1. ThreeWalks Making aWorld of Difference
Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress
Buddy Walk by the Sea
Sunday, July 26, 2015 – Falmouth, MA
Buddy Walk & Harvest Fair
Sunday, September 20, 2015 – Uxbridge, MA
Buddy Walk & Family Festival
Sunday, October 11, 2015 – Wakefield, MA
Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress
20 Burlington Mall Road, Suite 261 – Burlington, MA 01803
781-221-0024 | email@example.com
2. Thank you for participating in the MDSC BuddyWalk Program to help make a positive difference in the lives of people with
Down syndrome and their families!
Your dedication to raise awareness and critical funds for our programs and services helps us support over 3,500 families
each year, giving them the resources and support they need for their loved ones to grow and excel every day of their lives.
Ourworkwouldnotbepossiblewithoutyou. Youspreadyourcompassionandshareyourstorywithnewcommunities. You
increase awareness of the truths about Down syndrome, eliminating stereotypes and other barriers. You tell others about
initiatives. You raise important funds that support those programs. You embody our mission: to ensure individuals with
Down syndrome in Massachusetts are valued, included, and given the opportunities to pursue fulfilling lives.
The strength of community among MDSC members and our Buddy Walk participants is heartwarming and inspiring. We
so that we can reach more families across the Commonwealth and provide new services to our current members. The more
resources we have, the more we can give back to those in need.
The MDSC Fundraising Toolkit is a starting point for expansion and
provides tips and ideas for you to meet and exceed your fundraising
goals, as well as raise awareness in your local community.
Every effort, both big and small, makes a difference in the lives of
collaborate with your family, friends, and team members to try new
ideas – you’ll be enthralled by what you can accomplish!
syndrome community. I look forward to seeing you at our Buddy
Walks this year!
3. 5th Annual BuddyWalk by the Sea
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Falmouth Marine Park – Falmouth, MA
The BuddyWalk by the Sea is a sunny, summer walk along the shore
in Falmouth that brings over 400 people together from the Cape,
Islands, and South Shore communities.
3rd Annual BuddyWalk & Harvest Fair
Sunday, September 20, 2015
River Bend Farm – Uxbridge, MA
The Buddy Walk & Harvest Fair is a fun, fall-themed day that
takes place at a classic New England farm setting in Central
Massachusetts and brings together over 500 people with Down
syndrome and their family and friends.
19th Annual BuddyWalk & Family Festival
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Lake Quannapowitt –Wakefield, MA
The Buddy Walk & Family Festival is MDSC’s signature walk during
National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Over 3,500 individuals
with Down syndrome, families, and friends gather at the quaint
Wakefield Town Common to promote acceptance and inclusion
and to celebrate the Down syndrome community. Celebrities,
news anchors, and local heroes help leverage awareness efforts by
promoting the BuddyWalk and making live appearances!
About the BuddyWalk
widely recognized public awareness program for the Down syndrome community.
The MDSC Buddy Walk program is the state’s largest public awareness platform to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with
the Down syndrome community.
Your participation and fundraising efforts in these events directly impacts our programs and services that provide hope to new and
expectant parents, training to medical professionals and students, best practices to educators, opportunities for teens and adults with
Down syndrome, and a strong voice on Capitol Hill.
4. You help create an inclusive community for people with Down syndrome
PublicAwareness: Your participation in MDSC’s BuddyWalk Program promotes acceptance and inclusion for people with Down
syndrome. It breaks down barriers and dispels negative stereotypes, fostering an inclusive environment for people with Down
syndrome and enhancing their lives.
You create hope and a support system for new and
ParentsFirstCall:This volunteer group of trained parent mentors is a comforting
support system to hundreds of new and expectant parents in Massachusetts each
year. They are available 24/7 to listen, share, answer questions, and provide valuable
information to others who are beginning their journey through parenthood.
You provide opportunities for young adults with
AdvocatesinMotion: The AIM program hosts fun, inclusive, interactive events each
month for teens and young adults ages 13 to 22, which enables them to build self-confidence, form meaningful relationships,
and set and achieve goals.
You give adults with Down syndrome the opportunity to be leaders
Self-AdvocateAdvisoryCouncil: SAAC empowers adults with Down syndrome ages 22+ and gives them an importance voice
within the MDSC and the Commonwealth on topics that are important to them.
