Derby Duck Fundraiser

What are Adoption Events?

Adoption Events are hosted by your Derby Duck Fundraiser committee. The goal is to spread awareness about your event and also acquire duck adoptions. You can have a free-standing booth, or partner with local businesses to hold adoption events at their building.

When Do Adoption Events Start?

Adoption events should start as soon as Duck Season begins, or 6 weeks before your Derby Duck Fundraiser! GAME recommends a minimum of 1 adoption event per week leading up to your fundraiser.

Adoption Event Tools

Adoption papers or adoption tickets are key tools used in attaining duck adoptions for the Derby Duck Fundraiser. They are designed to combine the best features of an informational brochure or event ticket. You can utilize these multifunction pieces through point of purchase displays, direct mail or at adoption events.

Many clients find success by partnering with their local:​

  • Breweries
  • Restaurants
  • Credit Unions
  • Coffee Shops
  • Fitness Centers
  • Grocery Stores​​
  • Local Festivals​
  • And More!

We’ve started you off by providing some tips on how you can get your ducks adopted at adoption events!

  • Send an email blast to friends, family, and members of the community informing them about upcoming adoption events.
  • Always make sure you “ask” someone if they would consider adopting a duck. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know!​
  • Always include a call to action in your correspondence. Don’t just tell people what you’re doing, ask for their help!
  • Display posters, business cards, or yard signs about your event around the community.
  • Use Facebook, Instagram, and other social media channels to spread awareness about your event.
  • Partner with your community. Ask local businesses to display your posters or or event tickets for a few weeks!

GAME offers the opportunity for friendly competition through teams on Equack. Teams are a great way for groups of people to help contribute to your Derby Duck Fundraiser. You can create teams for various purposes with the option to add team members underneath each team. Examples of types of teams include:

• Businesses in the community
• Departments within your organization
• Partnerships with other non-profit organizations

The benefits of using teams include raising more money to meet your duck adoption goal, increasing marketing exposure through social media, getting more people to interact with your fundraiser, and supporting various causes in the community. You have the power to create as many teams as you want. There is no limit!

To create a team, you can enter a goal duck adoption amount, allow team join requests, add a mission statement and photos and additional text. You are also able to add all of this information for a team member. To get credit for duck adoptions, teams/team members can share their own personalized link which will take a duck adopter to their team page, or the duck adopter can select the team/team member’s name when selecting a duck package from the home page.

GAME always recommends a  7–9-month timeframe to new clients for the Derby Duck Fundraiser. This is mainly to cover the time it takes to secure sponsorships. GAME can help you create your sponsorship packet and give you ideas of the types of sponsors you can go after.  The more time you put into securing sponsors, the better the outcome for your Derby Duck Fundraiser. When planning your event, focusing on your sponsors should be the first step. In addition to securing sponsors, it is just as important to let them know how you can provide exposure to them in return for their sponsorship money.

What You Can Offer to Potential Sponsors

  • Digital marketing exposure: sponsor logos and website links on your website, email blasts and social media posts leading up to your fundraiser.
  • Print marketing exposure: sponsor logos on event tickets or adoption papers and marketing collateral such as business cards, posters, or yard signs.
  • Virtual Gift Bag: includes sponsor offers available to the public or exclusive to duck adopters on your website.
  • Duck merchandise and duck balloons for selfie stations at their place of business.
  • Sponsor logos on duck deployment t-shirts and banners on event day.
  • A duck adoption booth for their business on event day.

And so much more!

Contact GAME today to learn more about how you can secure sponsors for your Derby Duck Fundraiser and what you can offer your sponsors in return.

Today the Marion County Rotary Club kicked off the 2024 Duck Season in Ocala, Florida! Our first Duck Derby Fundraiser of the year wouldn’t be the same without some weather-related issues, would it? The event was originally scheduled for Saturday, February 17th but had to be postponed to today, February 19th due to the rain.

The Marion Rotary Duck Derby is hosted in conjunction with the Ocala Cattle Drive, the annual festival celebrating Central Florida cattle history. The event consists of many exhibitors, a variety of food vendors, family friendly activities and much more! Unfortunately, Ocala had a 56% chance of rain on Saturday, so the Marion Rotary Duck Derby had to be postponed a few days later.

