1. Ask businesses to sponsor your team.
How? Approach businesses, find out who the contact for charitable giving is, and let that person know why you're raising money. Not only are you raising money that goes to the local Down syndrome organization, but as a team captain, you'll get to earn the incentives given by GRADSA. Let them know that these incentives will allow you to get to go to the National Down syndrome conference which will allow you to connect with professionals and other families on a national level and will allow you to be educated on how to advocate for your loved one with Down syndrome, as well as to teach them how to self-advocate. The sponsors will be able to earn incentives as well! The sponsor incentives page will be posted on the DS Connex webpage for you to print and give to them. They'll see the different sponsorship levels, will be able to complete the form, will return to you as the team captain, and you'll mail the form, with their payment, to GRADSA. Let them know you both will benefit from their sponsorship, and make sure you let them know we want them to join us at Buddy Walk! We want all sponsors to see what GRADSA represents, and what better way than to walk with us?!
**Make sure you've mailed all monies to GRADSA, PO Box 2031 Owensboro, KY 42302 AND have gotten a confirmation email saying the donation has been received before applying the donation to your team page on the DS Connex website. This allows us to make sure the amounts posted correspond with what's been received!
2. Post your team page on your social media
Don't only ask for team donations, ask people to join your team and Walk. This will allow people to feel involved and will expand your team. Make sure you get the phone numbers and email addresses of all team members and contact them bi-weekly to ask them if they've had any luck in asking for team donations and ask them to post your team page on their social media to get donations as well as more walkers. Make it your team's goal to have the most walkers at Buddy Walk. Plan a day of celebration for your team, and feel free to bring party supplies and make it a party day for your team!! Buddy Walk IS a day of celebration, so make a party out of it!! Bring your coolers, tents, party hats, flags, banners, balloons, anything you can think of to celebrate in a family "appropriate" way!! Let's make this a day that everyone wants to be a part of! Stay in contact with your teams to plan ways to celebrate. Make it a day you all can get excited about! Pass this info on to all your team members as they join, so they can learn how to raise money for your team, as well!
3. Make a phone call to your child's school and ask them to get involved
Ask them to join your team and get as many walkers as possible AND let them know this will involve you and your child going to the National Down syndrome conference to be educated about all things related to Down syndrome. Make sure they know it's a cause to join!! Last year, different schools participated in a change challenge and collected coins for Buddy Walk. Once they agree, a GRADSA representative will drop of a bucket for coin collection and will pickup the bucket and coins the week before the Walk, which is scheduled for October 23, 2021! You could ask them to collect coins for your team, and make sure they know 100% of the money will go to GRADSA, but your team will earn incentives based on the amount earned. They can contact GRADSA and/ or check out the organization's Facebook page for any questions. Don't take "no" for an answer simply because it's such an amazing cause, we know some of them will want to be involved, so keep trying until you find someone willing to help!! Always be polite!! :)
4. Contact local colleges and ask different groups to join your team
You can find information about the different departments on each college's website, so utilize that information to email or call (or both!) the department heads of departments that would have an interest in the Down syndrome cause (such as speech pathology, different therapies, education, biology, etc.) and ask them to join your team. Don't ask them to donate upon first contacting them. Let them know you want walkers to join your team at the Buddy Walk and to help you advocate for Down syndrome. Let your team know you want team members to share your team page on their social media to raise awareness and to invite their friends and family to Walk. Once they've joined your team, you can discuss raising money and let them know why that's important. Your approach is super important! Often asking for money will "turn off" the people your speaking with. Once they understand the cause, how it affects them, and how they can get involved in making a difference, they'll be more open to discussing raising money or donating.
**Make sure you let everyone know, it's not all about raising money!! Having people join us at Buddy Walk is just as important!!
**Remember, ask your team to join you in making Buddy Walk a party for your team!! It's NOT all about GRADSA that day, it's about the ones who attend!! Make it a day full of memories! Make it YOUR team's day!!
Tiffany Thrash - Executive Director
Supporting families, promoting community involvement and encouraging a lifetime of opportunities for people with Down syndrome.