Getting Started Guide for New Campaigners

The Y Champions program is new and improved for 2017! This guide will help you get started and learn more about the tools and features you can use to be successful in your fundraising efforts. If you didn’t participate in Y Champions in 2016, read on. If you are a returning Y Champion from 2016, click here

It’s easier than ever to create a Y Champions account. The signup process is simple, but first you must decide whether you want to create a team, join a team, or campaign on your own.

About Teams
Starting a Team
Joining a Team

Registering Solo

Participant Center
Joining or Changing Teams
Customizing Your Personal Page
Sending Emails to Donors
Monitoring Your Progress

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Teams?

Teams are a way for you to fundraise on behalf of the Y with a group of campaigners to reach a group goal. Examples could include, but are not limited to, volunteers fundraising together for program scholarships, department staff campaigning together, or employees at a company fundraising for the Y. It is not required for a campaigner to be part of a team. 

There are no requirements to join a team, and you can join or leave a team at any time. However, you cannot create a new team after you have registered as a Y Champion, so you should first decide if this is something you want to do before you proceed.

During the team creation process, the team captain sets a team fundraising goal (e.g. $5,000). All members of the team are able to set their own personal fundraising goal (e.g. $1,000). Any funds raised by team members will count toward the team fundraising goal. When you are on a team, you still have your own personal fundraising page which you can share with friends, family, and colleagues. New this year is the ability for donors to donate directly to the team page, if the team decides they wish to use this feature instead of individual pages. Keep in mind that if a donor donates directly to the team instead of to a personal page, the donation will not count toward your individual goal – only the team goal.If you decide teams aren’t for you, skip the following sections and read Register as a Campaigner.

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Starting a Team

Note: You cannot start a team after registering as a campaigner, so you should decide if you want to be a team captain before going through the signup process. For more information about teams, see What are Teams?

To start a new team (as a team captain):

Step 1: Get Started

Start Team Step 1

1) From the Y Champions Home Page, Click “Start a Team”

2) Enter a Team Name and a Fundraising Goal amount for your team, then choose a branch from the drop down menu.

3) Click “Next Step”


Step 2: Select Options

Start Team Step 2

4) Select a campaigner type:

a. Why It Matters – Annual Campaign: Most campaigners will use this option. Use this option for fundraising directly for the YMCA’s annual campaign. Funds raised will be designated to the branch you selected in step 1.

b. Why It Matters – Special Events: Use this option only if you are fundraising on behalf of a branch event. You will be asked to specify which branch event you are fundraising for from a dropdown menu.

c. Why It Matters – Teen Mission Trips: Use this option only if you are fundraising on behalf of the YMCA Global Service Initiative. You will be asked to specify which mission trip you are fundraising for from a dropdown menu.

5) You will now be asked to set your personal fundraising goal and if you would like to make a personal donation online as a team captain and campaigner.

6) If you would like to make a personal donation, which is counted toward your team and branch goal, you may do so now or after you have created your page.

7) Click “Next Step”


Step 3: Provide Details

Start Team Step 3

8) Enter your contact details. Note: If you have chosen to make a personal donation on the previous page, you will also be prompted for credit card information. 

9) You will also be asked to create a username and password. This is how you will log in to your participant center in the future.

10) Click “Next Step”


Step 4: Review

Start Team Step 4

11) Confirm that your registration information and email address appears correctly. 

12) Click “Complete Registration” – You will receive a confirmation email and access to your participant center. As a team captain, you will also be able to manage your team.

Congratulations! You are now a team captain. Be sure to communicate with your potential team members and let them know your team name and the branch it is associated with. You will now have a personal campaigner page that you can configure in the participant center. From the participant center you can also add contacts, send out emails to your friends and family, keep track of your progress, and thank your donors as gifts come in.

As the team captain, you will also receive alerts when new team members join your team.

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Joining a Team

You may choose to participate as a Y Champion as part of an existing team. Being part of a team allows you to keep track of your progress, as well as the progress of other team members. Each team is associated with a branch, so any donations made on your personal page as a member of a team also automatically get credited to your team and your branch.


Step 1: Get Started

Join Team Step 1A

1) From the Y Champions Home Page, Click “Join a Team”

2) Type in the name of the team and branch provided by the team captain, or leave the team name blank and select a branch to see a list of available teams.

3) Click “Search for a Team”

Join Team Step 1B

4) Make your selection and click “Join”


Step 2: Select Options

Join Team Step 2

5) Select a campaigner type:

a. Why It Matters – Annual Campaign: Most campaigners will use this option. Use this option for fundraising directly for the YMCA’s annual campaign. Funds raised will be designated to the branch your team captain selected.

b. Why It Matters – Special Events: Use this option only if you are fundraising on behalf of a branch event. You will be asked to specify which branch event you are fundraising for from a dropdown menu.

c. Why It Matters – Teen Mission Trips: Use this option only if you are fundraising on behalf of the YMCA Global Service Initiative. You will be asked to specify which mission trip you are fundraising for from a dropdown menu.

6) You will now be asked to set your personal fundraising goal and if you would like to make a donation online as a team member and campaigner.

