Tis the season for charity races. If you’re running, walking, or biking for a good cause, you have some stiff competition. The people you are reaching out to for money are also fielding requests from other friends and family. Read below for some tips to stick out of the crowd.
Start as early as possible. The earlier you start, the more money you will raise. Procrastination is your fundraising enemy.
Don’t be shy. Get over any nervousness about asking people for money. Most people will appreciate a straightforward request.
Keep it clear and concise. Be specific about where the money will go. If the mission of the organization is vague, your personal outreach message can specify or clarify.
Find your connection. Figure out what it is that draws you to this cause. It may be obvious (a cause that hits close to home), or maybe it’s just because you connect with others who are involved with the organization. Whatever your connection is, be sure to describe it in your messaging.
Consider your audience. For example, if you are raising money for a local after-school program, be sure to reach out to parents.
Make it easy. No one should have to click through several links and read paragraphs of instructions to donate to your cause. Send an email with a very clear link, directly to the page where they can donate.
Use social media. Post updates about your progress to your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram feeds. You can include a simple link where people can donate to get you over the next fundraising milestone. For example, post when you are at $900 asking for that last bump to $100.
Follow up. If you’ve participated in this event before, circle back with people who donated last year. Remind them of what their contribution helped to achieve. You can also follow up with a simple email to anyone who mentions that they are interested, but have not yet contributed.
Think outside the box. Do you like to bake? Have a bake sale at your office. Do you teach yoga? Host a yoga class where all proceeds go to your cause. Are you a musician? Have a mini benefit concert at a local bar.
Always say thank you. Send thank you notes to everyone who contributes, regardless of size. Email is fine, but a handwritten note is a nice touch. Be sure to emphasize the impact of their contribution.