Top Fundraiser Shares Secrets to Raising Money
We're super excited to share Heather's fundraising secrets with you!
- Can you tell us about your volunteer project? What organization are you volunteering with and what do you plan to do there?
- How did you find Kid's Play International and why did you choose them?
- How did you let your friends and family members know about your fundraising campaign?
- How did you follow up with potential donors who were initially unresponsive?
- How often did you share your fundraising campaign on Facebook?
- What resources on Volunteer Forever did you utilize while running your campaign?
- Are there any specific donors that you would like to thank?
- Do you have any other tips you'd like to share?
- What was the most important thing you did that contributed to your fundraising success?
Heather: Kids Play International, founded by 3-time Olympian Tracy Evans, teaches sports to kids in Rwanda through Olympics ideals, such as fair-play, good sportsmanship, self-discipline and goal setting. Over the course of 10 days, a fellow Olympian and other sport-minded athlete’s (me) teach these lessons through sport.
Heather: Tracy Evans was introduced to me in 2009 by a mutual friend, Robyn Jones, Director of Enrollment at University of Redlands in California, while I was completing my MBA. I knew instantly, that Tracy was a unique person and I believed in her mission and wanted to be a small stepping stone in her success forward.
Heather: Fundraising was daunting at first; however, like all great unknowns, I pushed ever forward, but slowly. I enlisted help and advice from my friends, family and peers. My friend, Adam, set-up my Facebook Page to let people know what I’m up to. I used this to corral information and people.
My long-time college friend Erin, is a very thoughtful and sharp PR executive, who helped me with messaging and drawing-out-of-me, what the purpose of the mission was to me. She really helped me discover my voice of why people will care about being a part of the trip’s success!
One of my long-time college friend, Angie, previously fundraised as well and at every-turn, she was the my confidant on what I was doing, why I was doing it and what’s the best way to move forward. Having someone to ask questions to, is critical to help bounce ideas off of here and there.
Facebook posts were fantastic. Every week, I would send out a note, "let’s meet this deadline together". I ran the campaign for 4-6 weeks and achieved the goal. I had a few fundraisers and realized they were not the right opportunity for me to raise awareness or funds in a short period of time.
Also, some people are not on Facebook, so I sent individual emails. I did want to mention – 2 things: 1) Make sure you make a list of people who may consider donating from various groups. It’s tedious and does work. 2) Keep a list of all those that donate, from the beginning, so you can thank them.
Heather: Facebook posts and emails saying, "just a friendly reminder, the deadline to donate is next week. Thank you for your generosity and support!!! I couldn’t do it without your support and wouldn’t want to either!". People care about what you are doing and want to contribute and be a part of the goal. Sometimes, they get busy too. A little reminder is all it takes.
Heather: Once a week and for the last week, I may have mentioned it twice and said "we’re $X away from reaching our goal. See your name added to this list today."
Heather: I researched who was donating on my page, the comments the donors put, trends and also reviewed others campaigns to see what they did as well.
Heather: All of them – they are all invaluable to me who helped support me and this goal. I’ll look forward to thanking them personally each, over the course of the next year, as our paths cross (some are out-of-state or country). The children’s faces in Rwanda, as we taught them various skills and how they took to it, was all made possible by the generosity of friends, family and peers. I’m forever grateful!!
Heather: Start small, know that it may not be wildly successful and keep at it. Everyone else is cheering you on!!
Heather: Make a list of all possibly people that might consider donating. I’m always surprised at how many people step up and help out when no one else is looking. I’m very fortunate to have wonderful people in my life. Good luck!
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February 02, 2017 | Read 697,286 Times