You help ensure that medical professionals are sensitive and that their information
MedicalOutreachandSupport:The MDSC works with obstetricians and pediatricians to improve the way they deliver a prenatal
or postnatal diagnosis to expectant parents and to ensure that medical providers have up-to-date accurate information about
Down syndrome to share with their patients.
You bring our services to people in need across the nation
ProgramReplicationTrainings:The MDSC travels across the country to share our First Call Program with other Down syndrome
organizations to provide them with the information and tools to start their own program to support new and expectant parents.
The Impact of Fundraising
5. You help change legislation to enhance the lives of people
with Down syndrome
LegislativeAdvocacy: The MDSC is a statewide leader in the disability policy
arena and an increasingly influential player nationally.Through partnerships with
legislators, their constituents and other disability organizations, the MDSC is able to
advance legislation and other policies that benefit people with Down syndrome and
their families on a local and national level.
Three of the Bills that MDSC championed for over the course of several years were
passed by the legislature in 2014. These include the National Background Check
Bill, the Real Lives Bill, and the ABLE Act.
You give a variety of communities the opportunity to come together to celebrate
the Down syndrome community and obtain new resources
AnnualConference: Each spring, more than 600 people with Down syndrome, parents and siblings, health care professionals,
and educators from across New England attend our Annual Conference on Down syndrome. Participants gather to hear the latest
research findings and timely information from national and local experts on a range of topics related to Down syndrome and
other disabilities.They also share stories, celebrate victories, advocate for acceptance and inclusion, and reunite with other MDSC
You equip our region’s educators with best practices
EducationalConferences: Each November, the MDSC hosts the Educators Forum, which is designed for educators across New
England to learn about best practices for educating students with Down syndrome in an inclusive classroom. The MDSC is proud to
have published Meaningful Inclusion for Students with Down syndrome, a Resource Guide for Elementary Educators that provides
a comprehensive look at the complex learning profile of students with Down syndrome. It also contains information around best
practices and educational considerations that are based upon research-proven best practices.
You make everything possible
Your dedication and support helps MDSC accomplish our goals and fulfill our mission: to ensure individuals with Down syndrome
in Massachusetts are valued, included, and given the opportunities to pursue fulfilling lives by providing information, networking
opportunities, and advocacy for people with Down syndrome and their families, educators, health care professionals, and the
The Impact of Fundraising
6. Fundraising Milestones
Individuals that reach the $500 fundraising milestone become
BuddyWalk All-Stars. All-Stars will receive special signage on the
walk route, recognition in our communications, and an invitation
to the exclusive All-Star Luncheon the following spring.
Team Fundraising Incentives*
Down Syndrome Awareness Bracelets
When teams collectively raise $1,000+ each of their team members will receive a Down syndrome Awareness bracelet to proudly
wear at the BuddyWalk!
At the $2,500 fundraising milestone, each team member will receive a personalized item with their team name and a picture of
their loved one with Down syndrome. Previous items have included lanyards, buttons, and key chains.
This is the perfect place to hang out with your friends and family at the BuddyWalk!
TheTop 5Teams at the BuddyWalk & Family Festival (Wakefield) will receive a tent and banner with their team name as well as an
MDSC picnic blanket. The top five teams will also receive a cooler with snacks and refreshments.
All other teams who raise over $5,000 for theWakefieldWalk will be given a designated picnic area on the common for their team
and an MDSC picnic blanket. These teams will also receive a cooler stocked with snacks and refreshments.
All teams at the BuddyWalk by the Sea (Falmouth) or BuddyWalk & Harvest Fair (Uxbridge) who raise over $5,000 will receive
team tents and banners. They will also receive an MDSC picnic blanket and a cooler with snacks and refreshments.
MDSC BuddyWalk Fun Pack
AllTeam Captains of teams who raise $5,000+ will receive an MDSC BuddyWalk Family Fun Pack with items such as games, sports
balls, art projects and other fun items for team members to enjoy throughout the day.
7. Sample Solicitation Letter
Dear Friends and Family,
I will be participating in the MDSC BuddyWalk this year! It would mean a lot to me if you considered making a donation on my
behalf to help me achieve my fundraising goal.
