Because I said I would has seen several unique approaches to Peer to Peer fundraising, and has learned that some are more successful than others. Here we have gathered together some of the best practices we have picked up along the way as well as some of our own ideas. When you are logged in as a participant, you will find that your Dashboard has easy to use icons for all of these tips.
Tip #1: Make your fundraising page personal.
If they want to support you, your contacts will visit your personal page and click the "Support Me” button. Most people visit a participant's page three times before they click to donate, so make that page interesting!
Find (or take) a photograph of yourself. This isn't the time to be camera shy - your page should feature your face. Replace the silhouette profile image that’s currently on your page with this new one. You can also upload a photo for your fundraising event that is a separate image from your profile photo.
Replace the sample content on your page with a brief note about why you, personally, are supporting because I said I would.
Tip #2: Be the first donor to your page.
Consider making a meaningful donation to your own page at the time of registration to get the ball rolling. There is actually data that proves that a fundraiser who is also a self-donor will raise 2x more than a fundraiser that solicits their network without making a gift to their own campaign.
Think about it. How much more likely are you to give to a friend who has already donated to their own campaign? Highly likely, right? It helps to know that the originator of the DIY fundraising campaign is committed to the organization as a donor too.
Tip #3: Build your contact list with care.
You have contacts from many aspects of your life. Your family and friends. People you've collaborated with for years, in job or volunteer situations. People you know through your hobbies. People you know from childhood or school (and have reconnected with, thanks to social networking!). You talk to your parents, siblings, and your best friend differently from the way you speak to your mentor at work, a cool colleague, or the leader of one of your clubs, and differently still from your neighbors or more casual acquaintances. All of these contacts will be interested in hearing about because I said I would from you, because they care about you and what you do, and because they value your judgment.
Take a look at your contact list - whether it be a physical address book or one that's attached to your email - and divide people into groups. If you are using your own email system for your appeal, we suggest that you bcc everyone if you send a message to more than one person. Be sure to cast a wide net - everyone likes to hear about good work being done!
Tip #4: Ask. Directly, and more than once.
Fundraising is like inviting people you care for and respect to join you at a party. Not everyone wants to come, but everyone is flattered to be asked, proud to be associated with someone doing such an amazing thing, and appreciates being thought of. Consider bringing your "planning a party" attitude to your fundraising letter.
A good quality fundraising letter is an invitation: you want it to excite people, you need to share some specific information, and you want to elicit a response. The things that must be included:
What type of party is it? (What kind of campaign or event are you hosting?)
What occasion does it celebrate? (Why are you doing this?)
What do you want your guests to do? (Make a donation or join you!)
When should people RSVP? (Right now, the sooner the better!)
There is a sample appeal letter available in the system once you register and have access to your Dashboard. You can make any changes you wish so that the finished letter sounds just like you.
Tip #5: Use Social Media.
Facebook is still the best platform for social fundraising; where else can we share the beautiful, poignant, and silly bits of our lives with close friends, dear family, and an extended network of friends and colleagues from years past, and welcome their comments and feedback about what we are up to? That said, we are sure you’ve seen vague status updates and find yourself scrolling past it: “Hey everybody, check out this cool thing that I’m doing for a good cause. Give if you want.”
We suggest that you post the link to your fundraising page along with very specific request. For example: “Help me make a difference in humanity today. Donate to my fundraising page and help me raise funds for because I said I would. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world.
Goal-oriented Facebook posts work, too, and are most effective once you've collected approximately 1/3 of your goal. Try something like: "With help from my generous friends, I've collected $X so far for because I said I would, but I still need to raise $Y to reach my goal. I need 4 people to donate $Z today to provide crucial funding for their character education efforts. Will you help me?"
We have several fundraisers who are active on Twitter and have mastered the art of appealing to an audience with 140 characters or less.
Sample Tweets :Provide important funding for @bcisaidiwould with a gift of $50. Let’s make a difference today #bcisaidiwould. (Insert personal url or tiny version of your url)
Tip #6: Follow-up.
Every fundraising campaign hits a plateau at some point. It often happens within a week of the initial launch because those who tabled it for a later date may have then forgotten about it all together. Don't be shy about following up with people who did not respond to your first call to action (we suggest that you remove people from your outreach list after they make a donation to you). Some people are more responsive when you let them know how far you are from reaching your fundraising goal.
If your first message did not include specific donation amounts, consider including them in your second appeal. Offer amounts and how they help our mission, but make sure your supporters know that gifts of all sizes are valued. Many people respond better to specific requests and they feel more connected when they know what they are helping to fund. Here are some examples.
Tip #7: Express your gratitude.
People give to charity for a variety of reasons, but a warm, genuine “thank you” makes everyone feel good. Say thanks to your supporters openly and often. Even though each donor will get an automatic thank you note in their inbox after their donation has been processed, it is most meaningful when they also hear from you. Set a personal reminder to send a quick note to new donors each week. If you see one of your donors in person, be sure to go out of your way to thank him or her for responding to your call for support.
Use your social media accounts to brag on the people who support you - tag them in a heartfelt thank you message, and share the good work that because I said I would can do with their gift. Believe it or not, this is a good fundraising strategy too; others will want to see their names mentioned, and might choose to donate so they can also be in the spotlight.
Tip #8: Host an (additional) event.
If your entire campaign is online, it may be worth hosting a small party or some other kind of fundraising activity that brings out donors who would otherwise not contribute. An example is a block party – whether you live in a complex or a friendly neighborhood – see about getting your neighbors to come out for a day of fun. A suggested donation could be $5 per person or $20 per family.
Another example of an additional fundraising activity would be a shopping night or an awareness night at a restaurant. Often, a local store or restaurant would be willing to donate a portion of proceeds from their sales if you are willing to play a role in driving traffic to their location, especially on a night in which their business is slow. You can even take this concept to the next level and create a “downtown stroll” where multiple stores get involved in giving back a percentage of sales generated that evening. As a part of the “stroll” you could sell raffle tickets and include a raffle prize in each of the participating stores.
If you have a great idea that you would like to share with others, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org