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7 Tips to Raise Money {for the cause you love} | Written By: Cheyenne Palma

Are you ready to fundraise for a cause you love but unsure how to get started? Here are some tips to help you launch a campaign. You’ll be a philanthropist in no time.

  1. Make it personal. This is the number one way to connect with others about your cause. It can seem logical to start out sharing the history of your favorite charity and statistics about the need for donations. But when a request begins with generic information that can be found on the organization’s website, there’s no true connection made between you and your audience at the onset. So, the first step is to be willing to share something personal about why the cause matters to you. Maybe it has affected you, your family, a friend, or coworkers. Make a list of what you can share and get comfortable about putting it out there.
  2. Build out your story. Now it’s time to build out your personal story. Think about specific situations, conversations, and/or issues around the cause. Maybe you love animals and you’ve always wanted to help animals. That’s great. But a deeper connection can be made by sharing the “how” and the “why.” How and why did animals become important to you? Is early childhood education important to you? Why? Maybe you didn’t have access to the educational resources you needed as a child. How did that affect your trajectory in life? The goal here is to really dig down and think about some specific stories you can share throughout your campaign. This might even include conversations you’ve had with others which were eye opening or enlightening to you.
  3. Make the request clear. Think about exactly what it is you are asking for. As you ask for financial donations, try to be specific by sharing your goal and how certain dollar amounts would be helpful. What would a $25 gift help you and the charity accomplish? What about a $100 or $1,000 donation? Will more be achieved if you surpass your goal? Consider sharing other needs of the charity. Perhaps the charity is looking for a volunteer accountant, call center support, volunteers to wrap holiday gifts, or blankets for homeless men. Try to be as specific as possible to make it easy for your audience to say yes.
  4. Build a team. It’s often easier to raise money as a group. This is why volunteer committees are so common. Not only do you expand beyond your own efforts, but it’s also helpful to have others on your side when you need a boost. A team is your support system. You can even come up with a fun name together. Participate as a large team in a 5k walk/run or put together a small, working committee of people who care about the same cause. Different personalities can spark energy and excitement into your campaign. Determine your goals together and decide how you’ll be accountable to each other.
  5. Say Cheese! You’ve heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” It’s true. Social media posts with pictures typically have far more engagement than those without photos. Share photos of you, your family, your friends participating in the cause you love. Let people see your hands on activities and interactions. Steer away from stock photos. Try to use photos that show you personally engaging with the cause you love. You may even inspire others to spring into action.
  6. Build a schedule. It’s wonderful to help a cause you love. But it can be overwhelming to take on a big fundraising project while trying to juggle the responsibilities of your daily life. Put together a schedule to plan and organize your fundraising activities by day, week, and month. As an example, maybe you’ll post on social media twice per week (say Tuesdays and Fridays). How often will you send emails to your friends and family? Once per week or when a milestone is reached? A written schedule will help you stay focused and not let the campaign take over your entire life. If you’re fundraising as a group, build in time for recurring phone calls, Skype video calls, or in-person meetings to check in and keep each other on track and motivated. It can also be helpful to check in with the charity on a regular basis. Tell them how your campaign is going and ask if they have any recommendations for you.
  7. Update, update, update. After someone contributes toward your campaign, don’t let it end there. Express your thanks and make sure you update all of your contributors along the way. Share with them how your campaign is going. Share new activities you’re doing. Share photos of you with the cause you love so much. Share success stories along the way. You never know when someone will give again, spread the word and ask others to give on your behalf, or even feel moved to get involved on a deeper level.

Have you raised money for a cause you love? How did it go? What tips would you recommend?

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  • Liz / 18 February 2016 3:53

    fantastic tips Cheyenne!

  • Flora Gutierrez-Sanchez / 21 February 2016 7:56

    Cheyenne, what an amazing article!! We can definitely identify in so many levels since both of us have the love for fundraising/the not for profit world here locally!! We are like two peas in a pod

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