Captains Corner

October 14th, 2010 | Posted by john in General

Depending on your approach, if you sign up to be a team captain it could be a stressful and time consuming experience.  It doesn’t have to be though.  Yes, you will probably need a little more time over what you would normally need to just do the walk, but it shouldn’t be stressful.  After all, we’re on the 3-Day to eradicate breast cancer, not to created more headaches for ourselves.  With that in mind I thought that I would put this together for the people out there that are thinking about being a team captain or are already a team captain.  These are some questions that I have seen frequently pop up, and it’s purely my opinion so take it as you may!

My Team Member is Not Fund Raising

Wow, it’s kind of a negative note to start out on, but I see this question floating around on message boards and Twitter enough that I thought I should go ahead and knock it out first.  My answer to this may seem a little callous, so I’m going to build up to it with a little reasoning first.

I want everyone on my team to be able to walk if they want to, however sometimes they don’t realize the amount of work that needs to be put in to actually do the fund raising required for the walk.  It’s easy to just sign up and say you’re going to do the walk.  What’s not easy is to make the commitment to training (which we will cover later) and fund raising that is required to successfully get to and complete the walk.  If you have a team member that is not fund raising, then you should kindly remind them that there are only X days away until the walk and that they need to raise $2300 to walk.

I’m a firm believer in frank discussions and think that in reminding them you will soon get the answer of what their intentions are.  If they have some donations that they just haven’t mailed in yet then maybe there is nothing to worry about.  Sometimes you will find that they have decided that they can’t do the walk and unfortunately sometimes you will find that they are hoping that you will raise the money for them.  There are a lot of opinions on whether or not to help out someone in their fund raising.  I’m not a heartless person, but I do think that someone should put in the work to try and get donations.  That doesn’t mean that I will not help out at all, but you have to put in the work and raise your own funds because I’m not going to raise $2300 for you.

My reason for this is more complex than economics.  Part of the purpose of the 3-Day for the Cure is raising awareness.  By going out and asking for donations, you’re also educating people of the problem of breast cancer.  If you raise your $2300 and I raise my $2300 then that many more people have been touched by the cause.

So no, I will not raise all of the funds for a teammate, but I will gladly work with them in any way that I can to help them be successful.  That means making suggestions on possible fund raising, helping get them involved with team fund raisers and trying to provide motivation. By having my teammates raise most of the money on their own, my excess fund raising can still be excess above and beyond the minimum.  That means more money going to the 3-Day for important stuff like finding a cure.

How Should I Distribute Funds for Team Fund Raisers?

One of the major things that I have seen cause some division in a team is how to distribute the funds for a team fund raiser.  Inevitably someone will think they have done more work than someone else and that they should have a larger cut because of it.  The first thing that you need to do to avoid this is to lay down the rules of how the funds will be distributed before you do anything with the fund raiser.  There are a couple of different types of fund raisers and I think distribution should vary between them:

Grocery Store

If you’re just going to set up a table out front of a store and accept donations then I think the only way to really handle this is to have each person receive funds that were raised for the time that they worked.  Since there really isn’t much work other than showing up for this type of fund raiser, I think that it’s fair enough to say that if you’re there for 2 hours, you will get an equal cut of funds raised for those two hours.


For an auction type fund raiser, what I usually see happen is that anyone that helps out in any way with the auction gets an equal cut of the proceeds.  This means that if you spent time getting all of the items to the auction venue or if you assembled all of the bidding paddles or if you took tickets at the door you would still get an equal cut of the proceeds to the person that processed payments at the auction.  Without any of these things complete, the auction would not be as successful as hopefully it was so everyone that helped to make it a success should get an equal cut.

Really the thing for any type of team fund raiser is to have the rules set before you do the fund raise so that everyone knows what to expect.

My Team Member is Not Training

This is a problem that you will probably need to deal with in the same way as when your team member is not fund raising.  Talk to them, let them know that they will finish the walk in much better condition if they train before hand.  Scheduling team training walks is good because it’s much harder to cancel walking when you have other people that are waiting on you.

In the end though, if your team member is not training, it’s not the absolute end of the world.  Yes, it would be a lot better for them if they did the training, but you CAN make it through without training (though it’s not recommended).  So if they are absolutely opposed to training, don’t stress out about it, let them do what they are going to do.

How Do I Get More Teammates?

As my average team size when I have been a captain has been about 2.5, I’m probably not the best person to answer this.  There are a few things that I can think of that would probably help, but I have never really executed on it.  First would be to ask your friends and family.  Yes, it reduces on potential donors, but what’s better, the $20 that they were going to donate or the $2300 that they could potentially raise?  Second would be your teammate’s family and friends.  Lastly would be to recruit people that don’t have a team on the share list.  Simply offering to have them on the team so that they could have someone to train with and get motivation from.  Again, I don’t know how sound any of these ideas are and I would like to see some comments from other team captains on what they do to increase their team size.

So those are the four questions that I see most often crop up.  There were lots that I could have added, but these are the ones that I see the most often.  If you have one that you have seen and would like to add it, post a comment and I’m sure that there are plenty of team captains that would be willing to field your question!  I think the big theme of all the answers to these is communication.  If you talk openly with the people that you are concerned about, most of the time you will clear up any confusion really quick.


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