Participants are charged an entry fee at the time of registration, but all additional fundraising beyond that is completely optional. Many participants find that their friends and family are happy to sponsor them in a local event where all money raised stays in the community. If you are interested in fundraising as part of your participation, read on…
The key to a successful fundraising campaign is writing a great letter or e-mail message. Here are some suggestions:
Know your donors
Beginning with an updated list of past donors is key – they will likely give again and may even increase their donations over time. Make sure to have a good, well-targeted, updated mailing list for new prospects as well.
Make it Personal
We all love to get personal letters, so make your letter personal. Let them know what else is going on in your life other than this event. Then move on into what the event is about and why you are involved.
Get Them to Open it
In order to get people to read your letter or e-mail, they must first open it. Make sure your e-mail message has a clear and compelling subject line. If you’re sending a postal letter, add stickers or artwork on the back of the envelope, or a hand-written phrase in the return address area
Everyone loves to laugh, so use humor where appropriate. We’ve even seen donation requests letters written completely in rhyme!
Keep it Short and Sweet
Try to keep the letter to one page if possible. Too long, and you will lose the reader
Thank Them for Previous Support
If you are writing to previous donors, be sure to thank them first before you ask for more money this year.
“Thanks for being such a faithrul supporter of the work of the HERS Breast Cancer Foundation in the past. Last year’s KEEP ABREAST event was such a success, we’re inviting you to help again …”
Suggest Giving Levels
We recommend giving your donors suggested giving levels. If you don’t put your overall goal into your letter, donors may not know how much you need to raise. Also, tell them how much to give so they have an idea of what their contribution can provide. For example, you can includes these figures:
Your tax-deductible gift provides an underserved breast cancer survivor with the following items:
- Hat or turban ($10)
- Specialty bra ($25)
- Post-surgical garment ($35)
- Prosthesis ($150)
Make it easy for people to donate by telling them how!
Make donating easy by walking your supporters step-by-step through the donation procedure. Be sure to include your webpage address for your personal fundraising webpage so that people can easily donate online.
If you are sending letters by postal mail, include a return envelope.”Donate on the web using my personal online donation page, or mail your check in the enclosed, postage-paid reply envelope.” It may sound silly to you, but people respond to clear instructions.
Keep a List
Keep a list of all the people you send letters or e-mails to. You can then compare this list to your online donations and you will see who hasn’t donated yet. This is so important for the next step.
Be Prepared to Send a Reminder
People have a habit of procrastinating. They will receive your letter and then might forget about it. The best way to send a reminder is to give training updates.
Send a Thank You
Send a thank you card or e-mail message. It is really nice to receive a note that your donation was important, not to mention that your donors probably want to know how the event went. A good thank you card will set you up well for the next event you participate in.