Participant Fund Raising Tips
Fund Raising Tips for Event Participants
Raising sponsorship funds for an event may seem daunting, particularly for new participants. But, experienced marketers participating in numerous events find that fundraising is not difficult. Here are some helpful tips from past events.
Tip # 1 – During a holiday, ask your friends and family to donate to your fund raising instead of purchasing you that gift you don’t really need. Or, host a festive holiday party and encourage your friends to donate $20 to your event instead of bringing a bottle of wine or bubbly.
If you have a friend or family member on your list that has everything and needs nothing, make a donation in their name to World T.E.A.M. Sports or to the WTS event of your choice.
Try one or all of the above and you’ll be well on your way to reach your fund-raising goal!
Tip # 2 – People often get busy and simply forget when it comes to supporting events and causes. In this era of information overload, we receive hundreds of emails every day. Sometimes, the emails are deleted before they are even opened; other times, they are opened, but we think “I will do that when I get to my home computer, when I get off work or in a minute,” then we get sidetracked and forget. If you take the time to send a friendly reminder email each week to your friends and family and ask them to support you by making a small donation, most likely, they will take the time to donate.
Remember, make a point to say “thank you” to each donor once you receive your donation notification. The acknowledgment message they receive from World T.E.A.M. Sports after their online donation will be appreciated, but a personal “thank you” from you is what they will remember.
Start your email campaign today and you’ll be amazed how quickly your donation numbers add up!
Tip # 3 – Plan a Happy Hour with friends and co-workers. Many of us do a weekly happy hour with friends or co-workers – make your next one a fund raiser! Ask your local hangout if you can host a fund-raising happy hour. They can offer anything, from just a place for your event, to a portion of the proceeds of the evening’s festivities.
Once your location is set, invite your friends and co-workers. Encourage them to each bring a friend. Before you know it, you’ll have a packed house and be raising money for a GREAT cause!
Remember, at your event, talk about what you are doing. Let people know what the event is about and why you are raising money. When people connect with the cause, they will tell others, and they will also donate.
Start planning your event today! If you have a friend or friends who are participating, make it a collective effort. The more the merrier!!
Tip # 4 – Organize a Sale! Get creative or just do something simple to increase your donations for your event by using American ingenuity and being an entrepreneur. Rather than asking someone to donate cash, give them a reason to donate through providing goods or a needed service.
One sure way to increase your donated funds is to host a bake sale at your office. As long as it is okay with your company’s policies (be sure to check first!), offices have a captive audience of hungry workers eager to eat. Ask friends and family to donate some baked goods or bake your own. Holidays like Valentines Day are great to host office bake sales. Create cookies and cupcakes with hearts and package them in pink and red and sell, sell, sell! St. Patrick’s Day in March is also a great holiday to sell green-themed bake goods.
Another idea is to organize a yard or garage sale with your teammates, friends or neighbors. Ask each participant to give you a percentage of their sales – anything from 20 to 50 percent is fair. A yard or garage sale is a fantastic way to clear out some junk (er…treasures!) and to get the word out about your event participation.
Do you or a friend or colleague have a skill to make crafts? Jewelry, bird houses, dog collars … we’ve seen it all and the more creative your idea, the more money you’ll make.
Remember, at whichever fund raising event you choose to create, be sure to talk with your participants about what you are doing and why you are raising money. Share printed handouts from our World T.E.A.M. Sports fund raising page. When people connect with the cause, they will tell others, and they will also donate in your name.
Start planning your sale today! If you have a friend or friends who are participating, join together as a team to make it a collective effort. If you are participating in the event as a part of a team, work together. It will be much more fun for everyone and you can split the proceeds between the team members.
Tip # 5– Take Advantage of Special Events. Holidays and special events such as college basketball’s “March Madness,” Valentine’s Day and Halloween are great times to fund raise for yourself or your team.
In late January of 2011, one team registered for the Face of America ride held an impromptu Big Game fundraiser. In only 24 hours, the team collected $750 for its general team donations. Not bad for a day’s work!
Think about the fundraising possibilities you might undertake for March Madness or other popular national events. For basketball’s biggest tournament, combine picking your team brackets with a local pub fundraiser. With the right planning, you can raise $1,000 or more.
