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Team Captain Information

Welcome to the Team Captain Page! Becoming a Serve-a-thon Team Captain is a great way to take action toward strengthening Chicago's schools and communities. This page is designed to provide you with all the information and resources you need to meet the challenge of recruiting team members and fundraising for Chicago Cares.

A team is any group of 2 to 50 volunteers who want to serve at the same Serve-a-thon site. Even if it's just you and a friend, you'll want to start a team to ensure that you will serve together.

What is a Team Captain? The Team Captain is the leader of a team. This person sets up the team's online fundraising page, recruits and communicates with team members, organizes and rallies the team's fundraising efforts and monitors the team's progress throughout the event. Consider hosting a kick-off meeting to invite, recruit and register team members. You can also find fundraising tips and prizes on our fundraising information page.

Your Serve-a-thon Experience, Step by Step:

  1. Register your team today! Click on "Register Now" in the left hand menu
  2. Click "Agree" to the required event waiver
  3. Select "Start a Team;" if you are starting a team affiliated with an event corporate sponsor, you will find your company's name in the drop down menu. If you are starting a community team, good for you! Simply select "Independent Team"
  4. Name your team. We recommend picking something brief but fun and distinct (this will make it easier for prospective team members to search for your team name)
  5. Invite everyone you know to join your team; friends family neighbors, train buddies, colleagues, hair stylists, your children's teachers, members of your faith community, sorority and fraternity pals and alumni association peers.  
    NOTE: You'll notice that there is a required donation of $30 per person to participate in Serve-a-thon. That $30 helps to defray a portion of the cost of the event and provides you with;   
    -admission to Chicago's largest service event 
    -breakfast snacks 
    -round-trip transportation between Serve-a-thon Plaza and your project site 
    -a huge after party with free food, drinks and live music 
    -the awesome feeling of giving back to the Chicago community!
  6. Fundraise for Chicago Cares programming. The funds raised through Serve-a-thon directly support more than 200 projects the Chicago Cares creates and manages every month. You can help us serve meals to the homeless, run after school programs for kids, tend community gardens, spend quality time with seniors and much more. We make it fun and easy to get started. Check out our fundraising tips and take the $150 Challenge!

Interested in Other Serve-a-thon Opportunities? If you want to help get people excited about Serve-a-thon, consider becoming a Bus Ambassador and sharing important information with volunteers on their way to and from service sites. If you want to help but can't stay all day, consider becoming a Production Assistant. These volunteers are the backbone of our event as they work behind the scenes, ensuring that everyone has a great experience. Visit our Annual Events Service Team Page to find out more.

We're in This Together! You are not alone. Keep returning to this page for the most current resources throughout your Serve-a-thon journey. You can find helpful tips and checklists in our online toolbox. If you have any questions or need recruitment or fundraising ideas, contact Maura or Kim at 312.780.0800 or at


  • When you start a team, you'll be given the option to help out by sharing information about Chicago Cares and passing out waivers and evaluations on the bus ride to/from your project site on June 9. If you opt in, we'll confirm your participation and send you plenty of details by June 7.
  • Registration will close on Monday, June 4 or whenever the event reaches capacity (whichever comes first).
  • Teams max out at 50 members (including the Team Captain). However - if your team hits 50, don't stop recruiting! Just ask a friend to be the Team Captain for a second team and start recruiting to fill another 50 volunteer spots.
  • Team Captains are the best advocates for the Serve-a-thon, so tell everyone you know about what you are doing and how they can participate by joining your team or making a pledge.

Have questions about starting your team, or need some more recruitment ideas? Let us help: email or call Maura at 312.780.0800 x163.

Help Files

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