Our P2P fundraising events take a lot of the heavy lifting off your plate. That means you can create a heart-racing, buzz-building, donor-delighting fundraising campaign by focusing on a handful of exercises. The most important one being: team captain recruitment! 

That’s right, team captain recruitment must be your #1 priority, because team captains are the key to a successful campaign – hands down, every time. 

Get Your Recruitment Muscles Warmed Up

Team captain recruitment isn’t complicated, but it does take time and effort. You might work up a bit of a sweat, but if you’ve got the heart, we’ve got a foolproof plan. So squeeze into that spandex (yep! Spandex is cool again), do a couple of stretches, and let’s get recruiting! 

First things first, set your fundraising goal and do the math to calculate how many captains you need to reach it. You can try to recruit the 100, 200, or 500 people you need to hit your fundraising goal, or you could recruit a handful of your charity’s salt-of-the-earth supporters as team captains and let them do the recruiting, leading, and fundraising for you. Hint: the second idea is so. much. better. Team captains will be your best recruiters and most invested fundraisers, among many other awesome qualities

Plan Your Workout

What makes a great team captain? Where can you find them? How do you get them onboarded in time? 

Our game-changing recruitment strategy maps all of your charity’s contacts and relationships in concentric circles. These circles house your best potential team captains: 

Start with the core, recruiting those closest to you – those who already know and love you – and move out from there. This core consists of your board members, management team, and major donors – all the people you regularly interact with who make your awesome work come to life. 

As leaders don’t forget your friends and family too. They are your inner core fan club and most events can count on Mom, Dad, siblings and others to team up and fundraise!

Gear Up + Get Moving 

Ready to turn up the speed for real results? Let’s go!

  • Use your core! Ask each board member, management team, or major donor to be a team captain. Encourage these core captains to tap into their own varied and diverse networks to recruit a fabulous team, do some spirited fundraising, and get the word out about your charity.
    • Your Board of Directors can engage with your event in two ways: 
      • If your primary focus is on raising funds, the Board Chair can champion a super-team of board members who commit to raising a lot of money together. 
      • If you hope to build a lot of awareness through the event, the board can divide and conquer, captaining multiple teams that tap into the reach, influence, and rolodex of these key players (no, rolodexes are not cool again, sadly.)
    • Major Donors are great potential team captains. Don’t assume they are one-and-done with their last big cheque. Invite them to start a team, be on a team, and fundraise from their rich network like everyone else.
    • Look for a way to ask these folks during a face-to-face interaction – bring it up at the next board gathering, ask them to connect over coffee, and commit to discussing it at your next meeting. 
  • Add some weight! Successful campaigns need buy-in from leadership. Set the expectation that your leadership team all sign up to be enthusiastic captains. Be clear and do what it takes to secure buy-in as early as possible.
  • Practice muscle memory! Remember alllll those people who have participated and donated in the past? Invite them back and ask them to lead their own teams. They are an often untapped, but readily accessible, resource. (Hop into your WAVES account, download the last 5 years’ participant data, and reach out to anyone who raised more than $500 to see if they’d consider leading a team this year.)
  • Don’t skip leg day! Do leg work for big returns: with each interaction/meeting/pumpkin spice latte, ask: “How can I invite this person to be a team captain?” That volunteer group that shows up to paint and do odd jobs every May? Put it on their radar. That business that loves to do semi-yearly drop-offs? Let them know. Those teens who do their service hours with you? Sign them up! These interested groups will appreciate another touch point and a new way to support your work. 
  • Stretch! Once you’ve done the work of getting your inner circles on board, think bigger: what businesses in your community might want to join in? Remember, this work is important, but often doesn’t yield the same results as exploring your active base. 

Sure, this workout takes… work. Team captain recruitment needs a little time and energy but it pays off big time. Results guaranteed. 

By focusing on team captain recruitment and going all in on these exercises, you’ll be building an amazing community of individuals who are engaged in your work, charting the path to fundraising success, and potentially finding new relationships to further your mission. Grab that water bottle, headband, and runners – it’s time to sweat it out and make it happen. 

Next Steps:

  • Login to WAVES and read through the Team Captain Recruitment Generator.