I am talking to many new fundraisers who are trying to get a spot on the team for the destination trip to Nicaragua in November. I hear about your experiences and I know how difficult it is to fundraise, especially in the beginning. I notice that you all are dealing with exactly the same problems. So this blog post is for you to show you that you are not alone, to help you keep your wonderful motivation and go for your dream of being a part of this project.
Let’s go through this step by step: In the beginning it is important for you to find out why you want to be a part of this project specifically, find out what it means to you, what inspires your dedication. This will be very important in your fundraising and for your donors to jump on board, support you and donate. I always start with creating an email. I talk about the project itself, how I can be a part of it and why I wish to be a part of it. There are great reasons to support us in what we do (I will come back to that in a bit), so mention them! Finish with adding the link to your donation page and telling your donors what a wonderful impact they are making in supporting you.
Different fundraisers told me that they don’t have a big circle of friends which they can reach by email. That’s not a problem, there are many ways to use your personal message, get it out in social media, publish it on message boards, create flyers you can distribute, get the word out, be creative. And talk talk talk! Everywhere and to everybody, you never know where you will find your next donor and how you will infect people with your enthusiasm. Is there maybe somebody you know who works in a big company, which could be interested in donating? (Keep in mind that they may be able to use the donation as a tax deduction.)
Don’t give up when it takes some time before donations come in and your fundraising starts rolling. As well when you have times where donations dry up a bit. Many people need more than one exposure to the project before they feel comfortable supporting it. Go on working with enthusiasm and soon your labors will bring fruits. Here we come to another important point on your list when donations start to come in: Never forget to thank your supporters. Do it in public, mention people by name and say that they donated and that they are an important part of your team now. This shows your donors how much you appreciate them, how proud they can be about supporting such a wonderful cause and the side effect of this is that you remind everybody again of the project.
This leads me to the next thing I want to talk about. Some of you asked me if you can post reminders. And yes, you can – absolutely! I do that as well. You can style them as a friendly update, to show everybody the progress that has been made, for instance like “look how much the team already raised… thank you to everybody who already donated, we could not do it without you… If you still wish to donate you can do that here… >link<…” That shows your big appreciation for the wonderful donors you found and again reminds everybody who is thinking about supporting you of the project.
I said before that I would talk more about good reasons you can refer to, so let’s come to this now. :) Something you should definitely mention is that at Random Acts everybody works as a volunteer and also that you will pay your own travel expenses for the trip. Unlike other, bigger organizations there will be no money lost in an administration machine. And with you going on the trip in November you can be the bridge between your donors and the project in San Juan del Sur, you can show your supporters what will actually happen with their money and what a wonderful difference they are making. Something else to definitely mention is that Random Acts works together with local people during their destination projects, people that know how the help we bring will make the biggest impact, how to do it the “right way”. A good argument for your fundraising!
Let me finish with telling you how awesome you all are doing! With every dollar you raise you make an important change, be proud of yourself, and believe in yourself! I made many experiences over the years, concentrate on the positive energy and the good support you receive! Don’t let people bring you down, keep your enthusiasm and dedication, it will help you to reach your goal and I will see you in November in Nicaragua!
Happy fundraising, and much success!