The proceeds raised from the Marion Rotary Duck Derby support the Discovery Center, a family-friendly science center that promotes interactive learning and encourages individuals to expand their knowledge, as well as many other charities supported by the Marion County Rotary Clubs. Over the past 5 years, the Marion Rotary Duck Derby has raised almost $30,000, and, including grants and sponsorships, over $200,000 for the Discovery Center alone!

In the end, all 5,000 ducks were adopted to raise money for the Discovery Center and other local charities in Ocala, Florida. A huge congratulations to the Marion County Rotary Club, Discovery Center and all the other parties involved who helped make this fundraiser a success, regardless of the weather and last-minute changes! Let’s hope that next year the sunshine will make an appearance on Duck Derby Day!

Thank you to all of our Derby Duck and Turbo Turtle fundraising partners! We appreciate the hard work you put into your events each year and all that you accomplish to help support your local communities. We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at GAME. Below are some fun ways you can thank your sponsors, adopters, and community partners as well!

Duck season is starting to come to a close and the holidays are right around the corner. If you find yourself with some free time, now is the perfect time to start updating your Equack website before next year. Keep reading to discover some fun ways you can enhance your Equack website!

Add a Countdown Timer

Go to and personalize your own countdown timer for your Derby Duck Fundraising event. You can customize the font style, text color and background color. Once you create the timer, copy the embed code from the website. Be sure you are logged in to your Equack website. Go to Race Manager > Home Page Blocks > Add a New Home Page Block. Change the block type to raw html and name it. Then click add. From there you can paste the html from the website into the content field. Click update.

Add an Instagram Feed Box

Go to your Instagram account on your desktop computer. Click the 3 dots at the upper right-hand corner. Click “embed”. Click “copy embed code”. Go to your Equack website. Go to Race Manager > Home Page Blocks > Add a New Home Page Block. Change the block type to raw html and name it. Then click add. From there paste the code you copied into the content field. Click update.

Link an Image to Another Page

Use a website such as Canva to create a custom image and upload the image to your Equack website. Go to Race Manager > Home Page Blocks > Add a New Home Page Block. Change the block type to image/photo and name it. Then click add. Upload the image from your computer and put the URL to the page in the link field. Click update.

Add a Video Gallery

Go to Race Manager > Home Page Blocks > Add a New Home Page Block. Change the block type to video gallery and name it. From there you can copy and paste up to 3 video URLs from YouTube. You also have the option to change the header text color and the video gallery background color.

Add a Custom Prize Image

Use a website such as Canva to create a custom prize image and upload the image to your Equack website. Go to Race Manager > Home Page Blocks > Add a New Home Page Block. Change the block type to image/photo and name it. Then click add. Upload the image from your computer and click update.

In any fundraiser, volunteers are key in helping throughout the entire planning process of a fundraiser and a duck race is no exception. Whether they’re year round volunteers, students who need school volunteer hours or members of the community who want to give back, there are plenty of opportunities to offer which helps off-load some of the work of your full/part time staff.

Adoption Events: Volunteers are great for adoption events to help hand out marketing material, providing information about your race/organization and directing people on how they can adopt ducks online or in person at your table. Best practice would be to create an adoption event schedule with a sign up sheet based on 2-4 hour windows and how many volunteers you’ll need for each adoption event.

Tagging Party: Depending on the size of your race, having at least 8-10 volunteers for every 5,000 ducks that need to be tagged are suggested, based on a 2 hour tagging party. The key to having your tagging party run as seamless as possible is having separate groups of volunteers removing the current tags on the ducks and another group placing your designated tags on the ducks. If it’s a longer time frame for the tagging party, offer snacks, soft drinks and throw on some music. Although the task can be tedious, who says your tagging party can’t be fun?

Clean Up Crew: The last tasks at hand before you send your ducks on their way, is to clean them up. Have a group of volunteers on the sidelines ready to collect your ducks once your winners are found. Some racers use pool skimmers and others (if the water is shallow enough) have used laundry baskets to scoop the ducks out of the water and get them back into the totes. Be sure to give your volunteers a briefing on how the ducks need to be packed so they’re best prepared on how to clean and pack them up.

