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For Captains

As Team Captain, you will have the unique pleasure of guiding your team members through the Ride for Heart experience from start-to-finish. This is not for the faint of heart! But considering that our Team Captains come back year after year and have a fundraising average above $1,200, it would seem that they all find the experience rewarding, challenging, engaging, and enjoyable. At least, that’s our goal for you!

To make it all those things and more, follow these simple steps for Team Captain Success:

Recruit your team

Recruiting cyclists, runners and walkers will be the easy part of your job because this event sells itself. A traffic-free ride or run along the Gardiner and DVP is something people can’t wait to experience. And the Heart & Stroke Foundation is a well-known name serving a need that impacts everyone. So you won’t have any problems filling spots on your team!

What you will want to consider, however, is the right size of team, the right mix of cyclists, runners and walkers, and the fundraising expectations for each individual.

Recruit early
It's best to get this event on your calendar early in the year. Most people will start fundraising in March and April, so they will want to reserve their spot before then. There are usually incentives for early registration as well.
Recruit last year's team members
Why? Returning participants have a much higher fundraising average than new participants. They are the backbone of your team - get them back to ensure a more successful year!
Post and email company-wide invitations
Invite co-workers to email you for more information about the team. This will give you a chance to go over specifics with them before they sign up; as opposed to having them jump in and then back out later. It also allows you to cast a wide net, opening the opportunity up to people you may not know personally but who would make great team members.
Recruit fundraising participants, not just participants
Other than youth under the age of 19, every participant is expected to fundraise $100 or more. Make this expectation clear from the start. Team members who do fundraise may feel frustrated by those who don't 'pull their weight'. If someone is legitimately unable to fundraise, ask them to make a self-donation of $100 or support the team by organizing team fundraising events.
Recruit VIPs and/or an exec to join the team
This can really change the atmosphere of a team. VIPs (Very Important Philanthropists) raise $1,000 or more to maximize their impact on our mission to create more survivors. Their presence on your team will raise the fundraising average per person and inspire greater fundraising from others. You can VIPs in the most unlikely places. They can be people with strong networks, people with great fundraising experience, or people with a strong personal connection to the Heart & Stroke mission.
Send reminders
You will send a great email in January inviting people to join your team, and 5 people will do it right away. Two weeks later, 3 more people will trickle in. And suddenly in April, you will realize that there are still two unfilled spots that will go to waste. Don’t be afraid to send reminders emails. In fact, plan on sending 2-3 recruitment emails to prospective team members. People need reminders.


Don't sweat. Fundraising is not as scary or as difficult as you may have heard. As Team Captain, you’ll lead your team through the mire with confidence as long as you follow our expert advice! There are a few tried-and-true formulas and techniques you can implement that will ensure fundraising success.

Set a goal with a formula

It's tempting to leave this up to the fundraising gods, but you have the control and ability to set a challenging goal while still being realistic about your team’s unique abilities. There’s actually a science you can use to set just the right goal that will be inspiring, challenging, and rewarding when you complete it:

  • VIPs - Recruit “heavy-hitters” who can fundraise $1000+
    VIPs (Very Important Philanthropists) can be experienced fundraisers, people with strong networks, or people with a personal connection to the Heart & Stroke Foundation. They can really change the fundraising experience for the team.
  • Strength in numbers - Recruit a large team of 40+ fundraisers
    If your company can host a large team, go for it. Each team member represents a minimum of $100 in fundraising so you can estimate a baseline team goal by multiplying the number of team members by the fundraising expectation per person.
  • Suppliers and vendors are key - this is a perfect opportunity for them to give back
    If your company does regular business with any suppliers or vendors or, if your company is the long-term client of a firm or agency this is a perfect opportunity to ask them for a donation. They will see it as a valuable opportunity for relationship-building. Don’t leave this stone unturned; it’s the #1 Best Practice of our top fundraising teams!
  • Plan team events - they boost your team total, raise your profile, and build team spirit
    Plan at least two group fundraising activities. They can be as simple as a bake sale, book sale, or jeans day. Or you can do something a little more exciting, like asking your CEO to participate in a challenge to drive fundraising. On average, team events raise about $200 per event.
  • Ask for a match - if you don’t ask, you don’t get
    If your company does not match employee donations, ask for a corporate contribution to the team total. If you need any support for this request, such as a letter from the Foundation, please reach out to corporatechallenge@hsf.on.ca.

Mix and match this five elements to create the fundraising goal that works best for your team. Be creative, driven, ambitious and ultimately realistic about what you can do together to create more survivors.

Communicate with your team members
Your team members will need to hear from you every once in a while to be encouraged, to get important information, and occasionally to be reminded about a deadline or fundraising minimum.

Plan your communications out in advance so that you don’t have to suddenly fit it in to an otherwise busy schedule. Put reminders in your calendar one every four or five weeks or so until Ride day that will remind you to check in with your team members and their fundraising progress.
Be visible at your company
The farther your raise the profile of the Ride for Heart team at your company, the easier you will find the fundraising atmosphere there. Make it obvious that the company has a Ride for Heart team. This might include posting an announcement on your intranet, advertising for participants through a company-wide email, distributing posters and postcards to receptions areas and common spaces, and asking the CEO to recognize team members in their next all-staff memo.

It will boost your own profile as well, and who doesn’t enjoy some personal credit?
Share fundraising tips
It’s as simple as sending them this link.

You should also consider scheduling a kick-off presentation, in person or online, so that your team members can take full advantage of our Ride for Heart expertise. Contact the Corporate Challenge to find out more and schedule your presentation.

Please contact us at RIDE@HSF.ON.CA
2024 Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada - Charitable number 106846942RR0001

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