Fundraising Tips

START YOUR FUNDRAISING WEBPAGE

Create your own webpage to tell your story and manage your fundraising efforts.  It’s easy!  Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Visit the following website. http://steeplechasedistancerun.com.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1107819
  2. On the  left navigation bar, click “Start A Fundraising Team.”
  3. Follow the step-by-step instructions to create your page and begin collecting donations.

Problems?  Email Courtney Newman at CNewman@Somerset-Healthcare.com

GET THE WORD OUT

Have you considered the impact we could have if each of us promoted the Steeplechase Distance Run/Walk in our own networks?  Click here to print the event flyer and follow these easy steps to Get The Word Out!
  1. Hang a flyer in your office (copier, elevator, break room, vending machine, bathroom).
  2. Hang a flyer in your church.
  3. Hang a flyer in your food store.
  4. Hang a flyer in your gym.
  5. Hang a flyer anywhere you see possible.
  6. Email a copy of the flyer to your friends and ask them to do the same.

It is never too early to start recruitment. Start asking friends and family to walk/run with you on September 28th

CHALLENGES LOVE COMPANY
Your commitment to train and participate in this event will be that much easier if you have a partner. Do you have one walker or runner in your life? Do you have one person who would love this opportunity to embrace fitness and give back? 

Ask friends to join you in this challenge via social media and email or even by picking up the phone and asking.  Time is on your side as very few people are already booked for September 28th and there is plenty of time to train!

Below is an excerpt from "The Runner's World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training".   It’s marathon specific but distance is relative to experience so read it and relate “marathon” to the distance you are taking on.  Also use it as a recruitment tool for those who say “I’m not a walker or runner” by reminding them Oprah ran a marathon.  Lastly, you know why you are doing this….  to make a difference in the lives of those who rely on the Steeplechase Cancer Center for cancer care.

Excerpt:

"Anyone can run a marathon.  Oprah Winfrey did it.  Senators, presidents, and movie stars do it all the time. The hit reality show The Biggest Loser even culminated in a marathon for the contestants who have lost the most weight - as if to make the point that anyone, even the morbidly obese, can become an athlete with enough grit and determination.

It's been said that the marathon has become the "everyman's Everest."  There is a mystique about it, but even non-runners know what a marathon is. They may not know the exact distance, but everyone knows it's a mighty long way and requires months of preparation.

Indeed, the training is an all-guts-for-little-glory proposition. It involves achy knees, gallons of sweat, chafed skin, and blisters the size of silver dollars.  It requires waking at the crack of dawn to train in weather conditions that most people won't drive in, as well as running solo for hours at a time.  It means fending off accusations that you're crazy - not to mention tackling self-doubt and repeatedly asking yourself why you are doing this at all."

GETTING OVER YOUR FEAR OF ASKING
You registered for the Steeplechase Distance Run/Walk because you feel passionate about the programs and care offered by the Steeplechase Cancer Center.  We are grateful for your support through event registration and invite you to do more!  Imagine the difference we could make if every participant went the extra mile and raised funds through the Steeplechase Distance Run/Walk.

You can raise additional funds by reaching out to your friends, family and co-workers asking them to sponsor your walking and running effort.  For example, if you ask 50 people (relatives, friends, coworkers, neighbors) to sponsor your effort by making a donation.... if only half of them reply and donate $20 each, you raised $500!   If just 100 (of the 1,500+) Steeplechase Distance Run/Walk participants take that challenge, together we could raise $50,000.  It’s that easy.

Many people view fundraising with an uncomfortable feeling especially in our economic times.  However the needs of those who benefit from the Steeplechase Cancer Center don’t change with the economy.  Remember, you’re asking people to support a very worthy cause, something many people are happy to do and will feel good about doing.   The Steeplechase Cancer Center takes care of the people in our community.

Below are a few tips to help you feel comfortable asking for support.

1.  Remind yourself that donations are not increasing your bank account.  Your efforts will save and improve the lives of local patients. 

2.  Don’t think of collecting dollars as your main objective.   Focus on raising awareness and making a difference and the donations will follow.

3.  Put yourself in your donor’s shoes.  Have you ever been offended by a friend asking you to support a cause they were passionate about?  It’s unlikely.   Most people feel good when they can help others.

Before you ask, spend time talking about the event or your upcoming walk or run and invite friends to join you. It's all about warming up your market for the upcoming ask.

