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The Fundraising Team Captain’s Checklist

Fundraising Team Captain Timeline

You’ve decided to start your own fundraising team! Maybe you are working with an organization that has abundant resources like Relay for Life, or maybe you are creating a team for a local Alzheimer’s run/walk benefit. Whatever your cause is, you will maximize your contribution if you recruit great people to work with, equip them with effective fundraising tools, and STAY ON TRACK with a team captain schedule. Here’s a timeline that can be used for any type of benefit that requires a team and someone to lead it. Download the checklist pdf, mark things off as you go, and countdown the days until you reach the big day.

  1. Create a team name and register online with the organization hosting the walk/run event. A good name can really create a strong sense of identity for team members and help in fundraising efforts. Think about a name that lends itself to a kind of logo or color that can be used on team shirts and other promotional materials. Get the ideas started with a list of creative cancer walk team names.
  2. Ask other influential people to join your team. Your closest friends might be the most enjoyable to be on a team with, but they will also have the most similar donor pool to you. Think outside the box and partner with people that are going to be able to get more diverse communities and businesses to support you. Make sure they officially register for the team as well.
  3. Attend team captain meetings. If your event is through a larger organization like Relay for Life, there are likely meetings just for team organizers that will help you with fundraising resources and keep you on track with critical dates.
  4. Hold your first team meeting and empower your group. Hold a team meeting and share stories about why you joined the team and are passionate about your cause. People are frequently asked to donate money, it’s only when they can see the heart of your team that they will be compelled to give. Set a fundraising goal for each member and let them know that you wil be checking in with them around the time of your second team meeting.
  5. Begin fundraising efforts no later than 2 months before the day of the event. Try some of our basic fundraising strategies listed below and stay tuned to our blog for a complete list of creative Relay for Life fundraising ideas.
    • Raise money at the office. Employers are maybe the single biggest fundraising opportunity for team members. We recommend that team members take an individual as well as corporate approach to fundraising at their office. This means sending out an email to coworkers or putting up a flyer in the communal kitchen about your team’s cause. (Be sensitive to not create a pressured situation for coworkers, especially for those who report to you.) The second part means asking your HR department about donation matching programs and corporate gifts.
    • Raise Money With Team Shirts. Instead of just ordering 10 t-shirts for your team, why not sell them, risk-free, to the public as another donation stream? Start a fund by using Bonfire Funds’ T-Shirt Design Wizard, set a selling price, and launch the fund. Bonfire Funds will print the shirts, ship them to each individual customer, and instantly send you the funds raised in PayPal. You can also maximize your social media presence by promoting your t-shirt fundraiser on Facebook.
    • Write Support Letters. Get a list of names and addresses from your contact book or wedding invitation list and start typing. Create a personalized letter for your team’s cause and leave room for personalization! A small handwritten note at the bottom of the letter to your friend or family creates a more authentic connection and can really increase the number of response donations you receive. Lastly, consider doing a $20 Challenge, where you encourage each recipient to give a very non-intimidating amount of money that they might even have in their pocket right then. Those who want to give more still will, but those who might have subconsciously thought that they couldn’t give an amount that would have a substantial effect will realize that every dollar truly does matter. Across your whole team, 200 people giving $20 will raise more money than just a few people who are able to give gifts of $100+. 
  6. Hold a 2nd team meeting half way through your fundraising period. This is a great time to check in with your team members, see where they are at with their goals, and share ideas that have worked well for certain members. This can be done virtually, through a video chat or group email, but we recommend getting everyone together in person, when possible.
  7. The final fundraising push is your “last chance” to close on fundraising leads that said they might contribute. Create a sense of urgency for donors as well as your teammates. Give a final notice to your email list, coworkers, and other contacts for gifts. Also emphasize the date your team members need to get their funds to you by. People can almost certainly contribute to your cause after the run/walk happens, but it is more effective to enforce an end date and let donors feel the effect of their gift being a part of the total amount raised that will be announced at the event.
  8. Event day has finally arrived! While there may be a few logistics for you to take care of, this is the time you get to finally sit back and enjoy the fun. Some teams choose to have an onsite-fundraising carnival game to bring in a few extra dollars, but the real hard work was done in the months leading up to now. Turn in your team’s donations and then get excited for a high-energy day!
  9. Thank your donors and your team members. In the days following the event, reflect on the significance of the cause that you supported. Being a team captain is a significant sacrifice of your time, energy, and resources. Remember that it was all worth it and communicate that same sentiment to your team members and donors that gave of their own time and money to help someone else.

From all of us here at BonFire Funds, thanks for taking a leadership role and supporting great causes. Good luck and happy funding!

Download the PDF and stay on track!.
Checklist PDF Thumbnail