Recruiting team captains to join your peer-to-peer (p2p) fundraising event isn’t complicated, but it does take some planning, strategizing, and determined follow-up. The most successful campaigns always begin the team captain recruitment process with good old fashioned brainstorming. Let’s walk you through the process from start to success:

Ready, Set, Brainstorm!

First things first, gather your team and put brainstorming as the first item on your meeting agenda. Together, you’re looking to come up with a big, fat list of all of the names of all of the potential team captains who could join your p2p fundraising event this year. Everyone should come prepared to think big, brainstorm, and contribute to the list (and yes, everyone needs to be involved asking, too – more on that below). You should also expect that everyone on your event planning team will lead a team of their own – especially if it’s the first year you’re running the event. 

Now, to aid you in this exercise, print out our Team Captain Prospect Generator and think about each category of prospect (listed below). Who could you ask? Set up a shared Google Doc with these categories as headers and type in ALLLLL of the potential names you can think of.  (Pro Tip: A shared Google Doc is the best format because this way your whole team can add names in real time and update activity between meetings.) 

Who Could You Ask? 

Me | YouFriendsFamilySpouse/Partner
Board MembersCEO | MgtStaffVolunteers
Service ClubsBusinessesPoliticiansMedia

Divide & Conquer

Once you’ve got an initial list of 20, 30, or 40 names, consider who on your team is the best person to ask each of these potential captains to join your campaign. Consider who each person is, how they’re involved with your charity, how long they’ve been involved, who they know, etc. For example, we wouldn’t recommend that a new staff member ask your Board Chair to lead a team… that’s the CEO’s job. In the same shared doc that you’ve been using to generate a list of names, assign the best person for each ask.

The assigned “asker” should then go ahead and connect with their potential team captains individually (no mass emails please!!). Remember to be confident in your ask and follow-up at least every two weeks till the prospect gives an answer. 

Then, repeat the process! Every week in your event team meetings, have team captain recruitment as your #1 item of business – how are the asks going? How many captains are registered? Who else can be added to the list of prospects? Who is the best person(s) from the team to ask these new additions?

Our Top Tips 

Team captains should come from every corner of your community of supporters, so be open-minded and don’t answer for people you haven’t asked. Let them decide for themselves if they want to join your p2p fundraising event. In our experience, most people are flattered to be asked and are willing to consider it, especially if you ask personally, define their role and expectations clearly, and connect their fundraising efforts to your charity’s mission. 

Here are a few quick tips: 

  • How to ask?  Personally, by phone or zoom, zoom, zoom. Email last resort. 
  • When to ask? Now is a good time or later today – tomorrow at the latest. 
  • What to ask? Ask them to lead, recruit and fundraise for you. 

We can confidently say that if you consistently and enthusiastically work through this team captain recruitment process, you will have a successful event. It’s as easy as one-two-ask!