The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress works to ensure all individuals with Down syndrome in Massachusetts are valued,
included, and given the opportunities to pursue fulfilling lives by providing information, networking opportunities, and advocacy
for people with Down syndrome and their families, educators, health care professionals, and the community-at-large. You can
learn more about the MDSC at www.mdsc.org.
Your tax-deductible gift will make a difference in the lives of the more than 5,000 people with Down syndrome living in
Massachusetts. It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause - you can make your donation online by simply clicking
on the link at the bottom of this message.
Visit the BuddyWalk webpage to make a donation or learn more about the event and other ways to get involved, such as joining
my team or starting your own team.
Thank you so much for all of your support!
Bonus Fundraising Tip!
Customize your letter using these suggestions:
• Write which BuddyWalk you will be attending and include the date and location of the walk
• Add a heartfelt message about why you are participating in this program, such as in honor
of your child, friend, relative, or friend’s child who has Down syndrome
• Attach or embed photos of your loved one with Down syndrome
8. The Fundraising Basics
1) Personalize your ask. People like helping their friends and family when they know how important the cause is to you.
Let people know what MDSC means to you and share a story about your personal connection to Down syndrome, such as your
child, friend, relative, or friend’s child.
2) Make it simple for people to donate. Share your personal fundraising link in e-mails and Facebook posts (or
Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media pages) so people can go directly to your page and make a donation.
3) Give thanks. This is a big one! It’s important to acknowledge people for their contribution to your goal - this includes
family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else who is helping you achieve your goal. No matter how much they donate, always give
thanks. People appreciate being thanked at the time they make their donation as well as after the event is over, so you can share
with them how much you accomplished and what a great time you had at the BuddyWalk!
Kick-startYour Campaign in 7 Days!
Day 1: Sponsor yourself for $25
Day 2: Ask 4 family members to sponsor you for $25
Day 3: Ask 5 friends to contribute $20
Day 4:Ask 5 coworkers to give $20
Day 5: Ask 5 neighbors to sponsor you for $20
Day 6: Ask your employer for a company gift of $50.Your company may also be
able to match the amount you give in Day 1 through their matching gift program.
Day 7: Ask 1 local business you patronize (your hairdresser, dry cleaner, favorite restaurant/take out place, etc.)
to support you for $25
Bonus Fundraising Tip!
You can customize this plan based on your personal network, employer, and your fundraising goal.
Aim high and you’ll be amazed by how quickly you can achieve your goals!
Bonus Fundraising Tip!
The age-old saying“a picture is worth a thousand words”is still relevant today.
Include inspiring photos of your loved one with Down syndrome in your posts, e-mails,
and thank you letters to help people really connect to you and your cause.
Logging In to the Participant Center
The Participant Center contains the tools participants will use to fundraise for the event.
1. Navigate to the event site and enter your username and password in the top right of the page.
2. Click Login button
3. Click Participant Center Button
Sending Emails Directly fromTeamRaiser
1. Once you are logged into the participant center, click on the“Email”tab.
2. Select EmailTemplate.
Three sample templates have already been created to simplify this process for you. You can select to send out the Join
Team e-mail to recruit team members, the Support Participant e-mail to solicit donations, or theThankYou to your
donors. You can also select the Blank Message e-mail to write your own message.
3. Click Next.
4. Set Recipients. Select and/or add contacts by either:
i. Add Contact (button) – this method will allow you to add contacts one at time
ii. Import Contacts – this will allow you to import contacts from gmail, yahoo, or csv file
5. Preview and Send
*You may also copy and paste our message templates into your own e-mail system to send it directly from that e-mail service.
CustomizeYour Personal Page orTeam Page
Personalize your webpage with your personal story and photos of your loved one with Down syndrome so that people can read
more about it when they visit your page.