7) If you would like to make a personal donation, which is counted toward your team and branch progress, you may do so now or after you have created your page.

8) Click “Next Step”


Step 3: Provide Details

Join Team Step 3

9) Enter your contact details. Note: If you have chosen to make a personal donation on the previous page, you will also be prompted for credit card information.

10) You will also be asked to create a username and password. This is how you will log in to your participant center in the future.

11) Click “Next Step”


Step 4: Review

Join Team Step 4

12) Confirm that your registration information and email address appears correctly.

13) Click “Complete Registration” – You will receive a confirmation email and access to your participant center. As a team member, you will also be able to see how your team is doing.

Congratulations! You are now a team member. Be sure to visit your participant center to add contacts, send out emails to your friends and family, keep track of your progress, and thank your donors as gifts come in.

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Registering as a Solo Campaigner (No Team)

If you don’t want to create a team or be part of a team, you also have the option of campaigning on your own. Think you might change your mind? No problem! You can register as a campaigner today and still join a team later. Note: You cannot become a team captain after registering as a campaigner. If you want to be a team captain, see Starting a Team.

Step 1: Select Options

Register Solo Step 1

1) From the Y Champions Home Page, Click “Register as a Campaigner”

2) Select a campaigner type:

a. Why It Matters – Annual Campaign: Most campaigners will use this option. Use this option for fundraising directly for the YMCA’s annual campaign. Funds raised will be designated to the branch you select.

b. Why It Matters – Special Events: Use this option only if you are fundraising on behalf of a branch event. You will be asked to specify which branch event you are fundraising for from a dropdown menu.

c. Why It Matters – Teen Mission Trips: Use this option only if you are fundraising on behalf of the YMCA Global Service Initiative. You will be asked to specify which mission trip you are fundraising for from a dropdown menu.

3) You will now be asked to set your personal fundraising goal and if you would like to make a donation online as a campaigner.

4) If you would like to make a personal donation, which is counted toward your fundraising progress, you may do so now or after you have created your page.

5) Click “Next Step"


Step 2: Provide Details

Register Solo Step 2

6) Enter your contact details. Note: If you have chosen to make a personal donation on the previous page, you will also be prompted for credit card information.

7) You will also be asked to create a username and password. This is how you will log in to your participant center in the future.

8) Click “Next Step”


Step 3: Review

Register Solo Step 3

9) Confirm that your registration information and email address appears correctly.

10) Click “Complete Registration” – You will receive a confirmation email and access to your participant center.

Congratulations! You are now a campaigner. Be sure to visit your participant center to add contacts, send out emails to your friends and family, keep track of your progress, and thank your donors as gifts come in.

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Participant Center

Once you have completed the Y Champions registration process (as a team captain, team member, or solo campaigner), you can access your participant center through the username and password you created.

Participant Center Home

The participant center is where you can add contacts, email friends and family, monitor your progress, and update your personal page.

You can also join a team if you have not already. However, you cannot form a new team after you have registered as a campaigner.

Participant Center Change Branch

If you selected the wrong branch during registration or just need to confirm which one you are registered under, refer to the right hand column to see which branch you are associated with. Click “Edit” to select a different branch.

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Joining or Changing Teams

Participant Center Join Change Team

1) If you need to change teams or join a new team, click “Change Team Membership” on the right hand column.

2) Select the action you wish to perform under “I want to:”

3) Type in the name of the team or the team captain’s name.

4) Select the team you wish to join and click “Join”

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Customizing Your Personal Page

Participant Center Edit Page

You can edit your personal page by clicking on the “Personal Page” tab at the top of the page. Here, you can create a title for your page and edit the text area (use a story about why the Y matters to you). You can also include a photo or video by selecting Photos/Video from the right hand column.

If you would like to see your personal page as a donor would see it, click “View Personal Page.”

You can also copy the personal page URL and share it on social media. Tip: Click “URL Settings” and create a shorter link. If you would like to make your page private, you can also do so under “URL Settings.”

Private pages can only be accessed by people who have the direct URL to your page.

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Sending Emails to Donors

Participant Center Emails

You have the ability to send messages to friends and family. From your participant center, click on the “Email” tab at the top of the page. You will go through a step by step process where you will:

1) Select an email template, or choose “Other” to start off with a blank message.

2) Compose the message. If you have selected a template, you can edit the text and will have to fill in the blanks for some parts of the message.

3) Select recipients. If you have not already added contacts, you may add contacts now manually or by importing from Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, AOL, Apple, or Hotmail.

4) Preview your message and send it out to the selected participants.

Under the email tab, you can also view sent messages, saved drafts (unsent messages), and manage contacts. These options are all found on the right hand column.

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Monitoring Your Progress

Participant Center Progress

To manage your campaign progress, click the “Progress” tab at the top of the page. The progress page is where you can see how much you have raised and edit your fundraising goal. You can view donations that have come in to your page here.

If you receive a donation offline (cash or check), you may enter it on this tab by clicking “Enter new gift” and providing the donor’s name, email, amount, and payment method. Your offline donations also count toward your progress total.

You can also delete an offline donation if you entered it in error.

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