*We know putting on a fundraiser can be an all hands on deck kind of work, be sure to send your volunteers a thank you card to show your appreciation after you race.

Summer has been heating up and so has Derby Duck fundraising season! The Rockland Duck Derby was the first fundraising event to kickoff the month, and a new race as well! They adopted over 4700 ducks their first year which is quite the feat! This week more duck races in Chicago, Reno, and Idaho Falls will take place. Keep reading to learn about the rest of our upcoming fundraising events in the month of August!

August 10 – Chicago Ducky Derby

The Chicago Ducky Derby is a signature fundraising event for Special Olympics Illinois. This year, a minimum of 100,000 rubber ducks will race to the finish line. The winners of the ducky derby will receive prizes, including a 2024 Chevy Trax, four lifetime passes to Six Flags Great America, a Royal Caribbean cruise, and more! All proceeds from this event benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois. This year’s event includes a two part family festival, a watch party, and of course the ducky derby!

August 12 – Nevada Humane Society Duck Race

Nevada Humane Society has been partnering with GAME for over 10 years and growing their race steadily in return. Last year they raced over 47,000 ducks, and we can’t wait to see how many ducks they race in 2023. All proceeds from their event benefit the animals of the Nevada Humane Society – cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs too! Race day begins at 10 am and includes tons of fun activities including live music, a beer garden, fun games for kids, vendor booths, and the duck launch!

August 12 – Great Snake River Greenbelt Duck Race

The 32nd Annual Great Snake River Greenbelt Duck Race kicks off on Friday, August 11 with a pre-duck race event including a classic car cruise, poker run, live music and dinner! Saturday marks the day of the race where festivities will take place from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm ending with the duck race along the river greenbelt. Over the past 31 years, the Rotary Club has raised more than $6 million through duck adoptions, with matched funds by the City of Idaho Falls. For the past six years, the funds have gone toward the development of the city’s newest park along the river walk – Heritage Park.

On August 19, at least 10,000 rubber ducks will race down the course at Highland Park in Endwell, New York. Proceeds from every duck adoption will go to the Broome County Humane Society, an animal welfare organization dedicated to the prevention of animal cruelty and finding permanent, loving homes for companion animals. The Humane Society services the community by sheltering animals, finding them homes, investigating reports of animal cruelty, educating people of all ages and rescuing animals from life threatening situations.

August 19 – Blue Ridge Duck Race

Established in 2005, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge serves the children of Martinsville and Henry Counties in Virginia through their exceptional afterschool and summer programs. The proceeds from their 8th annual duck race will support these programs and continue to provide the children who participate in safe and nurturing learning environments with caring professionals from the community. The duck race is one of the club’s most significant fundraisers and symbolizes the support of the community and their efforts to empower all young people to reach their fullest potential in life.

August 26 – Center for Prevention of Abuse Duck Race

This year marks the 35th Annual Duck Race for CFPA – their longest running and signature fundraising event. In 2022 they raised more than $200,000 for survivors of abuse in their community and sold out of all 30,000 ducks! This year they are racing 35,000 ducks and definitely plan to sell out again! CFPA provides free and confidential services to victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexual assault, elder abuse, and offers violence prevention education to students helping to prevent abuse before it begins in the tri-county area, reaching more than 38,000 young people each year.

August 31 – Gwinnett Duck Derby

The 9th Annual Gwinnett Duck Derby will be a virtual event again this year on Facebook live. As the largest fundraising event for the Rotary Club of Sugarloaf, net proceeds of more than $100,000 have benefited many local charities in the community including the Special Needs School of Gwinnett, Lawrenceville Boys & Girls Club, Annandale Village, Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, Rainbow Village, Gwinnett County Library Foundation, Gwinnet Tech, Because One Matters, Nothing but the Truth Food Ministry, and several title I schools in Gwinnett County.

Recently we’ve gotten questions about next steps from some of our newer racers. Here are the tasks you’ll want tackle after your new racer workshop.

Completing these items will be your main priority until you get to duck season, which starts 6 weeks before your Derby Duck Fundraiser. During duck season you’ll focus on acquiring both online and hand-to-hand adoptions and marketing your event in the community.

Feel free to reach out to your GAME team members with any questions you may have!

Derby Duck Fundraiser