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The Best Buddies Friendship Walk is the leading walk in the country supporting inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (also known as IDD).
Join 40,000 walkers across the country to support the Best Buddies programs in your schools, workplaces and communities. You’ll be making the world more welcoming to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – one friendship, one job, and one life-changing connection at a time.
Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Who We Serve
The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities.
Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Our programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.
BESTBUDDIES® Four Mission Pillars
Builds friendships between people with and without IDD, offering social mentoring while improving the quality of life and level of inclusion.
Secures jobs for people with IDD, allowing them to earn an income, pay taxes, and support themselves.
Educates and empowers people with and without IDD, to be leaders, public speakers and advocates.
Providing a vibrant, integrated living opportunity for people with and without IDD.
Walker Tips & Tools
Thank you for being a part of the Best Buddies Friendship Walk! Registering for the Friendship Walk is your first step in helping raise awareness and funds for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in your community.
Now let’s get started! Below you will find tools, information, and ideas to help your fundraising efforts. Have fun, be creative and keep going – our finish line is a more inclusive world!
You have officially registered for this year’s Friendship Walk – CONGRATS! Here are a few tips to get you started on your fundraising journey. The first step is customize your personal fundraising page. Let’s go!
1) Log into your personal fundraising page
Click the “login” link located in the header of the event you are participating in and enter the username and password you chose when you registered.
2) Set a fundraising goal
Next, enter in the fundraising goal you are aiming to raise. Choose a goal that is attainable. Remember, $50 gets you a Friendship Walk t-shirt and incentive levels are at $250, $500, $750, $1,000 and $1,500.
3) Make it personal
Upload a photo of yourself and possibly one that shows why you are walking and fundraising for Best Buddies. Next, share a story about your participation in the Friendship Walk and what Best Buddies means to you.
4) Kick things off
Get your fundraising page started with a donation of your own. It is not mandatory to do so, but it does help get things started. It also shows your personal vested interest in the cause and your efforts.
2023 Fundraising Incentives
change • maker [chaynj • mayker] (n.)
1. Someone who is committed to bringing about positive social change.
2. Someone who leads with intention to create a difference in their community.
All new for 2023, we are proud to introduce The Changemakers, an elite fundraising level for those who go above and beyond to support the Best Buddies mission! Every person who raises $5,000 on their individual Friendship Walk page will earn custom Vans shoes, a commemorative “Changemaker” pin, and more.
Stay tuned throughout walk season for special announcements — and thank you for raising funds and awareness to create stronger, more inclusive communities. You are truly a Changemaker!
Tools to Help Your Fundraising Efforts
This list of resources is overflowing with tools to help you create a captivating fundraiser that encourages donations. Use these tools to bring your fundraiser to life! This comprehensive list covers everything from writing, design, social media, photos and video, event organization, and a few in-depth checklists to keep you organized throughout your fundraising journey.