fully utilize your personal fundraising page and add the link to your email signature and social networking profiles.
  • Personalize your materials as much as possible.  Although it can take extra time, it makes a big difference and will pay off in the end.
  • Use multiple ways to reach out to people.  Online is the most popular, especially social media sites like Facebook, but don’t forget about letters, emails, posters, and personal phone calls.  Follow up is important.
  • Specify your ask.  People like options, so come up with three levels of giving and add an “other”category (for example $100, $50, $25, other) for people to choose from.
  • Tell your story.  Talk about why you participate in the Buddy Walk, or what MDSN means to you and your family.  Your personal experience is what will inspire and gain support
  • Thank your supporters and update them on your progress, as well as how successful the event was.  This can be done through personal cards, letters, email blasts, etc.

Fundraising Ideas: (Don’t forget to submit a 3rd Party Fundraiser form if needed!)

  • Hold a yard sale, bake sale, car wash, etc.
  • Get your company or your child’s school involved in fundraising
  • Check with your employer and ask people if their company will match their donation.  Many companies have matching gift programs.
  • Bring a pledge/sponsor sheet everywhere you go.
Need a pledge sheet?
 Pledge Form – Augusta Walk
 Pledge Form – Portland Walk
Want to sponsor the Buddy Walk, or help us to get sponsors?  Please reach out to info@dsmaine.org.