WALK FOR THOUGHT HANDBOOK

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1 WALK FOR THOUGHT HANDBOOK 2018 Sunday, October 21 st, 11am to 3 pm Rentschler Field 615 Silver Lane, East Hartford To benefit the Brain Injury Alliance of CT Register today at Questions? Call

2 Contents Contact Us... 1 About the Brain Injury Alliance of CT... 2 About the Walk for Thought... 2 Directions to Rentschler Field, East Hartford... 3 Fundraising... 3 Don t Go it Alone!... 3 Near or Far You Can Join Us!... 3 Collecting Donations Creative Fundraising Ideas:... 4 Online Tools... 5 Prizes... 5 Sample Letter for Employees... 6 Sample Letter for Friends & Family... 7 Contact Us April Michaud Office & Events Manager x310 Registration General Questions Website/Online Fundraising Pages This Walk for Thought handbook is available online at to help you and your walkers be successful! Please feel free to share it! 1

3 About the Brain Injury Alliance of CT Founded in 1981 by the families of brain injury survivors and the social service professionals assisting them, The Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut s (BIAC) original mission was to advocate for specific rehabilitative services and improved care. After incorporating in 1982, that mission expanded to include prevention. Today, our focus remains two-fold and efforts toward these dual objectives continue to grow. As a resource in recovery, our brain injury specialists work to ensure that survivors and their families are connected to the appropriate services and professionals. We also work to facilitate both independent living and meaningful inclusion at home, at school and at work. As a partner in prevention, we work with individuals, organizations, schools and government to reach and educate everyone about both the causes and realities of brain injury. About the Walk for Thought Now in its fourteenth year, the Walk for Thought continues to be a great event for all ages. While it s a fun day for all who participate, it s especially meaningful for brain injury survivors, their families and friends who come together to increase awareness of this silent epidemic. As they show their support for BIAC, Connecticut s partner in brain injury prevention and recovery, they re also raising much-needed funds for the organization; funds that will support BIAC s programs and services and ultimately impact thousands of individuals across the state. Last year, with the amazing support of walkers, their teams, friends and families, we were able to raise over $56,000! With this year s goal set even higher, your support is more important than ever! This Walker handbook contains all the information and tools you need to ensure that you have a successful walk and fundraising experience. We are here to provide any additional information, help or materials you may require, so please don t hesitate to contact us at Thank you for joining us on this important journey and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday, October 21 st! 2

4 Directions to Rentschler Field, East Hartford 615 Silver Lane East Hartford, CT From South: Take CT-9 N. Merge onto I-91 N via exit 20N toward Hartford/Springfield. Merge onto CT-15 N via exit 29 toward I-84 E Hartford/Boston. Take the Silver Lane exit, Exit 91. Turn slight right onto Silver Lane. The Field is.2 miles past Gold Street. If you reach Simmons Road you ve gone a little too far. From North: Take I-91 S toward Hartford. Merge onto I-84 E/US-6 E via exit 30 on the left toward Hartford/New London. Take the Roberts Street exit, Exit 58. Turn right onto Roberts Street. Turn left onto Silver Lane. The Field is.2 miles past Gold Street. If you reach Simmons Road you ve gone a little too far. Fundraising Fundraising is essential to the success of the Walk! Here are some tips and tools to make it fun an easy to reach your goals! Don t Go it Alone! Now that you ve registered, you might want to consider starting or joining a team! Everything is more fun with friends, so get your family, friends and co-workers involved! You can even organize a team to represent your business, employer, school, civic group or faith organization. Most people work harder when they have a specific goal to meet; so once you get together with your team, come up with an attainable yet challenging goal to get started. Hold a team kick-off to get everyone motivated and on the same page. Teach your team about how to collect pledges and give them ideas on how to fundraise. You can even call us at and we will send a speaker to your kick-off to explain everything in person! Near or Far You Can Join Us! Have friends, family or co-workers who want to be part of your team but can t make the Walk? They can join your team as Virtual Walkers this year. They can register online or in the mail, just like any other walker, and they help your team fundraise! They are even eligible for Walk t-shirts and the great prizes we have available this year! 3

5 Collecting Donations 101 There are two different ways you can raise money to reach your team or individual fundraising goals. Raise money online with Firstgiving: 1. Register for the Walk for Thought online 2. Create your personal fundraising page via Firstgiving (insert link here) a. Add your own story, pictures, even video!! 3. Set your goal. 4. all your contacts through Firstgiving and ask them to make a donation to support your participation in the Walk. 5. Share your fundraising page on your favorite social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 6. Your friends and family can make donations online OR you can collect them and turn them in at the Walk for Thought registration table. If you would like to raise money the traditional way, using a pledge sheet, you ll find one at the end of this book or online at You can accept any checks or money orders made out to BIAC. You can also accept cash, but please remember that you must either bring the cash to the Walk on Sunday, October 26th or you can write your own check for the cash. You cannot send cash in the mail. You can however, send checks and money orders to us before the Walk. Our address is 200 Day Hill Rd, Suite 250, Windsor, CT Creative Fundraising Ideas: So you ve got a team and a goal, but how do you reach it? Did you know that most donors give just because they are asked? It s the simplest way to raise money! Below, we have listed other creative ideas to get your team on the right track towards reaching your goal! Matching Gifts Many companies have a corporate matching gift program. All you have to do is contact your Human Resources department to find out if you do! If you do, prior to the Walk, you will have to go to the HR department and pick up a matching gifts contribution form. Some companies will match your donations AND your co-workers donations, so don t hesitate to ask your HR department for all the details. Please hand in your matching gifts form at the same time as your donations, either at the Walk or in the mail. This is a great way to double your money and even win a prize, but more on that on page 5. Personal/Team Page If you have a team fundraising page, you should encourage all your teammates to create personal pages and link to the team! This is a great way to reach out to tons of different people and you ll be amazed at how fast the donations start rolling in! See page 5 for more detailed instructions. Remember, if you or any of your teammates need help setting this up, we re here for you! Call our Office & Events Manager, April, at x310 or Letters Create a letter (or ), use the template at the end of this handbook or use the template provided by FirstGiving when you create your page, to send to everyone you know! Let them know what you are walking for, your goal, and ways that they can help you! Don t forget to include the link to your donation page so they can see your progress and make an online donation! 4

