Fundraising

tips
Use this checklist to ensure that you have completed all of the steps necessary to have a successful Virtual 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 virtual Walk/Run for Abilis by sharing/posting on social media, you can even link to your virtual 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 and costumes are a great way to help build excitement and comradery in the weeks leading up to the VIRTUAL Walk/Run for Abilis! Since our event will be taking place virtually this year, we encourage you to show your team spirit by creating your own t-shirts and or costumes and share them with us on social media. You can also purchase an Abilis 15th Anniversary long sleeve t-shirts or neck gaiter by clicking here.

 

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
50 Glenville Street
Greenwich, CT 06831-4140

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

The virtual Walk/Run for Abilis is a 5K run or 1 Mile Walk that you and your friends and family can do anywhere, anytime, preferably on Sunday, Oct 18, 2020. Wherever you are, you can help Abilis at a time when we need your support now more than ever. This event will allow you to virtually connect with our Abilis community, get some exercise, and raise critical funds for Abilis.

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

While there is no registration fee associated with the virtual Walk/Run, we encourage those that plan to participate to make a donation.

This year the funds raised from the 15th annual Walk/Run will support new initiatives within Abilis that will support the over 700 individuals with special needs and their families from birth through their lifespan within lower Fairfield County, an area hit especially hard by COVID-19.

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 goals. The funds raised through the virtual Walk/Run will help Abilis provide essential services and supports for over 700 individuals of all ages with special needs and their families in lower Fairfield County.

The goal of our virtual Walk/Run is to come together- even though we’re apart and celebrate the 15th Anniversary of this community event, have fun and get everyone up and moving. Since the Walk/Run is virtual, you can choose to participate wherever you like!

No, this virtual event is for everyone, no matter what fitness level. Whether or not you are an avid runner or walker, you can split your walk or run over a few days or weeks in any way you feel comfortable!

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 18th, I will be participating in the Virtual Walk/Run for Abilis event. Abilis is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides services and supports for over 700 individuals of all ages with special needs and their families.

We are inviting our family, friends and neighbors to join our team, and make a plan to either join us on __________ or safely complete his/her own 5K run or one-mile {accessible} walk on Sunday October 18th. Please join us!

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.

Thank you very much for your support and please consider joining me as a virtual runner or walker on October 18th! 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 Virtual Walk/Run webpage. Please include the hashtags, such as #Abilis and #WalkRunForAbilis.