Individual fundraisers are the basic building blocks of athletic fundraising events, but recruiting teams multiplies your fundraising by a huge factor.
Teams are driven by individuals — captains with a passion for your mission are the “gas” of any event fundraising effort.
As an athletic fundraising event organizer, it is essential to be thinking ahead — in addition to supporting your current captains you must be building a pipeline of future leaders.
If your event is “community” based identify participants who can step up to the next level of involvement. Captains can be found among participants who’ve been on a team for at least two years.
If your event is “Company” based, each department head should be targeted for team captain and each year, the next person in the structure should be asked to step up to the team captain level.
Once you’ve identified potential captains you must steward these relationships by continually engaging them in new ways: asking, following up and thanking.
Once you’ve identified and engaged your potential captains, you must actually recruit them. Try this process:
Create volunteer team captain job descriptions. Be fair and honest about time and the work load. Be clear about your event’s goals and mission.
Call the prospective team captains using a well-versed and competently enthusiastic staffer or volunteer. Ask them to continue to donate and/or participate… and become the team captain.
Provide them with their team captain volunteer job description.
Follow up, follow up, follow up with each one.
Moving people up from donor to participant to captain pays huge dividends. As they become more involved, they will in turn reach back out to their family, friends and colleagues, who in turn are the next level of new recruits for your effort.
As in all fundraising, stewardship is not about the moment in which it occurs: stewardship is about the future. Specifically, next year’s event. If a team captain feels the sincere thanks, the joy of supporting your mission and is recognized with dignity, next year’s efforts will be cut in half.