Hi everyone, my name is Caroline, and this summer I am working with LLS’ Light The Night Campaign as its Marketing and Social Media Intern. While I cannot share any medical expertise with you, there is one topic with which I have had a lot of experience: fundraising. I have participated in many walks, bike rides, and service trips which have all required a great amount of fundraising. I am not claiming to be a expert, but I can share with you some ideas and helpful hints I have learned throughout my experiences.
- Personalized email. When friends and family receive emails asking for support and donations, they do not want to read a generic, impersonal message that could have been sent by anyone. Make it personal! Add some life to it. Explain exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it. Share what it means to you and how their donation will have an impact. In my experience, I’ve been given a lot of positive feedback regarding how nice it is to receive a personalized letter or email. People will be more likely to donate (and read the email!) if it is interesting and if they can tell you are passionate about the cause. Sending a quick thank you email upon receiving a donation is always a nice touch! It’s also a good idea to send a thank you note after the event telling the donors about your experience and how much their support meant to you.
- Host a fundraising party! Invite friends and family over for a fun and simple get-together. It doesn’t have to be fancy or extravagant- how about a taco bar or just some appetizers? Create a suggested donation and fund-raise while having a great time with your friends!
- Dine out for a cause. Partner with a local restaurant. Ask the restaurant to donate 10% of its profits for one night to your organization. If you encourage a lot of people to participate, the restaurant will benefit, while contributing to your fundraising efforts. Create fliers and coupons to spread the word!
- Grab a group of friends and do a classic bake sale or car wash! Make it clear why you are fundraising and people will be more likely to donate.
- Do you have a birthday coming up? Throw a party and ask for donations instead of presents. My friend did this last year and I much preferred donating to a great cause than trying to shop for the perfect present. Your guests will be thankful!
- Get creative! GiveItForward.com gives great advice: don’t be afraid to get goofy. They suggest creating a list of “awards” for your donors. Their favorite example is a man who sent a picture of himself in jean shorts to everyone who donated over $50!
- Sporting event. Organize a baseball game, volleyball tournament, kickball game, etc! This is always a big hit. There aren’t many expenses to cover, so almost all of the donations can go right to your fundraising. People love getting together for some friendly competition and to raise money for a great cause. Create an entry fee for each team and let the fun begin.
Whatever you choose, have fun with it! Don’t let fundraising feel like a chore. Remind yourself why you are doing it and share that passion with others. I wish you the best of luck — happy fundraising!