We are family not a vendor. We are a member of the Down syndrome community and the ds-connex strategy is far more than offering a fundraising solution. We developed our holistic strategy after nine months of research and working directly with NDSS. We believe that building a strong community through shared knowledge, creating national outreach through social media, and developing our own fundraising solution can lead to more awareness, acceptance, and advocacy of Down syndrome across the nation. We offer to assist every location across the country, no mater how large or small.
Our fundraising software Stride, was created exclusively for Buddy Walk® events based on its four year history with Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio. We took the time to visit Buddy Walk events in 2013 as well as solicit their input for creating the best fundraising tool that meets the needs of the Buddy Walk.
Extensive Year-Around Support
We have team members with experience as both walkers and team captains and can relate to your questions and provide clear, easy to understand advice. Fundraising tools provided by many vendors can be cumbersome and hard to understand because the terminology is generic for all and custom for no one.
We support Buddy Walk event coordinators with limited resources by offering to set up your Buddy Walk® event including uploading photos, creating banners, and customizing forms for your local event. We do not charge additional fees for this support.
We have develop extensive training materials in the form of online manuals and tutorials specifically designed for the Buddy Walk. We offer training to your team captains how to effectively use Stride.
No Buddy Walk Too Small
We want to work with all Buddy Walks regardless of size. We currently are working to bring on board a first year Buddy Walk® from Scottsboro, Alabama with a goal to raise $10,000. Under the FAQs on the Donor Drive website they say that the typical non-profit they can provide the most benefit is raising $150,000 or more per year.
More Effective Results
Our approach to fundraising involves more than just a great fundraising tool, we also provide Social Media advice to engage a larger audience of participants and donors. We will take the time to help you implement a customized plan and show you tips and techniques to manage the process.
Fees and Merchant Account
We don’t charge a setup or annual fee for the use of Stride. Our system uses your merchant account allowing all donations to be deposited into your account immediately.
Community Driven Enhancements
Local Down syndrome offices no longer need to worry about expensive customization fees. Each year the community of Stride users are encouraged to submit ideas and features that will enhance the participant’s experience. The cost of all enhancements are funded by the Wells Foundation.
Stride is an online fundraising solution originally developed for the Down Syndrome of Central Ohio by GroundWork group to assist with the Buddy Walk event. The Wells Foundation funded the expansion of the solution to be used by all Buddy Walk locations nationwide. The solution has been completely customized for the sole purpose of engaging participants and donors to support your local Buddy Walk. Stride is exclusively for our Down Syndrome community and not offered to any other nonprofits. Each year Stride will add more capabilities based on the feedback from users at no cost.
Unique features of STRIDE
Easy to customize Buddy Walk registration page including rotating pictures, banner, and sponsor logos.
Visually appealing supporting the culture of the Buddy Walk celebration.
Each feature such as registration fees can be activated or deactivated by the event coordinators based on local event policies.
Reduced time to configure your event since Stride is loaded with Buddy Walk default text for waivers, registration and donation receipts, team captain bio and other forms.
Our unique Cart System allows participants to order hats, calendars, bandabouts etc. at time of registration check out. Up to twenty items including photos can be uploaded with pricing information. Stride reports will keep track of total amounts sold by each item.
Registration Process is Simple
Walkers can add multiple registrants, select from cart items and add a donation in one transaction. Walkers will appreciate the one time entry of their credit information to complete all these transactions.
Donation Process is Simple
An individual has the option to donate to multiple walkers, teams or make a general donation at one time. Those needing to make multiple donations will also appreciate the need to only enter their credit information one time.
Buddy Walk team captains have predefined emails to communicate with all or selected team members and donors. These emails will simplify the communication process, remind team members of the goal and team logistics.
Payment Processing by Team Captains
Buddy Walk team captains can reduce the efforts of event coordinators by entering their own cash and check donations. All entries are marked as pending until approved.
Donors will have the option to pay for processing fees allowing 100% of the donation to be given to the Buddy Walk.