If you follow me on Twitter of know me from Facebook, you probably saw posts recently that I had reached $2600 and had done it in 17 days. I have had a couple of people ask how I did it and so I thought that it might make a good topic for something to post on the site. As with any of the fund raising advice on here, this may or may not work for you depending on several factors, some of which will be mentioned below. So let’s cover the factors of what I did to raise this money.
If you go to the Fund Raising category on this page, you’ll see several videos that I did to try and get people to donate money. I had done e-mails in the past with decent success, but I hadn’t had a whole lot of success getting my friends on Facebook to see what I had to say. I figured that if I did a video and involved the kids in it that it would be more attention grabbing than a couple lines asking for a donation. In addition, I tagged 50 of my friends on each video every time I posted a new one (I believe 50 is the limit) so that after a three I had tagged about 150 friends. Which means that their friends can see the video too. So I posted the video on Facebook and then e-mailed a link to it as well as the script for the video to friends that weren’t on Facebook.
The other thing that I have realized in the past years is that even if people want to donate, unless you give them a date that is some time soon and keep reminding them about it even the most well minded person will forget to donate. So here is the challenge that I issued to my friends:
I want to hit the $2500 fund raising mark in 5 weeks. I had already raised $700 from a couple of donations and a lot of going door to door, I mentioned that, told them what the money was going for and then did a little math. I said that the message was going out to about 200 people, but I knew that some people were already walking in the 3-Day and some just wouldn’t see it on time, so I estimated that only about 60 people would see it and donate in time. I divided it up and told people that if everyone that donated gave at least $30 then we would hit the goal easily. I know that setting a dollar amount usually makes people give just that much, but when I hit the goal that I set, the average donation was $95 so I think it worked out.
With every challenge that I do, I try to have some kind of reward. Something that makes people want to give money. For my fund raiser, the reward was that if we hit the $2500 by the end of five weeks, then I would make my hair pink for both the Boston and Dallas 3-Day walks. For some people this was enough to get them excited and donating. They were just excited about the prospects of seeing me with pink hair.
Then after the second week was over, I was $495 away from the $2500 goal. On the second week, the donation were about half of what they were on the first week, but I kind of expected that. I wanted to ramp up donations again, so I issued another challenge. This time, I said that if we reached $2600 by the end of the week that not only would I have pink hair, but I would also wear a bra (on the outside of my clothes) for both walks. Now, if you’ve been on the walk before, you know that seeing guys wear bras is not unheard of, so I was fully prepared to do this. This got more people interested in donating and I even had a donor make a repeat donation (after verifying that I was indeed going to wear the bra where people could see it). With these two rewards, that didn’t cost anything substantially more (except hair dye and a bra or two), I was able to meet both goals that I set out ($2500 in 5 weeks and $2600 by the end of the third week).
Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
I alluded to this before, but I did weekly updates of where we were with the fund raising. In these videos, I restated what we were doing, said how the fund raising was going and thanked all the people who donated the week before. I had several people thank me for sending a follow up e-mail because they would have forgotten otherwise. That’s the key thing to remember here, there are many people out there who want to donate, and there are just as many people who would possibly forget that you needed a donation. If you keep reminding them on a regular basis then they don’t have to remember on their own!
I Got the Kids Involved
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece about getting the kids involved in the fund raising. That’s exactly what I did here. Instead of me thanking everyone that donated, I had my kids read the names of people. They really enjoyed it and started asking me when we were going to do the next video! It was really fun to watch the video and I hope that everyone that donated got to see their names called out by Jackson and Sawyer.
After reading through this, it probably goes without saying that I had some awesome friends that enabled me to raise that much money that fast. This is my fourth year of participating in the 3-Day and every year I wonder if my friends will still be interested in helping me out with fund raising and every year I am pleasantly surprised with the immense amount of support that comes from them. Thank you to all the friends that made this fund raiser short and successful!
Take a look at the videos from this fund raiser that I posted and see if they help you out. Maybe you can hit a fantastic goal too!