We’re so happy that you’re considering (or have already started) fundraising for the Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K! To help get you in the spirit, here are 3 ways you can have fun while raising money this Turkey Trot season.
That Fun Fuzzy Feeling
Ever heard of the saying “Every penny counts”? It means that all money raised, big or small, matters. By going above and beyond for the Turkey Trot, you’re directly helping children and adults in your community attend Y programs that keep them safe, engaged and healthy. Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy?
Fun with Family and Friends
The excellent thing about the Turkey Trot is that you can run and fundraise with your family and friends! And as we all know, our friends and family have a knack for holding us accountable, thus motivating us to succeed! So, if your goal is to become more social, healthier or more community-minded, the Y Turkey Trot 5K is a great way to do exactly these things!
Fun Incentives and Prizes
Who doesn’t like incentives? Each time you reach a fundraising level you are rewarded with Turkey Trot swag. You can read all about it in our Fundraising Guide!
Thank you for your help.
We hope the Turkey Trot brings you as much joy as it does to the children and families throughout central Maryland, who benefit from its impact.
With a love of dinosaurs and trains, Graham may seem like a regular 4.5-year-old. But here’s the thing…he’s not.
For the last four weeks Graham has been in training for his first Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K! Yes, you read that right! With the support of Mom (Christina), Dad (Chris) and Dog (Puck), Graham has been regularly hitting the Patapsco trail preparing for the Ellicott City Turkey Trot. According to Christina, Graham is running a little further and a little faster each day!
When asked what motivated him to get involved, Graham says he is doing it for charity. His mom also shared that they have been talking about the value of community and the importance of completing something once committing to it.
Well, we’re here to tell you: Graham has definitely committed! As well as his impressive training regime, Graham has been fundraising up an absolute storm and has collected over $400 in donations! All proceeds raised by our fundraisers benefit children and adults throughout central Maryland who need help affording Y programs that keep them safe, engaged and healthy .
Graham’s inspiring commitment to community appears to be something that runs in the family. Literally. Both Christina and Chris will be running alongside Graham on Thanksgiving morning, cheering him on. As well as that, Chris’ company, Bolton (an employee benefits consulting firm) are sponsors of the Turkey Trot!
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Graham for his involvement and wish him the best of luck on the day. Based on his training progress, he may even run faster than a raptor (one of his favorite dinosaurs)!
We’d also like to extend our deepest gratitude to his parents and supporters for helping him every *mini* step of the way. We’re so lucky to have people like you in our Y family.
If you’d like to follow or support Graham’s adorable Turkey Trot journey, his fundraising page is updated regularly with updates.
Did you know that you can fundraise for the Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K? That’s right! As soon as you register, we automatically set you up with a fundraising page which you can log into anytime at http://login.classy.org
By fundraising for the Y Turkey Trot, you are strengthening our community for all, for a better us. All proceeds benefit children and adults throughout central Maryland who need help affording Y programs that keep them safe, engaged and healthy.
What motivated you to fundraise for the Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K in 2017?
My motivation came from a few different places. One was raising money for kids in need… I figured it was one small way I can give something to the city we live in. It was also fun having a goal to work towards and a good reason to get out and run more regularly!
What are your top five fundraising tips for beginners?
Be sure to describe what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how their donation can be impactful in a child’s life. Talk about your training and challenges. The more you offer, the better your chance of convincing people to give.
Consistency is key. Email regularly.
ALWAYS INCLUDE YOUR DONOR PAGE URL! ALWAYS!
Send a follow-up email after the event thanking everyone for helping to make the Turkey Trot a success. Tell them how much you raised and reiterate what a difference they made in the lives of children. Include a tired/sweaty post-race selfie of you—people want to know you earned their donations!
My last piece of advice is to thank each contributor individually. Write them a nice email thanking them, and let them know how they are helping to improve a child’s life.
What was your favorite thing about race day? Well, first it was a beautiful autumn morning—perfect for running! I loved seeing all the people out there, running, walking, jogging. Seeing everyone out there all doing the same thing, having fun at a charitable event, was both rewarding and motivating. Also finishing! Just finishing was pretty great.
Thanks for the tips, Jason!
And for all the 2018 Turkey Trotters out there, did you know that upon registration we automatically create a fundraising page for you? All you need to do is “claim it” and get cracking! We also have an awesome range of Fundraising Prizes available to all our top fundraisers. Check them out here.
