Here are some quick and easy ways to tackle fundraising for your Buddy Walk® at the grassroots level. The following ideas were compiled from Buddy Walk® survey results, completed by Walk organizers after each season. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] to discuss other fundraising concepts that might work best for you. Suggestions and ideas are encouraged.
Dress Down Day
Your child's school is a great place to raise awareness and funds. For example, one teacher at a private school instituted "Dress Down Day" for the entire student body and faculty. For a $5 donation, a student or teacher could dress in jeans or other casual clothes for a day instead of the uniform. If students already have a casual dress policy, invite them to wear a hat, shorts or other attire that is normally not allowed. It also helps to remind the school that October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month if you are planning an activity at that time of year.
Letter Writing Assignment
Students can compete to see who receives a donation from the longest distance away. Ask them to write letters about the Buddy Walk® to people or companies located out of your state or out of the country. The student who brings in a check from the farthest point wins a prize.
Fundraising for a joint cause at the workplace is a great way to have fun and increase morale. For example, one district manager of a national retail chain encouraged her company to participate in raising money for the Buddy Walk®. The employees of each store challenged one another to form at least one team per store and raise money. Another way to have your company raise money is to have a "Dress Down Day" with the money collected going towards the Buddy Walk®.
At a Place of Worship:
Reach out to your religious community members and ask to put a poster on the bulletin board or see if an announcement can be made during a service. You can leave a donation envelope in the coffee room or in the lobby and see if the youth group is looking for a social action activity. Invite the congregation to attend the Buddy Walk® and raise both awareness and funds in your community.
With a Girl/Boy Scout Troop:
Scouts could be eligible to earn a variety of badges by participating in a Buddy Walk®. They may also want to help set-up or teardown your event, so it's a good idea to keep them in mind as volunteers as well.
In Your Community:
Arrange community activities that get many people involved in planning, executing and attending. Some examples include a car wash, dog wash, garage sale or bake sale.
Encourage walkers to get pledges from family, friends, colleagues, doctors, dentists, dry cleaners, hairdressers, and places where they are frequent patrons.
Buddy Walk® Ribbons
Make and sell Buddy Walk® ribbons (in the blue and yellow Buddy Walk® colors) and sell them for $.50 or $1.00 to increase awareness of your Buddy Walk®. Try selling them in front of a busy supermarket or shopping mall. Have flyers on hand with your Buddy Walk® information to encourage people to attend.
Buddy Walk® Lollipops
Sell Buddy Walk® lollipops, cookies or other treats near the cash register at local businesses. This is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth and raise awareness and funds for your Buddy Walk®.
Dimes for Down Syndrome
Display a Dimes for Down Syndrome can in a prominent area at the doctor, dentist, dry cleaner, hairdresser, supermarket checkout counter and include a short note about raising money for the Buddy Walk® to encourage people to donate their dimes (or other spare change). Decorate the cans with your logo and information about the Buddy Walk® (date, time, place) so people who drop in their change can learn more about the event.