Team Captain Tips

Thank you Team Captains! You're the boots that keep CNOY moving. You play a vital role in the event -we're grateful for your leadership.


Team Captain TipsSome smart, breezy tips to help you be the best captain ever.

Virtual or In-Person?


How to Begin

  • Recruit 7-8 or more of your friends and family to register and fundraise with you.
  • Fundraise personally, and encourage your teammates to fundraise too.
  • Communicate frequently with your team to keep them excited and connected.

First Things First

Captains make it happen! While 80% of being a captain is just being a decisive and encouraging friend, here's the the rest of it:


  • Set a good fundraising goal: Usually the captain sets the fundraising goal for the team. A $2000 goal is a good start, but it depends on your team and your expectations of them - talk to your teammates and build your own goal! Most fundraisers bring in around $200-$300, but some raise much more. What's important is to settle on a goal and talk about it often in your communication. Don't worry, you can edit your goal up at any time.
  • Talk About The Toque: We eliminated the $25 registration fee this year to help make recruiting teammates easier and encourage fundraising. That means the famous CNOY toque is now going to be our thank you for those who fundraise a minimum of $150 (adults 18 or older) or $75 (for youth 17 and under).
  • Brainstorm teammates: As you begin, consider all the potential teammates you could ask to join your team. Write their names down without a lot of self-editing, and keep brainstorming. Talk to your team to get more ideas, and encourage them to bring in teammates too.
  • Communication: Decide how you'll stay in contact with your team, both during the campaign and on the event day. Group texts, short emails, and the odd phone call over the campaign period will help keep you and your team encouraged and focused. Welcome new members joyfully, and celebrate good fundraising pushes! Finally, when event day comes you'll want to make sure your team has your cell number handy to stay connected.
  • Confirm your date: If your team decides to 'go virtual' and avoid the In-Person event, pick your event date early. Of course, we strongly encourage you to pick February 20, 2021, CNOY's national event day! But if your team has a scheduling conflict, feel free to select any date in February that works best for you.
Recruitment Ideas

You probably don't need any help thinking about who you could ask to join your team. But if you are coming up empty for names, this list could boost your recruitment:

  • Spouse/partner: Of course they'll join your team. Tell them it's a date! Surprise them with the news they're gonna have a night on the town... with hundreds of other people wearing CNOY toques. They'll never forget the moment you asked...
  • Kids: Why not... what a learning opportunity! The issues of people experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger are so important to expand their understanding of the world, and a great way for kids to help appreciate the things they have.
  • Siblings: You've got a couple on your nice list, right? Great - now put them on your recruitment list.
  • Mom or Dad: It seems so long ago, but before you were born they used to have lives and did fun stuff. Maybe it's time you started easing them back into it! Ask them, appreciate them, and make some family memories.
  • Work people: Week after week, they keep thinking about how wonderful you are - you might as well invite them to join your team and prove all their assumptions correct!
  • Neighbours: You shoveled their driveway all last winter, and mow a little extra all summer. They kind of owe you - invite them. :)
  • Friends: Wait, why is the option way down here? Obviously, your friends should be joining you, and in fact, are just waiting for you to ask right now. They'd love to hang out with you because you're the most bestest bestie for life friend in the whole wide world.
  • Boss: She'd be soooo impressed with your initiative and pluck, then even more impressed when she finds out you didn't invite her to impress her...
  • Pastor: Tell them they can still rock their vestments (or go wild with their funkiest tie) if they want.
  • Classmates: Save them from a Saturday of Netflix, top ramen, and rolling eyes - they'll be happier if you help them do something meaningful instead.
  • Church or small group: These folks are great fun and might love to walk for a few hours on a Saturday. Ooh, and you gotta get a potluck in there somehow - church people will do anything for egg salad sandwiches and spiceless chili.
  • Pretty much everyone else: Pilates instructor, yoga friend, the guy beside you on the bus every morning (Joe something), your favorite barista who always remembers your order, your accountant, your lawyer (if they love justice, they'll love this!), your doctor, dentist, or do-gooder-friend-at-the-club - the list is endless.

Enjoy your brainstorming!

Money, Safety + Waivers

Handling Money

This year all cash and cheque donations need to be collected and sent directly to CNOY Head Office by participants, whether registered for a Virtual or In-Person event.

  • Credit Card: The Best Option! Simple, secure, automatically tax receipted for gifts of $20+. Visit the Donate page, share your personal page link, or have your donor call the CNOY Head Office.
  • Cheques: The Old Faithful - made out to Coldest Night of the Year with your name on the Memo line. Mail them to the CNOY Head Office along with your completed pledge sheet.
  • Cash: You have 2 options:
  • 1. Login to FundHub, click Enter $$ and Cheques, create pledges for your cash donations, pay them off with your personal credit card, and keep the cash. OR...
  • 2. Write a cheque (made out to Coldest Night of the Year) for the total amount of cash you’ve collected. Mail it to the CNOY Head Office with your completed pledge sheet.

Safety First!

  • Youth and children should always be supervised.
  • Remind your team that in case of any accident or injury, they should immediately call 911 for emergency support.
  • If an accident does occur, please contact the CNOY Head Office by phone or email.
  • All captains are expected to be aware of and respect all covid-related health and safety guidelines for their area, including (but not limited to) exercising social distancing protocols and wearing masks as required.

Watch for Waivers

Everyone on your team must register online before event day.

  • When they register online, they will automatically accept an electronic waiver, which is all that is needed for adults.
  • If you have youth or children on your team, they will need to have their parent or guardian sign a printed paper waiver.
  • Someone on your team (like you!) must take a photo of all child/youth waivers and send them to waivers@cnoy.org.
Got questions about the Coldest Night of the Year?
info@cnoy.org | 1.877.743.3413