We love seeing all kinds of groups participate together on the day; friends, family, work colleagues, a mixture of these! Groups that work as a team train harder, raise more money and have more fun! If you have already registered a team or are just thinking about being a Team Captain (do it!), here are some hot tips on how to create the ultimate team this Thanksgiving.
Set an inspiring team goal.
One of the first steps is setting a challenging (but achievable!) team goal. If you’re the Team Captain, you can set this goal upon registration and adjust it at any time. We recommend you grow your team by recruiting family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. How, you ask? Well, you can:
Use social media to share that you are participating and looking for others to join you.
Put it out there on your friend or family WhatsApp group.
Mention it at your next work team meeting.
Email your friends and family.
Talk about it until the cows come home…
Remember to share your team page widely so it’s easy for people to sign up. Once they are registered, we’ll automatically create a fundraising page for them to personalize.
Fundraise and communicate.
The more a team communicates, the more fun it’ll be! Team Captains should regularly keep members updated on team progress, including on new team members, money raised, and days left until the race.
If your team is on the social side, why not plan a pre-Turkey Trot kick-off party to discuss some “on-the-day” logistics like costumes, meeting points and times?
As well as communicating, team members should also be encouraged to fundraise. Click here for some fundraising tips for beginners.
Once your team has reached its goal (yay!), you can celebrate! Here are some simple and cost effective ways Team Captains can show gratitude to their teammates.
Host a post-event celebration party.
Blast an email and include all the pictures you took in a collage.
Get crafty – you can do so much with paper, scissors, tape and a Sharpie.
Give someone a yummy treat (homemade is nice for friends and family).
Post on social media! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #yturkeytrot
Want to make a tangible difference to the lives of children and adults living in poverty in our community?
Registration is now open for the 2018 Turkey Trot Ambassador program! Our Ambassadors play a very important role in the promotion, fundraising and, ultimately, the success of the event. This year we are hoping to recruit at least 100 Ambassadors – will you join us?
What do Ambassadors do? Besides being awesome Ambassadors are responsible for:
Enthusiastically and passionately spreading the word about the Trot;
Getting involved in a variety of Turkey Trot volunteer opportunities;
Helping to reach a collective ‘Ambassador’ fundraising goal of $10,000 and making an impact on the lives of so many children and families in our community.
What are the benefits of being a Turkey Trot Ambassador?
A long-sleeved limited edition Turkey Trot shirt
Access to a private Ambassador Facebook Group
An invitation to our Ambassador Kick-Off Party
A fundraising page and coaching
First dibs on additional volunteer opportunities
A great feeling for helping others and being a part of something bigger.
Who can be an Ambassador? Anyone who is passionate about strengthening our community and having a bit of fun.
How do I become an Ambassador?
It’s easy. Visit our volunteersmatters page and register today. Once registered you’ll receive instructions about what to do next!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Robyn Vance.
Ask three-time Turkey Trotter, Teda Lightfoot-Dotson, what the atmosphere is like on the morning of the Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K, and her eyes instantly light up.
“Oh, it’s EXCITING! As soon as you arrive, you see everyone, warming up and getting ready to run. There’s music, vendors, families, friends, a few dogs… everything is happening! I love seeing how everyone comes together on Thanksgiving morning to give back and help other people.”
Teda has been involved with the Y Turkey Trot since 2015 when she had participated in the Baltimore City event. She loved it so much that she returned in 2016 to be a lead Y volunteer event ambassador. She is back again, in 2017, with even more enthusiasm and passion for the cause.
“It’s important to me that everyone gets behind the Y Turkey Trot because the funds that it raises does so much good, especially for children. Some little ones in our community need guidance and a place to go where they feel safe and happy. To me, that’s the Y!”
Like the children to whom the Y offers enriching programs, Teda’s relationship with the organization dates back earlier than her first Turkey Trot.
“The Y is very dear to my heart because it’s something I grew with. I had the opportunity to go to a variety of different day camps as well as participate in a number of other activities as a young girl.”
“The Y has helped form the person I am today. That’s why I love seeing the impact the money raised by the Trot impacts the community.”
Teda’s tips for first-time trotters?
“I would recommend everyone who registers to try and pick up their race packets before the event. That way you won’t miss out on any of the fun of the day!”