Fundraising

tips
Use this checklist to ensure that you have completed all of the steps necessary to have a successful walk/run team.
1) Register as a Team Leader online at www.abilis.us/walkrun 2) Set a fundraising goal and an individual participant goal for your team members.
  • Remember to set optimistic, but achievable goals.
  • Set goals that work for you and your team.
  • Please know that we appreciate and applaud any amount raised and any team size.
3) Encourage your team members to register online and activate their fundraising pages.
  • Your team will receive credit for any donations raised by registered team members.
4) Create an email campaign to encourage participation and donations. We’ve learned that it takes multiple emails (at least three over a period of weeks) to remind friends and family to show their support.
  • Remember to include the reason why you support Abilis!
  • Highlight your team’s progress towards its financial goal through regular email updates.
5) Involve your company/employer:
  • Encourage your company to become a sponsor and/or form a corporate team.
  • Check to see if your company has a matching gift program.
6) Show some flair!
  • Create team T-shirts, buttons or a banner to increase your visibility, generate team spirit, and potentially win an Abilis creativity award!
7) Help us build awareness of the 16th annual Walk/Run for Abilis by sharing/posting on social media, you can even link to your Walk/Run fundraising page!
Follow our simple tips for success:

1) Be creative

2) Stand out

3) Tell your story

Team T-shirts & Costumes

Team T-shirts, Costumes & Crazy Hats!
Team T-shirts, costumes and crazy hats are all great ways to help build excitement and comradery in the weeks leading up to the 16th annual Walk/Run for Abilis! Show your team spirit by sharing a preview of what your team will be wearing on social media. Please include the hashtags, such as #Abilis and #WalkRunForAbilis.

Matching Gifts
Many businesses have established Matching Gift programs to encourage charitable giving by their employees. Programs vary from business to business, but they generally match the employee’s donation dollar for dollar. To determine if your business has such a program, ask your Human Resources Department.

If your company does have a Matching Gift program, obtain copies of the necessary form. Read the form carefully and be sure to fill it out completely. Most forms are divided into two parts: a section for the donor/sponsor to complete and a section for the benefiting organization (Abilis) to fill out.

Mail a copy of your Matching Gift form and your check (or email donation receipt) to:

Jennifer Flatow
Director of Development
Abilis, Inc.
50 Glenville Street
Greenwich, CT 06831

Be sure to tell your team members about Matching Gifts – perhaps their employers have a program, too!

The Walk/Run for Abilis is a 5K run or a one-mile accessible walk that is designed for individuals of all ages and abilities and takes place at Tod’s Point in Old Greenwich.

Join the event by clicking on any register button on www.abilis.us/walkrun

Adult runners = $40, Child runners = $20 (ages 11-17), and children under 11 are free. There is no fee to walk, but donations are appreciated. This year the funds raised from the 16th annual Walk/Run for Abilis will support new initiatives within Abilis that will support the over 800 individuals with special needs and their families from birth through their lifespan within lower Fairfield County.
Tell everyone about it! Invite your classmates, colleagues, family, and friends to join you! Form a team, challenge a friend to see who has a better time, or just make a donation. Every dollar raised directly supports Abilis, and it’s a great way to promote an organization means so much to you. Share your personal fundraising page with your circle and ask them to join you, or make a contribution to support Abilis and help you reach your personal goal. This year the funds raised from the 16th annual Walk/Run for Abilis will support new initiatives within Abilis that will support the over 800 individuals with special needs and their families from birth through their lifespan within lower Fairfield County.

The short answer is – everyone. The fundraising research shows that the number one reason for people not donating is that they weren’t asked to.

That said, there are things you can do to attract people to sponsor you. Adding a picture to your fundraising page, telling potential donors why this cause is so personal to you, sharing your fundraising page on social media, email, and chat groups.

Last, if your employer has a gift matching program, check with your human resources department to find out how to increase your support for Abilis.

Use emails and social media to increase awareness and participation.

Supporters who write and send multiple emails – ideally 3 or more – to friends, colleagues, and family members raise more money. Effective emails include a personal story that explains why you are participating in the Virtual Walk/Run for Abilis, a request for financial support for Abilis, and a reminder that donations of any amount will make a difference!

Email writing is an effective fundraising technique because it delivers on two basic fundraising principles:

  • People give to people they know
  • People don’t give unless they are asked

Email writing is not reserved for parents and siblings of those with special needs. Any member of your team can write an email telling why he or she is involved. As a Team Leader, you should encourage each and every one of your team members to reach out to their network of family and friends for additional support.

Email writing is an effective fundraising technique because it delivers on two basic fundraising principles:

• People give to people they know

• People don’t give unless they are asked

Who Should Write Emails? Everyone!

Email writing is not reserved for parents and siblings of those with special needs. Any member of your team can write an email telling why he or she is involved with Abilis. As a Team Leader, you should encourage each and every one of your team members to reach out to their network of family and friends for additional support.

[Sample Email]
Dear Friends and Family,
On Sunday, October 17th, I will be participating in the 16thannual Walk/Run for Abilis and am excited to share that the Walk/Run is returning to an in-person event at Tod’s Point in Old Greenwich.

Abilis is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Greenwich that has been a leader serving the special needs community, this year Abilis is celebrating their 70th anniversary! We are inviting our family, friends and neighbors to join our team, and make a plan to join us on October 17th.

I am proud of the work that Abilis does because ___________________. Please visit my page at ____include your page link_________ and consider making a donation to this important local organization and help me reach my goal.

A donation of any amount will be appreciated and will go a long way. The funds raised from the 16th annual Walk/Run for Abilis will support new initiatives within Abilis that will support the over 800 individuals with special needs and their families from birth through their lifespan within lower Fairfield County.

Thank you very much for your support and please consider joining me on October 17th. For more information, please visit www.abilis.us/walkrun

Social Media
You can build awareness for and enhance your fundraising efforts by posting a message and a picture on your Facebook page with a link to your Walk/Run webpage. Please include the hashtags, such as #Abilis and #WalkRunForAbilis.