The "Magic Trick" to Fundraising
March 12th, 2010 by Kristen Cincotta
One of my teammates was recently feeling a bit stressed about her fundraising. Despite the walk still being months away, she was concerned about making her minimum. Specifically, she wanted to know what the “magic trick” was to generating donations and raising money. I wanted to share what I wrote back to her because I think it’s a good reminder for everyone trying to do this seemingly impossible task that is raising money for the 3 Day.
To my teammates (and now to anyone doing the 3 Day),
The answer is there is no magic trick. Fundraising takes a long time and the best way to succeed at it is to just keep going. Don’t give up because you haven’t seen any early action. The donations will absolutely come when the time comes!
In my experience, some people will reply to a request right when you send it, but they tend to be in the minority. More often, people will save your email, bookmark your page, and/or just make a mental note to remember to donate in the future. Sometimes people are waiting for a paycheck to turn over or for a month where they have less bills to pay. I suspect a lot of people are waiting for tax returns (note to self – make a donation push on April 16th!). And I know that donations always pick up about a month before the event. Even with our fundraising contests, we’ve been getting 3/4 of the entries in the last three days or so before the contest. Right now, people are thinking they have months to get their donations in. When it gets down to crunch time, people will step up!
Also, I’ve found the hardest thing to get past is worrying about people saying no. Don’t decide for people whether they will give or not. Ask absolutely everyone. If they can’t donate, they can’t. You aren’t going to make anyone angry just by asking. And if people can’t donate, ask them to ask five other people for you instead.
Last thing – the more reminders you can give people, the better. I was worried that I was starting to overwhelm people with all these contests and things, but this week I’ve gotten a couple responses saying “Keep the emails coming! Let me know about everything!”. People like reminders and the more reminders they get, the more likely the are to follow through with a donation. Again, no one is going to get mad at you for asking for donations to such a worthy cause.
So moral of the story: just keep doing it. Don’t assume that people have decided not to give at all just because they haven’t donated yet. We can and we will all do this!!
Good luck team!