6 Extra Change Jar Place a jar at home, in the office or a local business to collect loose change. Every penny counts! Taglines Place a unique tagline at the bottom of your s letting everyone know what you re up to. Include a link to your personal page so they can donate to you as soon as they see it! Local Business Donations Ask those businesses that you visit regularly if they ll consider sponsoring you or the Walk. If we get a NEW sponsorship reference from you, we ll include that in your fundraising totals, which will bring you that much closer to your goals! Online Tools When you register online through FirstGiving, you are given the option of joining an existing team, creating your own team or creating an individual fundraising page. If you decide to fundraise on your own, you will be immediately asked to edit your personal page. You can personalize the page, changing things like the page name, your fundraising goal (which will create a bar on your page to help you track your progress), and most importantly, the personal story. The personal story is an appeal to your family and friends about why you are raising money; it should be to the point, while explaining why you re raising money and perhaps how BIAC has impacted your life. FirstGiving provides support if you need help creating your page, or you can call our Office & Events Manager, April, at x310 or If you decide to join an existing team or create your own, there are several different ways that you can fundraise: We recommend that each person create their own fundraising page and connect to your team. This method allows each fundraiser to reach out to his or her own network of supporters and make a stronger case for why a donor should support them. We also understand that not everyone wants to create their own page. Fundraisers can simply join a team and use that as their fundraising space. In this case, if he or she wanted to get donations, they would share the team s page with potential donors. Either way your fundraisers decide to raise money, it is all tracked on the team s page and we will have the Top 5 teams listed on our start page, so each team can track their progress against other teams! Whether you ve decided to join a team or not, you now have a fundraising page and can start fundraising the easy way! All you have to do is get your personal link out to your friends and family! You can put it on Facebook, you can it using FirstGiving s tool or through your own (or even put it in your signature). As a matter of fact, you can share it any way that you want! We ve even put sample letters that you can use to send either via snail mail or ! Prizes This year we are offering two exciting prizes one to the top individual fundraiser and another to the top fundraising team. We will keep you updated on the prizes, but for now it s Top Secret! 5

7 Sample Letter for Employees Dear Employee: As the Team Captain of the (team name), our company team at the 14th Annual Walk for Thought on Sunday, October 21st, I would like to invite you and your family and friends to join us to raise awareness and funds for the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut. Our team s goal is to raise $ and we need your help! You can sign up online at create your own fundraising page and join our team, collect donations offline or visit for more information. (Share a personal story here to encourage your co-workers to join your team and raise funds for someone they know with a brain injury). The Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut supports persons living with brain injury and their families by promoting services to facilitate full inclusion within their local community. They increase awareness and understanding of brain injury and its prevention through community education and outreach, legislative advocacy and independent assistance. On a daily basis BIAC provides survivors of brain injury with social, emotional, and educational support otherwise unavailable to them. Thank you so much for your support! We will keep you updated on our progress or you can track it on our Team Page at Together, we can truly make a difference for brain injury survivors! My sincere thanks, (Your signature) (Your name) 6

8 Sample Letter for Friends & Family Dear, I m taking part in the 14th Annual Walk for Thought on Sunday, October 21st, 2018 to raise money for the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut. My personal goal is to raise $ to help (in honor of or in memory of) and I need your help! Will you support my commitment and help me reach my personal fundraising goal? Brain injury has touched my family and I (share a personal story to encourage your friends and family to donate or join your team). You can donate online at All donations are secure and sent directly to BIAC by FirstGiving, who will you a printable record of your donation. You can even keep track of my team s progress by donating online! The Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut supports persons living with brain injury and their families by promoting services to facilitate full inclusion within their local community. They increase awareness and understanding of brain injury and its prevention through community education and outreach, legislative advocacy and independent assistance. On a daily basis BIAC provides survivors of brain injury with social, emotional, and educational support otherwise unavailable to them. Thank you so much for your support. I will keep you updated on my progress towards my goal and please forward my request to anyone you feel would support me/my team in the Walk for Thought. Together, we can truly make a difference for brain injury survivors! (Your signature) 7

9 Collect the donation when the donor signs the pledge sheet Turn in all donations at the Walk for Thought on Sunday, October 2nd or mail them to BIAC before the Walk for Thought! Remind your donors that all donations are tax deductible! Phone: Fax: Ask friends, family and co-workers to pledge a fixed amount to BIAC Support BIAC on Sunday, October 21st beginning at 11am Rentschler Field! Address Total Donated: Phone # Donation Amount Team Name: Fundraising Goal: Your Name: Your Address: Please accept checks or money orders made out to BIAC. Any cash received should not be sent in the mail! Credit card donations can be made online at For more information, please see the BIAC Walk for Thought handbook. Sponsor s Name BIAC's 14th Annual Walk for Thought Pledge Sheet

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