8 Fundraising Tips

1) Personalize your fundraising page with a heartfelt description and a good photo of yourself.
Tell your story. Explain to your donors what you are raising money for and why it is so important to you. If your friends and family see that you are passionate about the cause, they are more likely to give, and give generously.  

2) Aim high.
Shoot for the stars and land on the moon. The higher your goal, the more likely donors are to increase their generosity to help you achieve it. For example, if you want to raise $500, set your goal at $1,000, and you’re all the more likely to reach your actual goal.

3) Make sure to get off to a good start.
Tell everyone you know about your Citizens’ Greener Evanston fundraising page. Before you send out that mass email to everyone in your contact book, first send out a personalized email to your absolute closest friends and family. Only after you get the ball rolling with a few donations from your inner circle should you then send out the mass email to everyone you know. You could also consider kicking it off with a personal donation to your page.

Why? Because your inner circle of friends and family first are likely to be the most generous and will help you build momentum for your fundraiser. If your first five donors each give you $50, $100 or more, subsequent friends and family who visit your fundraising page be more likely to give this amount as well. 

On the other hand, if the first couple of people, though having the best intentions, give you $5 and $10 your fundraising efforts may suffer by setting the bar low for subsequent donors.

4) Promote, promote, promote!
The more you promote your fundraising page, the better it will do. Here are the best ways to promote:
a)  Set up a Facebook group that includes a link to your fundraising page. If you have a Facebook account, definitely set up a group. 
b)  Tweet about Citizens’ Greener Evanston! Use Twitter as an effective way to spread the word.
c)  When you email your friends and family, ask them to share your page with their friends and co-workers by forwarding the email on to others they think would want to support you.
d)  Add the URL from your fundraising page to your email signature.
e)  Add the URL to your status message as a way to keep friends reminded.

5) Be persistent.
While some people will donate the first time you ask them, the reality is that it will take at least 3-4 friendly reminders before the majority of your friends and family open up their wallets for you.

Find opportunities to send an update about Citizens’ Greener Evanston to your circle. Send them funny email updates about your training or photos of you sweating it out on your bike. Create a Facebook group where you can keep them updated with developments in your training/fundraising efforts. If you engage your donors and make them feel like they are part of your journey, they’ll feel more inclined to give to you.

6) Email family and friends.
Here are a few good reasons to email them:

  • You hit a fundraising milestone – e.g. 25%, 50% or 75% of your fundraising goal
  • You want to update your friends about your training – e.g. you got some new snazzy spandex that you want to show off; you did your first 20-mile ride; you started biking to work everyday to prepare for the ride.
  • You want to share news from Citizens’ Greener Evanston or news about climate change – check the CGE website for updates or if there is relevant news in the general media about climate change, share it with your friends as a reminder about why you are supporting this cause!
  • Anything funny – people love funny stories and pictures. If anything humorous has happened to you during your adventures in saving the planet, share it with friends.

Don’t be discouraged if people do not donate at first. Remember to be upbeat and grateful, and most people will come around in the end.

7) Thank your donors.
Make your mom proud by displaying your good manners and thanking the people who have supported your fundraiser. Sending individualized thank-you emails is an especially good idea if you ever plan to fundraise again for CGE (or any cause) and plan to ask the same people.

8) Have fun!
Last but not least, always remember to have fun. Fundraising isn’t a chore. If you’re having fun with it, your positive energy becomes contagious, and this will encourage friends and your family to donate.