I love being able to creatively fundraise to support my school and schools around the country, and I especially love cultivating enthusiasm for the 100 Mile Club® mission at a grass-roots, community level.
The fundraisers described below DIRECTLY support student sponsorships, engage the community, and inspire BIG change in the health, happiness, and connection of our schools, families, and communities.
Here are 14 tried and true hints and tips to help you start a fundraising campaign of your own.
Use a convenient donation platform such as GoFundMe. This way, donations are tax-deductible for your donors and are ready when you are! These platforms are clean, easy, and have all the tools you need to host a successful campaign for your school or group.
Funds will be sent directly to the designated charity (in this case 100 Mile Club®) and will be earmarked for use within your group/school. Don't hesitate to reach out to the National Office with any questions about getting your fundraiser up and running!
Start where you are and help those that are right in front of you. Do this first, and if your fundraiser grows beyond that...BONUS! (It’s like when the flight attendant says to put your oxygen mask on before you help someone else.) The fundraiser I am hosting now will fund students at my school first, and then our extended goal is to help schools all over the country. The sky's the limit!
“Do what you can with what you have where you are. - Teddy Roosevelt. He was right. Don’t look beyond your own environment to create your own unique campaign.
- Is there someone who can make or donate little gifts for your donors?
- Do you have a friend with a ton of followers on social media that can share your campaign?
- Would your school allow you to post it on their website?
- Think about what YOU have at your fingertips and utilize it to grow your campaign.
Set a reasonable yet lofty goal. Share that goal with others. Shout it from the rooftops! Make YOUR goal everyone’s goal. You are not doing this alone.
Watch those possessive pronouns! When speaking or posting about your campaign, use the pronouns “we, our, and us” vs. “I, my, and me”. Which of the statements below sounds more engaging?
- My fundraiser is going so well! I can’t wait to help my students run 100 miles.
- Our fundraiser is going so well! We can’t wait to help our students run 100 miles. Thank you for being part of this team.
The collective “WE” is everything. Every donor, no matter the amount, is part of the team.
Tell your story. When describing your campaign, be authentic and share your story. How did you become a coach? Why do you believe in the mission and vision of 100 Mile Club® What is your vision for this fundraiser? What will happen when your fundraiser is complete?
Share with anyone who will listen. Post on social media, wherever your followers are most engaged and connected. Send emails to friends and family, your school community, and your colleagues.
No donation amount is too small. Small donations add up. Celebrate every single donor. They are giving from their heart and giving what they can.
Thank your donors! Letters from kids, shout-outs, genuine enthusiasm. Post shout-outs on social media if your followers came from social media.
Recognition engages everyone and pots a spotlight on those who took the time to click and make that donation. We are all human and love being recognized, acknowledged, seen.
Personally, I am more likely to take that next step (in this case, donate) if I know that it will be acknowledged, even if it is a simple tagged thank you.
Offer a little thank you gift for XX amount. A cute letter from a kid, a little rubber bracelet with your campaign slogan or hashtag, a coupon for a free ice cream, a little stone or other token of appreciation, just a little somethin-somethin’ that can be easily shipped or delivered is perfect. Again, don't overthink it. Use what you have.
UPDATE donors! Post updates in your campaign often. It is easy and will go directly to their inbox. Again, use those collective pronouns because you are creating a team of people who believe in you and what you are doing.
Express authentic gratitude. Keep your goal in mind and thank anyone and everyone who helps get you closer to it.
Repeat all of the above again and again until your goal is achieved. Fundraising campaigns are not passive endeavors. They require energy, time, and authentic connection.
And remember. People donate to help people they like and to the causes they hold dear. They are not donating for the gift.
They are donating to help. They are donating to you! They are donating because they believe in YOU and what you are doing. Never take that for granted.
Have fun and enjoy the process. You are changing the world! How fun is THAT!?