We are so fortunate in the National Capital Region to be able to swim in, paddle on and enjoy the beauty of our river. If you love the Ottawa River and want to help protect and promote the health of our watershed, please consider fundraising in support of Ottawa Riverkeeper.

We’ve got some great prizes this year for our top fundraisers and we make it easy for you to set up your own fundraising page. You can set a fundraising goal, email your friends and family to ask for donations with the help of some sample wording from us (see below), and track gifts as they come in. The more you fundraise, the more you can win in awesome prizes! Plus you’ll be helping keep our Ottawa River swimmable, drinkable and fishable!

Tom Anzai Memorial Trophy

The Tom Anzai Trophy will be given annually to the top fundraiser, in memory of the original 4K race director, Tom Anzai.

Tom was the founder and race director of our annual Riverkeeper 4K swim. He had a vision to swim from one shore of the historic Ottawa River to the other, swam it, then invited all fellow swimmers to participate in what he called an epic charity event. His passion for the event was contagious. He didn’t miss an opportunity to speak not only of the swim, but also of the importance of a healthy Ottawa River. Tom exemplified dedication and community service. We will remember him fondly.

Collecting Pledges and Donations


Download the form below. All donations you collect in person can be dropped off at race kit pick up, or when you check in on race day morning at the check in table.

Download the form


You can collect funds through our online fundraising portal once you have signed up to participate and create your fundraising dashboard.

Go to online portal

Thank you so much for helping fund important programs like Pollution Hotline and our community Learning Library. People like you make this work possible!

Fundraising Prizes

Raise essential funds to help protect the river, and win amazing prizes! Individual and team fundraising is open to all swimmers and paddlers who wish to participate.

Start raising funds and earn some amazing and exclusive Ottawa Riverkeeper swag!

$100+ raised $250+ raised $500+ raised

A prize pack from:


Team Fundraising:

Take your fundraising campaign to the next level this year by starting a team! Invite your friends, family, and co-workers to join and see how far your team can rise on the leaderboard! There will be some awesome prizes to be won for the top fundraising team plus you will still be eligible to win individual prizes as well!

Your team can be big or small with a maximum of ten members and a minimum of two! Members on each team don’t have to be swimming the same race distances and they can even be a paddler! Here is an example of a team breakdown:

Please note that when you register in a team, IT IS NOT A RELAY – every team member must swim or paddle the full distance they have registered for. Not all teammates must be swimming or paddling the same distance.

Note that participants registering with a team are still eligible for the individual prizes.


Individual Fundraising:

The Anzai family would like to recognize the efforts of the top individual fundraiser with the Tom Anzai Memorial Trophy.

Individual fundraisers are also eligible for fundraising incentives!

Keep on fundraising for the river, and the prizes will keep coming!


How Your Fundraising Will Help

This year’s fundraising proceeds will be going towards our work, including a new Ottawa Riverkeeper initiative: Road Salt Monitoring

Over application of road salt after heavy snowfall and ice poses a real threat to our rivers. The poisonous chemicals found in road salt such as chloride can be picked up along the way after the snow melts or a precipitation event and can end up in our rivers, streams and lakes. These chemicals can seriously impact water quality and aquatic life. This funding will help us set up a program to monitor the specific conductivity and chloride levels in the Ottawa River!


How to Start Fundraising!

If you are a new registrant there will be a question in the registration signup asking if you would like to create a new team:

  1. Click “Yes create a new team and add this registrant”
  2. Choose a team name
  3. Your team will show up on your participant dashboard
  4. You can now add other participants to your team, set a fundraising goal, and add a team photo and a description
  5. Friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers can all make donations towards your teams goal online at:
    All they will need is your first and last name or your email address.

If you have already registered you can add yourself to a team in your participant dashboard:

  1. Click Add to Team
  2. Choose from the list of teams that have already been created


Fundraising Prizes

Top Team: Rafting trip with Ottawa City Rafting!
Top Individual: Tom Anzai Memorial Trophy + Rafting trip with OWL Rafting!

Fundraising Tips & Tricks

Shy about asking? No problem! Why not start by advertising what you’re up to? Add a note to your email signature with a link to the donations page (I’m signed up for the Riverkeeper 4K Swim on August 10th! Learn more here.) You could also post about it on social media (#Riverkeeper4K), add some fun photos of yourself training and getting ready for the event.

Make it personal. Tell your friends and potential supporters why you care about a clean and healthy river. The more detail and the more personal the better!

“Using pictures really caught people’s attention. I think I got about $800 in donations after posting that one!” – Patrick Nadeau, Executive Director at Ottawa Riverkeeper

Get the ball rolling with a personal donation. Be the first to make a donation and show how important it is to protect our rivers! Friends and family are more likely to make a donation if they see you’ve already started it off. It shows a personal investment and it’s also great for everyone to see that you’re already on your way to reaching your fundraising goal.

Ask for a specific amount. If you ask for donations of $20 you are more likely to get that amount than smaller gifts of just $5 or $10 (although those are great too!). This will also help you reach your goal more quickly.

Use some quirky or funny photos in your social media posts. A funny staged photo or a “throwback Thursday” shot of yourself as an adorable toddler in a speedo can work wonders at getting interest and ultimately donations from your friends and family.

Don’t forget to use email. Sharing posts and asking for donations on Facebook and Twitter is great, but an email ask is still the most likely way to garner gifts from friends, family and colleagues.

Sample E-Mail

Here’s some sample text you can use to get you started:

Hi everyone!

In case you didn’t know, I’m participating in the Riverkeeper 4K [or 1.5K or 750m] swim this August 11th and I’m fundraising in support of Ottawa Riverkeeper.

Ottawa Riverkeeper is a local, grassroots charity and an independent voice for the Ottawa River. Ottawa Riverkeeper works to protect, promote and improve the health of the Ottawa River and its tributaries.

I’m passionate about our River and the great work that Riverkeeper does because…I love swimming in our river/my family and I love hanging out at our local beaches every summer/I’ve been paddling in our river since I was a kid…

Would you please consider a donation of $20 or whatever amount feels right for you to help keep our Ottawa River clean and healthy so we can all enjoy swimming, paddling and enjoying its waters for years to come? You can donate here [insert the link to your fundraising page] and receive a tax receipt right away by email.

Thanks for your support!


P.S. My goal is to raise $500 [or $1,000 or more!] and every dollar helps! Right now I’m half way to my goal [or I’ve reached just 25% of my goal or 75%] and your gift will help get me closer. Here is the link again to donate online [insert the link to your fundraising page] and help protect our river.

If you have any questions about your fundraising, the event, or about Ottawa Riverkeeper, please feel free to get in touch with Chloe Hillier, Director of Fund Development and she’ll be happy to help you out. You can reach her at or by phone at 
613-321-1120 ext. 1003.