Creative “Fun”draising Tips
The key to a successful fundraising campaign is to ASK! But asking for money isn’t always easy and we cannot ignore the present economic climate. By being passionate about your cause you can convey the importance of supporting the Girls on the Run Mission: to educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Educating potential donors about Girls on the Run while revealing your own personal connection with the program will help make your fundraising campaign a successful one. Read below for some good advice and creative fundraising tips from Girls on the Run International and Active.com.
- Start early: give yourself plenty of time to reach your established goal. By starting your fundraising campaign 3-4 months prior to your event you allow potential donors to learn more about your cause. There is also enough time to sent out multiple emails, personalized letters and training updates without bombarding your supporters.
- Expanding your base: You will most likely first reach out to a core group of family and friends for donations. While doing so, ask them to share the mission of Girls on the Run and your fundraising campaign with their respective friends. This will help you reach more people.
- Customize your fundraising page on active.com: This is a great opportunity to send a personalized message about your involvement with Girls on the Run and your belief in the cause.
- Introduce them to Girls on the Run: Be sure to explain the Girls on the Run Mission. People are more likely to contribute to a cause they understand. Keep this short and to the point but make it have impact! Feel free to include direct links or contact information for your local council.
- Be POSITIVE! If you are excited about your participation in SoleMates and about your upcoming event, chances are your potential donors will be too! People are more likely to donate to a cause you feel passionate about!
- Get them laughing!: Unique, funny and personalized letters will catch a donor’s interest. Avoid form letters. Instead, seize the opportunity to express yourself!
- Keep them updated!: Donors and potential donors alike will enjoy reading about your training and fundraising progress. Without bombarding your supporters, send periodic emails, letters or newsletters during your training. This can serve as a gentle reminder for those who meant to give but either forgot or just didnt get around to it. Of course, sending out a post-race report is a perfect way to come full circle and thank your supporters. Additionally, because donations can be taken up to 30 days following your event you may receive a few more!
- Set a goal: There are many ways to go about this. You can of course mention your minimum fundraising requirement but may choose to set your own personal goal much higher. As donations come in, you may decide to change your personal goal along the way. Let potential donors know what your goal will mean to your local Girls on the Run council. For example: “My goal of $1150 can provide 10 full scholarships to local girls who may otherwise be unable to participate”.
- Suggest giving levels: By asking for a specific amount, you are giving your potential donors a guideline to use to determine how much to donate. You can ask for donations in the amount of $1 or $2 or $10 per mile. You can also suggest giving levels based on your local council’s specifics such as, “your donation of $50 can provide snacks for a full season at one site” or “your donation of $115 can provide a full scholarship for one girl this season”.
- Make sure your donors know HOW to donate: Be sure to include information in your correspondence about how to make a gift online or with cash or a check. Making it as easy as possible for potential donors to give is a sure way to a successful campaign.
- Set a deadline: The fundraising deadline is 30 days after your event. You may choose to set your own personally imposed deadline of 1 week prior to your event in order to encourage potential donors to give sooner rather than later.
- Appreciation: Be sure to say thanks! You can do so on a personal level as donations roll in. A more formal thank you should be done post-event at the close of your fundraising campaign.
- Focus on local: Send letters to friends & family within the community, neighbors, and business associates. Make sure that local contacts know just how their donation will impact their own community. Many people get excited and are willing to help a worthy cause that will have a direct impact in their own backyard.
- Sponsor a mile: Decide what the event is worth per mile and let the donors “buy” a mile. Keep the online fundraising page up to date regarding how many miles have been purchased and how many are still for “sale”.
- Matching gifts. Some employers will match gifts to non-profit organizations such as Girls on the Run. Ask donors to check with their human resources department when they make their contribution. Girls on the Run can provide supporting documentation when requested. For more information contact our SoleMates Coordinator.
- Sponsor ME – LITERALLY. Let potential donors sponsor an arm or a leg then write their name or message on it come race day. It is a fun way to encourage donors, and it lets your supporters feel like they are crossing the finish line with you!
- Use the social network: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media sites are a great tool to reach as many people as possible. Active.com now has a facebook link directly on your fundraising page!
- Email signatures. Include your personal fundraising link in your email signature! An example:
- Make it a Family Affair: Teach children the value of philanthropy. They can do odd jobs for family and friends and donate the money earned to SoleMates. They can even donate their allowance.
- Garage/Yard Sale: Having a yard sale is a great way to de-clutter your own home while making some extra cash. Let the neighbors join you or they can donate some items to sell. All the profits can then go toward your SoleMates fundraising campaign.
- Connect with a local civic group: Many civic groups require members to perform a certain number of volunteer hours. Connecting these groups with your SoleMates efforts during a carwash or bake sale could be very beneficial!
- Small change = big gains:Distribute change canisters at work. Small change adds up!
- Creative Hosting: Host a fundraising brunch or cocktail hour and ask invitees for a donation to SoleMates in lieu of what it would have cost had they gone out to eat instead. Try a raffle at your next family reunion or host a bingo night with all proceeds going toward your SoleMates campaign.
- Use local resources: Ask local merchants to host a benefit night/day/ or week with a certain percentage of their proceeds going to SoleMates campaign.
Good luck SoleMates on your fundraising efforts and in your respective events. May you enjoy the journey! Go to your Happy Pace.
With many thanks for all you do,
The Girls on the Run
serving Hunterdon, Bucks & Warren Counties