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!
  • Communicate with team members about outfits and plans for meeting up at the Walk/Run event on October 20th.
7) Help us build awareness of the Walk/Run for Abilis by sharing/posting on social media, you can even link to your Walk/Run fundraising page!
  • Can you add Facebook button?
  • Can you add Instagram button?
  • Include the hashtags: #Abilis and #WalkRunForAbilis
Whether you make team T-shirts, buttons or a banner, follow our simple tips for success:

1) Be creative

2) Stand out

3) Tell your story

Team T-shirts

While each walker/runner will receive an Abilis t-shirt at event registration, team t-shirts are a great way to help build excitement and comradery in the weeks leading up to the Walk/Run for Abilis and unite a team on walk/run day. Many family teams incorporate their team name, a photo of their inspiration, or a catchy phrase. Company teams typically integrate their company logo with creative artwork. You can be as creative as you like!

Team t-shirts don’t need to be expensive. Some of the most creative shirts have included hand painted or iron-on decals. A t-shirt supplier can help you design a shirt and print them within one to two weeks. Team t-shirts generally cost about $10, depending on color, quality and quantity. To defray the costs, some Team Leaders have their employer, or another local business, pay for the cost of the shirts in return for the company being listed on the shirt as a team sponsor. Even having team members just wear the same colors on the event day can help create team spirit.

Team Buttons and Team Banners

Buttons and banners are great ways to unify your team in addition to, or instead of, team t-shirts. Buttons with the name of your team and/or a photo of your inspiration are great to hand out to your team members. Some teams have had banners or signs made to carry along the Walk/Run for Abilis route.

Banners and signs are great because they can be held up high and your team members can find you in the crowd before the event starts. For each team that is registered 10 days in advance of the Walk/Run (end of business October 10th) we will provide you with a team sign at check-in.

The Team Leader should be the person who is willing to organize and motivate the group in the weeks leading up to the Walk/Run for Abilis.

Yes, a team can have multiple Leaders. However, only one person can be identified as the Team Leader on the website. We recommend one team leader who can represent the team online and spearhead online team communications.

No, there is no minimum size for a team. They can be as small as 2 walkers or as large as 200 walkers.

Many teams use their family name (The Smith Family Team) or their business name (XYZ Company). Others are more creative:  For the Love of Kevin, Jake & Us Together, Trying for Brian, Devoted to Dawn. Others simply name the team after the individual for whom they are walking: Team Andrew or Allison’s Army. Be creative and have fun with your team name!

Individual walkers and runners are welcome. It is always fun to come as part of a team, but many walkers and runners come as individuals. The event is a community-wide celebration of inclusion and diversity, so the more participants the better!

The majority of the funds are raised through online donations to teams and individuals and local business sponsorships. The race fees ($40 for adults, $20 for children) helps cover the costs for supplies and race support, such as timing technology. There is no required fee for walkers, although we greatly appreciate donations. Donations can be made in advance of the walk/run by clicking HERE or in person on walk/run day!

Although Abilis receives funding from federal and state agencies in the form of fees for services, many services – particularly those that enhance the quality of life for our participants, such as social and recreational activities – are not reimbursed by government agencies. For our Birth to Three Early Intervention program, Abilis is only reimbursed for direct service time, not service coordination time, cancellations, parent support and advocacy, training for community support agencies, and therapist travel time to homes and community environments. Overall, there have been reductions in state reimbursement rates over the past few years, despite cost increases for employee benefits, utilities, fuel, and other service related expenses. 

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 20th, I will be participating in the Walk/Run for Abilis event at Tod’s Point in Greenwich. Abilis is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Greenwich that provides vital services and supports for over 700 individuals of all ages and abilities with special needs and their families in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

I am proud of the work that Abilis does because ___________________. Please visit my page at [copy link from above] 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.

Thank you very much for your support and please consider joining me as a runner or walker on October 20th! The 5K run starts at 9:00 am and the 1-mile walk at 11:00 am. 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 or on Instagram. You can even provide a link to your Walk/Run fundraising page. Please include the hashtags, #Abilis and #WalkRunForAbilis.

At the event, we courage you to take team photos and post them on your social media accounts.