Fundraising Ideas from Walk Team Captains

Author: Emily Denholm, ds-connex team member

Team Captains Host Team Fundraisers While it is only the third week of January, we have already begun to hear rumblings of Down syndrome walk teams either starting to plan their fundraising or beginning their first mini fundraiser in preparation for walk season. It might be winter now, but summer and soon fall will be here before we know it!

Many walk teams and team captains have the best intentions to host a team fundraiser. The question usually becomes, “What kind of fundraiser do I have?” As part of our wrap up of the 2015 walk season, we asked team captains to share with us how they fundraised for their local Down syndrome walk.

We’ve compiled an “Idea List” from the team captains’ responses. As you will see, the sky is the limit when it comes to fundraising:

  • Silent auction at place of employment
  • Spaghetti (or other dish) dinner
  • Team t-shirt sale
  • Dine to Donate Night (Chipotle, Texas Roadhouse, Applebee’s, etc.)
  • Company-wide casual day in exchange for donations
  • 2-hour flash fundraiser at Dove Chocolate Discoveries
  • Online Facebook Auction (asked for increasing increments of donations: $10, $20, etc.)
  • Bake Sale
  • Beer Bust & Silent Auction Event ($10 for a cup and unlimited beer for a certain time frame)
  • Stella & Dot online jewelry party
  • Spirit Day at an ice cream shop
  • Salsa showdown (people pay to enter & pay to vote)
  • Down syndrome awareness bracelets sale
  • Golf Outing
  • A tattoo fundraiser ($40 donation for an $80 tattoo, where the donation is split 50/50 between the walk team and the tattoo artist)
  • Cornhole for Down syndrome
  • Lemonade stand (promoted social media)
  • Kickball tournament
  • Wine tasting night with a silent auction

These team captains came up with a creative list of ideas that helped them raise crucial funds for their walk team. There are also so many additional ideas that have yet to be added to the list. Coming up with the fundraising idea that’s right for you and your network is key.

Jen Franklin Kearns, captain of Team Alex for the Columbus Buddy Walk®, shares this advice on starting a team fundraiser. “In my almost 12 years of being a Buddy Walk® team captain, I’ve learned that it’s very important to try out different ideas. What works for one team may not work for yours, and that’s ok! Also, what works for your team one year may not go well the next year. Being flexible and willing to step out of your comfort zone, all in the name of fundraising, is important when you are brainstorming ideas.”

We cannot wait to see the great walk team fundraisers that take place this year! Stay tuned to our blog for details on our Summer of Fun-draising contest later this year, where you can submit your team fundraisers for the chance to win a prize.

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