I’ve done five races for charity teams over the past few years and it’s definitely what people tell you – a second job. Raising money is (in it’s own right) a sales pitch – why should people support YOUR organization? What does running this race and raising this money mean to you? I’ve compiled a list of tips that worked for me on starting out. Granted, I do have sales training, so I did use a little of that knowledge to follow up and ‘close the deal’, but otherwise the process can be done by anyone who has enough passion and wants to run a race right off of their bucket list.
Make Your List of 100.
List out 100 people – everyone from work to your dentist. Try to write out their emails, social media and addresses if you can. I recommend this only so you can have all of your information in one, cohesive place. If you’re having trouble hitting 100, ask people within the list who is within their network that might be willing to help out (or better yet have a direct connection to your cause). Try your darndest to get to 100 though, as the more contacts you have to reach out to, the higher your conversion (i.e. people who actually pull through and donate) will be.
Write down your 50 favorite places.
Think of your absolutely favorite 50 places in the city in which you live – restaurants, salons, even your everyday go-to gas station. Find their owner contact information (I usually use e-mail hunter to find their direct contact information). The reason you want the owner would be that is who is going to be able to pull the trigger on any donations to your cause – it’s their money, so talking to any employee or manager is just going to prolong you getting a decision. Just go straight to the source. Donations can be anything from a gift certificate you can raffle to straight cash. Also, keep in mind these are business owners, so make sure you’re keeping the relationship mutually beneficial – meaning you’re offering them something in exchange like a tax exemption, their logo on your running singlet (check your teams’ rules on this before agreeing to it) or something that may benefit them, as well. A great idea for this, as well, is posting a flyer at a fundraising event you might have or a shout-out on your social media page.
Plan one big event.
Especially for larger fundraising commitments, I’ve found planning one larger event rather than ten small events is much more effective. People don’t feel like they’re overwhelmed by a calendar full of things to do, your raffle offerings are better and your investment will return a profit. I also always use the good old fashion phrase ‘you must spend money to make money’ when referencing doing your big event. If you spend a little to cover everyone’s apps or first drink, their is a perceived value that they’re saving some money they can put into your cause. The returns will outweigh the initial investment up front and make your event more appealing. That being said, many places may even donate food and beverage – so maybe hiring someone to play music or investing in t-shirts might be a good fit, as well! Big event ideas might be a comedy show, a bowling tournament, a pasta dinner or a bar crawl.
What are you having trouble with specifically that I might be able to write some advice about? Comment below!