All participants can customize their own Personal Page. If you registered as aTeam Captain, you can also customize yourTeam’s
Page. Participants can upload pictures or video (only on personal page) and tell their story, which will be seen by potential
To modify the personal page or team page:
1. Once you are logged into the participant center, click the Personal Page tab orTeam Page tab (only available to
2. Change the title and modify body if you would like to.
3. To change the photo within the right column select Photo/Video
a. You may select to have either a photo or video
i. For photo, browse to your desktop and select a photo
1. Add a Caption
2. Click Save/Upload
ii. For video, first upload your video toYouTube
1. Copy and paste the video URL into the URL field
2. Click Save
Events will be an important element to your portfolio of fundraising initiatives. You can be as simple or as creative as you want to
with your events.
Below is also a list of event suggestions and some ideas that other fundraisers have had success with in the past.
• Percent of Funds: Many restaurants or other stores are willing to donate a percentage of funds to your cause.
Ask a chain or a local restaurant in your community if they would be willing to participate in this type of fundraiser.
They will often give you a time period on a certain date, such as“on Friday, July 24th, 10% of proceeds made from
3-6pm will be donated.”
• Raffles: You can also ask local businesses to donate items, such as a restaurant gift card, golf course certificate, or
certificate at a salon, and raffle the items off by selling tickets.
• 50/50 raffles are also great way to get people to donate… who wouldn’t love to win some extra cash?!
50/50 raffles work best as an additional option at another event, rather than suggesting to people that purchasing
a 50/50 raffle ticket substitutes a general donation.
• Casual Dress Days: Employees can donate a specified amount to dress casually on a certain day. If you already
have a casual dress policy at work, an alternative to this is to select a theme (USA, Hawaiian luau, superheroes, etc.).
Make sure you check with your HR department about your work-place policies first.
• Host a Bowling night! Bowling venues may donate lanes for a certain number of people and include free
shoe rentals. Charge per person to attend and increase the price if you are going to purchase additional appetizers
• Collect your refundable cans & bottles and cash them in. Ask your close friends and neighbors to save theirs
for you each week too. Saving all summer long can add up!
• Coordinate a bake sale or car wash – this is a fun way to involve your children too!
• Host a game night, dinner party, ladies spa day, pancake breakfast, holiday party (whether it’s the 4th of July,
National Doughnut Day, or the First Day of Summer) or other themed party with set or suggested attendance
Bonus Fundraising Tip!
Always put a donation jar out at your events so people can make an
additional contribution if they choose to.
• Host a disability awareness day and invite an MDSC Self-Advocate to come and speak
• Post information about the walk or your team in the office lunch room or lobby
• Write an article for your company’s newsletter about Down syndrome or submit a BuddyWalk ad encouraging people to
join or donate to your team
• Sign the MDSC up to be a part of your company’s matching gift program (your donations and that of your colleagues can
be doubled in some cases)
• Form a Corporate BuddyWalkTeam
• Hold a Casual Dress Day, where people can pay a set or flexible amount to dress casually (all proceeds benefit your
• Invite your child’s classmates to join your BuddyWalk team
(Example: Over 100 students fromWinthrop High School
joinedTeam Love for the 2013 BuddyWalk)
• Sell snacks or 50/50 raffles at your child’s athletic games or
• Organize a Buddy Bake Sale, Classroom Coin Drive, or other fun event that would go over well at your school
• Work with the ParentTeacher Association to hold a disability awareness day/social action project (Example: Sudbury’s
Loring Elementary School holds an Annual AccepttheChallenge event to increase awareness about Down syndrome and
Bonus Fundraising Tip!
Let us know about your fundraising or awareness events ahead of time! If they are open to the public
we can promote them on our Facebook page and UpsideWeekly Newsletter. We can also provide you
with MDSC materials to use at your event. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
12. Raising Awareness
Raising awareness is equally as important as raising funds. Get the word out in your community by downloading our press release
template*, adding a few personal touches, and sending it to the editor of your local paper. Make sure you attach a high-resolution
photo of your BuddyWalk team or loved one with Down syndrome when you send it to the press. Not only will it raise awareness
about Down syndrome, it will help you get your community behind you!
To access the template:
1) Go to www.mdsc.org
2) Hover your curser over the“About Us”tab
3) Click on PRESS RELEASES beneath“Press Room”
4) Select“More>>”beneath the BuddyWalk press release for theWalk you are attending
5) Select“Save As”to save the document to your computer so you can personalize it
If you have additional ideas to involve the media, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
WeWant to Hear FromYou!