St. Patrick’s Day in mid-March is also a great time to host a party that everyone will want to attend. There are several ways to increase sponsorship revenue at your event – start by visiting your local dollar store to pick up inexpensive IRISH trinkets to give at the door with every $5 donation. Once your party is underway, have some specialty “GREEN” drinks available – when purchased, a portion of the proceeds is applied to your fundraising total.
Halloween in October is a natural for fundraising for events, but so is the Fourth of July, President’s Day, Arbor Day, anything that has a particular theme that you can use to bring in friends and colleagues.
Tip # 6 – Inspire others with stories of our exceptional athletes. World T.E.A.M. Sports is honored to have amazing athletes participate in our events. Many other inspiring athletes are profiled on our World T.E.A.M. Sports website. To increase your fundraising, pick a story that inspires you and send it out to everyone you know. Ask them to join you in your support of these exceptional athletes through their generous donations. You have an opportunity to educate your friends and family about the mission of our organization and to change the lives of our participants.
In our event sponsorship packets, we appeal to corporate officers by noting that for more than 20 years, World T.E.A.M. Sports has used athletics to challenge disabled and non-disabled men, women and children to accomplish goals they never thought possible. At all our events – whether mountain climbing, bicycling, white water rafting or other sports – four things always happen:
• Disabled participants build self confidence and physical fitness
• The disabled provide a role model for other disabled citizens, encouraging them to take up athletic activities
• The disabled provide a moving inspiration to other participants and to spectators when they see disabled individuals can reach goals and meet challenges beyond anyone’s imagination
• The disabled and non-disabled participants become a team, working together to overcome those challenges
In your personal appeal, follow the same strategy. Your participation will help other participating riders and spectators. By providing financial support, your friends, family and colleagues can also actively participate in reaching these goals. That’s important.
Tip # 7 – Keep in Touch. When was the last email you sent out asking for your friends and family to sponsor you? Perhaps it was the day you registered for the event. If that is the case, today is the day to send another email, a “friendly reminder” that you are still raising money for a great cause. Add a link to the World T.E.A.M. Sports 2011 promotional video to your email to let them know what our organization is about. Most people are visually oriented – use this great video to your advantage. Here’s the link.
Don’t forget that when you are fund raising, you should always talk with your donors about what you are doing and why you are raising money. Share printed handouts from our fundraising page with the group. When people connect with the cause, they will tell others, and they will also donate in your name.
If you are planning a fund raising event, be sure to send us an email with the details. We will post your event to our our World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Facebook page and include it in newsletter calendars. This will let other participants in your area know about your event so they can come and support the cause.
Tip # 8 – Cook, clean or work on a bike? All of us have something we can do to earn a donation. One participant recently offered a home-cooked meal to anyone who donated $50 to her by the end of the day. She raised $300 and got to enjoy her friends during dinner!!! Another participant likes to clean bikes (for the life of me, I can’t figure that one out, but it works). He offered to do spring bike cleaning for all his friends for a $50 donation and raised $500.
In the past, we’ve seen offers to clean a house or a garage for a donation and even offers to watch a friend’s children or walk their pets. All kinds of activities that are easy to do and can help you reach your fundraising goal! Be creative and have fun doing so.
Tip # 9 – Spring Cleaning? Have a Garage Sale this weekend. Even if your local weather isn’t acting as if spring time is here, the calendar may say it is. Take a day and clean out your closets, your basement and all the other places you’ve been storing the things you don’t really need. Your “junk” can be someone else’s treasure. Get with your team, your neighbors or fly solo and have a garage sale. Be sure to let your patrons know that the money is going to charity – hopefully that will keep the price haggling to a minimum.
Use social media to your advantage… if you are on Facebook, let all your friends know what you’re doing, and that you’re in the final stretches of raising money. You probably have several friends who are not on your email list that would be happy to make a donation.
Tip # 10 – Work with a local business. Ask a friend or associate who owns a business to promote you and your cause for a week. They can set out a box to collect donations and match what is collected, or perhaps donate a percentage of what they make through sales for a specified period of time to add to your fund raising.
For a recent event, a Virginia bicycling team held a fund raiser at a local restaurant chain that offered to not only give a percentage of the food sales for the night, but for the entire month in all of the northern Virginia. The chain asked for participating patrons to save their receipts, and submit them to World T.E.A.M. Sports for a group submission to the chain’s marketing office. What a great way to earn additional support for an event!