Over the past few weeks, we have been giving our teams and runners several fundraising tips to help raise money for their team fundraising page for their selected charities. We recently came across a good article from the UK discussing ways to fundraise using the London Marathon. See Aimee Meade, London Marathon 2015: Fundraising Tips, The Guardian (Apr. 16, 2015). While not all of those methods are necessarily relevant to the Delaware Charity Challenge fundraising competition, they are nonetheless useful and we commend them to you to consider as you are fundraising.
There are five simple ways that can help you (as an individual or as part of a team) using an individual or team fundraising page to raise money for a charity. First, ask. Second, use social media. Third, share information about the charity you are supporting. Fourth, explain the impact of the donation. Five, thank donors for their donation and support.
1. Ask. There are many ways to ask, but the bottom line is to do so. As the saying goes, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. There are many ways to ask, some of which are explained in the article referenced here, but the easiest way is to send an email to your friends, family, social media networks, and targeted list servs. Asking someone face-to-face typically yields the best results, but is also the most time intensive a process and requires the most commitment and thought process. For many nonprofits, "making the ask" is accomplished using a combination of these strategies.
2. Use Social Media. Social media is an easy way to ask your family, friends, and social networks to support the cause you are asking them to donate to. Like step 1 above, you want to carefully craft your message, but social media allows a widespread dissemination of your ask, as well as the fundraising page URL where you want them to make the donation.
3. Share information about why you are supporting this cause. Equally important as asking is explaining why you are asking. The more compelling the story, the more likely the person you are asking will want to support the cause. (Included within this information you want to share information about the cause itself).
As pointed out by Helen Dagley, PR manager at JustGiving here, "We share so much on social networks and the same applies to caring. When you're running a marathon to raise money for a cause, you're expressing what you care about. Tell your personal story on your fundraising page and describe the reason you’re running the marathon. Explain why you're running for your charity and describe the impact the money will have. Don't forget to keep your supporters updated on your progress and your training with posts, photos and videos. The best campaigns really are fundraiser stories."
4. Explain the impact of a donation. Impact matters. Explaining where donations go and what they are used for are important because it potentially provides a more comprehensive picture why you are involved. There are a couple of different ways to show impact, organizationally and financially.
Organizational impact can be shown through statistics or examples. For example, one of the teams in the Delaware Charity Challenge (Greater Dover Boys and Girls Club of Delaware), explains the impact of the organization using statistics: "87% of club kids finish high school as compared to 66% of all young people in the USA. The college graduation rate for club kids is 56% higher than the national average. Seaford police reported a 62% decrease in juvenile crime after the Western Sussex Club opened. 60% of participants in our educational enhancement programs have increased at least one letter grade in each subject tutored."
Financial impact is best demonstrated by illustrations. Again, using the Greater Dover Boys and Girls Club, any potential donor can see the impact of a wide range of donations:
- $1,500 provides a year of educational programs, life skills, and fitness activities.
- $1,000 pays for one member to attend Summer Fun Club for three months.
- $500 provides a trimester of daily homework help.
- $250 allows a child to attend ten weeks of fine art classes.
- $150 provides nine months of after-school nutritional snacks.
- $100 provides a one-week summer camp scholarship.
5. Thank your donors. Thanking your donors allows you to be able to show your appreciation and also bring the fact that your are raising money to additional potential donors and friends. Never underestimate the value of saying "thank you" and what impact that may have on your cause, whether through increasing awareness or raising more money.
Conclusion. There are many good fundraising tips out there, and we've tried to highlight five effective ones that can help with your fundraising efforts.
- Ask your family, friends, and social networks to donate.
- Use Social media to promote your fundraising page.
- Explain why you are supporting your cause and why everyone should donate to it (the more compelling reason the better).
- Explain the impact of what their donation will have on the organization.
- Thank your donors!
Do you have other good suggestions or tips that have helped with your fundraising? Comment below.