Team captains are key when recruiting fundraisers and leaders for your nonprofit event. Typically their energy is palpable and contagious – if I could bottle it up and sell it, I would! These players tend to have a strong connection to the cause and the motivation needed to rally others behind the event. So, how do you go about harnessing this participants’ energy into the best fundraising results possible?

Have them understand and embrace their leadership role. Team captains help with moving their team towards participation and fundraising. They are the liaison between the event organizers and the team members. Telling your team captains about the responsibilities they are taking on will help them put the amount of work into perspective and know what to expect in the coming weeks. The best work that team captains do is leading by example. When a Team Captain is updating their page, sharing story and fundraising, it will often move others to do the same. An effective way to communicate and acknowledge the important role of the team captain is to have an email series just for them. Send them a total of four emails that do not correspond with your engagement series and challenge them to move their team into action! These emails should be a mix of fundraising tips, team building and motivational messages to pass along to the team.

Share team building strategies. Team captains are effective at finding people in their network and recruiting them to join the team, but your organization needs to offer extra coaching on what to do once that team starts to grow. One fun way to share information about the event and excite people to become involved is to host a kickoff party that marks the beginning of your fundraising endeavor.

Fundraising tips and tricks. For some team captains this may be their first time fundraising on a larger scale. You can help the entire team by offering fundraising advice to garner the highest results possible. This may include hosting a fundraising event (similar to the kickoff party), contacting one person a day to donate, remembering to follow up (3 times a charm) and thanking all of their donors for giving to their team.

A little competition never hurt anyone. Typically when we think of teams our minds immediately go to competitions and award systems. This can be a great tactic for event team fundraising. Competition between teams or even within the same team can increase motivation for more assertive fundraising.  Adding a Team Week around five weeks out from an event with a challenge each day could be a great way to encourage competition combined with increased fundraising.  It gives great momentum to those final four weeks when a large surge of donations are brought in.

By equipping your team captains with the right strategies and resources they can easily become your most valuable player in the fundraising process. Set them up and let them rock!