WRITING THE ASK
How do you write an "ask" letter?   Keep it simple and speak from your heart.  

  • Explain who benefits from the Steeplechase Cancer Center (local patients and their families who may be your friends, family and neighbors.  Many patients are financially challenged because of their illness)
  • What is it about the programs and services that means the most to you?
  • Share if you or anyone in your life benefited from the care and programs offered by the Steeplechase Cancer Center.
  • Share what makes you want to participate in this effort to raise funds?
  • What in your life is similar to those being supported?
  • Mention how good it feels to help others.

Other suggested inclusions:

  • Include donation directions (e.g., include a link to your personal fundraising page).
  • Consider leaving the “ask” amount open-ended. If you ask for $25, you will receive $25.  If you leave it open, you may receive $50 or $100.
  • Break it down for folks:  by forgoing a specialty coffee just one day a week for a month, someone could save enough to donate $20 to help local cancer patients.
  • Include details of your fundraising goal, if you have one.  
  • Invite recipients of your letter to share your purpose and goals with their networks. 
  • Encourage donations today although the event is not until September 28th.
  • Remind donors about corporate matching gifts.

Who should receive your letter?

  • Print out the holiday card address labels and be sure to reach out to every contact via email or a printed and mailed letter.  Remember it’s easier to delete an email than throw away a letter.
  • Reach out to anyone who has donated in the past.
  • Email your entire workplace network.
  • Consider asking your neighbors who will see you doing your training walks and runs. 

Finally, keep the momentum going.

Use soft reminders like Facebook, Twitter, and email to share your excitement after a donation is received or you've had a great workout.   End each one with links to how people can support your effort.  

Get out there and be unstoppable just as you would hope someone would be for you! We promise you'll be amazed by the response you get. 

If you prefer to go a step further, consider making your “ask” in the form of video.

ASK A BUSINESS TO SPONSOR
This week we ask for your assistance in raising funds by obtaining business sponsors.  Don’t underestimate how effective you can be when you ask businesses that YOU patronize.  

So the challenge is to pick three businesses and speak to them about the Steeplechase Cancer Center. Think about where your relationships are the strongest - be it your dry cleaner, your children's pediatrician or even a favorite dining spot and head there with a Steeplechase Distance Run/Walk flyer in hand. (click here for a printable version)

You’ve chosen to patronize particular businesses.  They can thank you for your business (and support their community) by making a donation to your effort.  Be sure to spread the word and tell others about that business’s generosity.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Try thinking outside the box to reach all the audiences that you have access to.  Spread the word about the Steeplechase Distance Run/Walk to drive participation and donations.    

1.    Does your company have a corporate newsletter or intranet that might feature a story about you?  Does it post opportunities for employees to volunteer or form a company team?  Does your company make donations to organizations where employees volunteer/make donations (matching gift program).

2.    Does your church/temple have a newsletter/bulltein they mail to members? Can you speak about the Steepelchase Distance Run/Walk at church/temple?

3.    Does your child's daycare or nursery school have a monthly flyer that might include a blurb about the Steeplechase Distance Run/Walk and your participation? 

4.    Have you contacted your local news media to write a story about your participation in this event?  (if yes, please let us know so that we can provide current statistics, etc.)

5.    Ask your close friends and relatives to reach out to their networks on your behalf.   This is a great way for people who cannot contribute financially to support your effort. Make it easy and write the letter for them.  All they have to do is drop it in an email and press send.   Below is an example to get you started.

Dear Friends & Family,  

On September 28th, my (sister, friend, cousin, aunt, nephew) will be participating in a (2 mile walk, 5K run, 10K, Kid’s Sprint) to support the Steeplechase Cancer Center. Please visit (insert direct URL for web based fundraising) to read her story and consider participating in and/or making a donation. It would mean a lot to us to have your support and make a true difference in the lives of those receiving  cancer care.

Thank you so very much.

