Fundraising Tips

How Do I Raise Funds? 
USE THE CONVENIENCE OF ONLINE DONATIONS. You can set up a personalized team page at It is quick and easy and only takes a few minutes to set-up. This allows supporters to donate to you online! 

The Down Syndrome Festival & 5K Committee is asking team captains to help solicit corporate donations. The guidelines are as follows: 
• A brochure has been created to help with your fundraising efforts. You can download it at Each team must write their name on the brochure to be given credit for the donation. 
• Any monetary donations received will be credited to your team and will count toward earning team incentives. 
• The brochure gives companies the opportunity to donate at a tier level or to give a raffle prize or in-kind donation. Only monetary donations will count toward team fundraising goals. All raffle items need to be turned in to the DSACO office. 
• Teams may work with other teams to request a donation from a single company. All team names should be placed on the donation brochure and the donation will be split equally between the teams. Only the teams whose names are on the form will be given credit for the corporate donation.

DSACO has put together several vacation packages to help our family team fundraise! Physical copies are available for pick up at the DSACO office. You may also request a PDF copy of the raffle tickets by emailing Tickets are also available to purchase through the registration process on the fundraising website. Raffles TBA.

*Raffle winners will be announced at the Down Syndrome Festival & 5k on Saturday, September 30th. Winners DO NOT need to be present to win.


Many family teams are able to double some of their donations through employer matching programs. This means an employer will match donations to non-profit organizations, which are made by their employees. This way it is possible to get twice the support from one donation. Check with the human resources department to find out if an employer will match donations. Each company has its own guidelines that need to be followed. 

One of the most effective (and easiest) ways to raise money for the awareness walk is to launch a letter-writing/e-mail campaign. Simply draft a "dear friends and family" letter explaining why you, your company, and/or family are participating in the walk, you can reach your largest audience - without even leaving the comfort of your home! And it can be your ticket to fundraising success! 

Six Steps To A Successful Written Campaign 

Step 1:
 Develop Your Mailing List from people you currently know. Address book, holiday card list, team/league rosters, church/club directories, vendors, e-mail list, businesses you frequent, business colleagues, co-workers, families of your child's schoolmates and folks from your past: classmates, roommates, teachers, neighbors, co-workers, teammates, fraternal/alumni groups. 

Step 2: Write Your Letter. Include your fundraising goal. Enclose a self-addressed envelope with each letter if possible. Include a deadline for donations. Speak from the heart and tell people why it is important to you that research and community support continue for children and adults with Down syndrome. State that their donation is tax deductible and that checks should be made payable to the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma or DSACO. Print a photo of your child or family on the letter. If your child is very young describe what your experience was like when you were told your baby has Down syndrome. Discuss your child's daily routine. Explain your concerns about potential problems your child may experience. If your child is older discuss what he/she likes to do or their accomplishments that year. Some family teams have two or three different letters drafted to appeal to different "audiences". Remember the most effective letter will come directly from your heart. Be sure to emphasize how the organization has impacted your life. 

Step 3: Mail or e-mail your letter. Ideally, your letters should go out about six weeks before the Awareness Walk – although successful results have been achieved "in a pinch."

Step 4: Collect Donations. Keep track of all donations by using the online website or the attached Team Donation Form.

Step 5:
 Turn In Your Money OR Mail to DSACO by the team incentive deadlines. Send donations by mail to DSACO Awareness Walk Teams, 521 W Wilshire Blvd., Suite 130, Oklahoma City, OK 73116

Step 6:
 Write Your Thank You Notes. Be sure to send out thank you notes to all of your supporters announcing your success. Acknowledging your contributors' generosity will ensure their future support! Some teams include a picture(s) from the Awareness Walk in the thank you note. 

• Use incentive prizes to reward your team walkers for their fundraising efforts. For example, if you raise $50 you will earn a custom team t-shirt, if you raise $100 you will earn a tote bag, etc. Set a deadline so that your walkers are motivated to raise money at a quicker pace (leverage the competitive spirit of your walkers).
• Work with local restaurants and stores to have a day or night where a portion of the proceeds will go to your team to raise money for your Festival & 5K Team. "Dining for Down syndrome" is becoming popular across the country! 
• Make and sell awareness ribbons (in the blue and yellow Down syndrome awareness colors) and sell them for $.50 or $1.00 to increase awareness. 
• Get your child's school or your workplace involved! Example: For a donation, a student/teacher or co-worker could dress in jeans or other casual clothes for a day. If students/teachers or co-workers already have a casual dress policy, invite them to wear a hat, shorts or other attire that is normally not allowed. 
• Community activities: a car wash, dog wash, garage sale, bake sale, etc.
• Don't forget to ask your workplace about Matching Gift Programs! 
• Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great ways to get your message out to family and friends. 
*NOTE: Donations made through Facebook's "Donate" button will not count towards your team fundraising total. Instead please share the link to your team fundraising page.

Why should I fundraise for DSACO? 
Money raised at the walk helps support DSACO activities and programs. We would not exist without fundraisers like this one. These programs and activities provide opportunities, information, and support for families and for people of all ages with Down syndrome. DSACO makes available to its families and the community the following information and activities:

• Kylee's Kitchen (teen and adult microwave-based cooking classes for independent living) 
• Free Tutoring Center 
• Family Social Events such as Holiday Parties, and Easter Eggstravaganza 
• Self-Advocacy Workshops for Teens/Adults 
• Social Groups for all ages 
• Support groups for moms, dads, and hispanics
• New Parent Outreach and Quarterly Breakfasts 
• Parent to Parent Support Groups 
• Teen and Adult Self-Advocate events such as the Valentine's Banquet and Halloween Party 
• Outreach to medical professionals and schools with accurate information about Down syndrome 
• Workshops with local and national speakers for the benefit of caregivers/parents/educators
• Scholarships for families to attend the national convention and Buddy Walk on Washington