Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be bringing you a series of posts on fundraising and running for charity. I haven’t found a ton of resources online to help me, so I want to share with you what I’ve learned as I’ve been raising money for Fred’s Team to run the NYC Marathon. I have built my own fundraising plan and raised over $4,000 within the first month!
Be sure to check out the other posts in this series as I publish them, and sign up at the bottom of this post for my free fundraising plan workbook!
– 6 steps to building a fundraising plan
– How to write effective fundraising emails
– 5 tips for planning fundraising events
1. Select your charity and goal
The cause you choose to support should be meaningful to you, as it will keep you motivated to keep pushing. Your asks and efforts will be authentic, which will be helpful in your efforts. I chose Fred’s Team because so many people around me were impacted by cancer, and their slogan “Imagine a World Without Cancer” resonated deeply with me. I also liked that I could choose to support cancer research in general, and didn’t have to pick a specific type of cancer research to fund. Whatever you choose, make sure it has meaning to you.
When selecting a goal, remember that you can stretch for an amount higher than your minimum commitment. Many charities have different levels of commitments. Pick something you’ll feel comfortable with, but don’t be afraid to stretch yourself. You’ll be surprised at how generous people will be when it comes to donations.
2. Break your goal into more manageable milestones
Instead of looking at my big goal of $10,000, I instead set several milestones for myself to work towards. I set the following “mini goals”: $1000, $2500, $3750, $5000, $7500, $10,000. By setting these smaller goals, my focus is shifted to hitting that next milestone which is so much more manageable than looking at the huge amount I have left to hit my goal. This also creates celebration points along the way.
3. Create a high level fundraising plan and set goals by month
Take a look at your calendar and decide when you’ll be able to dedicate time to fundraising, versus when your life may be a bit too busy to really devote time. For example, I’m travelling for about half of June, so my fundraising goal for that month is substantially lower than other months. If you aren’t sure, divide your commitment evenly across the months.
4. Break each monthly goal into categories
This is where we start getting into the meat and potatoes of the plan. Go through each month and break up your monthly goal into three categories: Individual Donations, Events, Sales of Goods or Talents. The sum of all three categories should equal your monthly goal.
For example, here is what my month of May looks like with a $2110 goal:
Individual Donations- $800
Sale of Goods/Talents: $310
It’s up to you where you want to focus your efforts each month. You can always go back and revise this. (For more info on each of these, check out my free fundraising plan workbook at the bottom of this post.)6 steps to building a fundraising plan when running for charity #runchat #fredsteam Click To Tweet
5. Write out tactics for each monthly goal
Now that you have set monthly goals, brainstorm tactics on how you’ll get there. Be as specific as possible, even if that means you just write down questions that need to be answered.
Using my May example:
Individual Donations will come from emails. My goal is $200 per week, so I’ll send 50 emails every week, around 10 per weekday.
Events will be focused on one main event: mini photo sessions with my friend who is a photographer. We are targeting families with dogs, we will market to the local doggy daycare. Sessions will be $75 a piece with all proceeds going to fundraising.
Sale of goods/talents will be a mix of social media work ($250) and selling tanks (4 @ $30 each, $15 from each going to charity)
I should note that the months further out just have general ideas, and as you get closer in planning you will have the details a little more worked out. I am currently planning around 60 days out, but I have the general outline of each month plugged in.
6. Reflect and re-calibrate regularly
Each week, I sit down and reflect on my progress. I evaluate how my tactics are working and make adjustments to my tactics or plan as needed. I’ve included a reflection page in the workbook to help you with this task. I recommend doing this at least monthly, but I’ve found so much value in doing it weekly. It keeps me motivated, but also allows me to adjust quickly as needed.
To help you with all of these steps, I’ve included a FREE fundraising workbook, just sign up below!
What tips would you add to this list??
If you found this post helpful, please consider making a donation to my fundraising for Fred’s Team here. No donation is too small – even $1 will make a difference!