 

UNIQUE FUNDRAISING IDEAS

  • Request birthday donations to your fundraising effort instead of gifts (direct them to your personal fundraising  web page).
  • Do you have any skills that you could auction? Are you a trained massage therapist?  Can you organize a closet like no one else?  What about cleaning house or re-vamping someone's resume?  You can even be the "designated driver" for your friends for a night out on the town.  Let people know that you are willing to trade your services for a donation.  Set your price high – it's for a good cause!
  • Dessert-a-Thon.  Make a bunch of desserts and charge $25.00 at the door for an all you can eat dessert-a-thon.
  • Bake Sale. This doesn’t have to be in the traditional sense.   Offer a batch of cookies for anyone who makes a $100 contribution, half batch for $50.
  • Host a wine/beer tasting party and charge $25.00 at the door.  Make everyone bring a bottle/6-pack to keep your cost down.  
  • Sell items not available in the office (cans of soda, candy bars, etc.) to your coworkers.
  • Go casual!  Request to have a Dress-Down-Day or Denim Day at work or school; everyone gives a donation for the privilege and save dry cleaning expense.
  • Start a piggy bank. Be sure to feed the pig! Every time you go into a store always break a dollar for change, even if you have those three pennies in your pocket. The change will add up to a nice contribution.
  • Charge admission for BBQ, Cocktail Party or a cook-off between friends. Participants can invite their family and friends to watch them compete on appetizer, main dish, side and dessert. At the end of the night a winner is declared.   
  • Throw a home party be it Pampered Chef, Thirty-One, Origami Owl, etc.  Donate 10-15% of sales.
  • Are you a pet person?   Have a pet bake sale (make dog biscuits) and sell them outside of a pet store or at a park.
  • Host a company breakfast or lunch in the office.  Get donations from local places, bring donuts or just cook the meals yourself and charge fellow employees per plate. 
  • Clean out your closets and find things worth selling at yard sales, flea markets or online.
  • Have a garage sale to raise funds where your neighbors can each donate a few items they want to get rid of.  
  • Non-Event.  Make invitations for a "non-event."  Imagine the money your guests might spend on a black tie party, including clothing, hair, make-up, transportation, etc. and ask them to pledge that money to your Steeplechase Distance Run/Walk fundraising effort.
  • Organize a home tour where people pay a certain fee to tour homes in your neighborhood. (Capitalize on the nosiness of neighbors)
  • Have a murder mystery party and request a donation at the door.
  • Host a car wash.
  • Ask restaurants to host a dine to donate. You rally patrons and they donate proceeds.   To host a fundraiser, please click here.
  • Ask your local bar if they’ll allow you to be a guest bartender for a night, or even for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. Send out an Evite, inviting everyone you know to join you there for a drink, and ask them to invite everyone they know. Create a sign to place on the bar or a flyer that reads, "All tips collected tonight will go directly to the Steeplechase Cancer Center.” When people see the sign, they may be willing to dig a little deeper in their pocket! To host a fundraiser, please click here.
  • Choose any sport from basketball to dodge ball and host a sports challenge at a local gym. Charge $5 to participate or $25 to form a team. Charge a donation at the door to watch the game.  Secure donated goods and sell them at your concession stand with proceeds going toward your fundraising total. To host a fundraiser, please click here.

 

EMBRACE SOCIAL MEDIA

The goal is to embrace some form of social media this week to gain support for your participation.  Be it your Facebook friends or your Twitter followers, you have a captive audience at your fingertips.  People want to fund people and the stories behind them so don’t overlook this simple method of asking.

  • Post an update every few days to keep your audience engaged.
  • Include links to make your effort real for the reader like specific links to programs offered by the Steeplechase Cancer Center.
  • Add some lightness to your ask by posting about the support and positive energy you are bringing to the Steeplechase Cancer Center.
  • Make it about you and what you have personally contributed be it endless miles, early wake-ups, training in the dreaded heat. 
  • Make sure your update is friendly and not pushy.
  • Speak from your heart as to why you are raising funds.
  • Remind readers about the time frame to support your effort by posting count downs until event day. 
  • Remember to be grateful and thankful.  Acknowledge anyone who supports you, joins you or mentions you in his or her own feeds. 

 

TELL EVERYONE, SHOW EVERYONE!!!

Make it very hard for anyone in your life to not know that you are participating in this event.

1.  Send a note to your contacts even if it’s for the mere purpose of sharing the feel-good story of your fundraising and training success.  Throw in a gentil reminder they can still support your effort.  

2. Hang a flyer at your desk and create a count down for the number of days until September 28th so that people almost have to ask you about it.  

3. Take pictures of yourself after your workouts (or maybe just your sneakers) and share them to remind people you are doing the work on your end. Take pictures of yourself/your team having fun at the event (to capture last-minute donations or to use for next year’s fundraising efforts).