That’s right…ask! Ask personally and ask directly. When you ask people in a group email or Facebook post, they are less likely to give than if they hear from you personally.
Your fundraising page has some suggested donation amounts built in. But when you’re reaching out to people personally, it helps to let them know what you’re asking for specifically. Suggest an amount that you think is right for them – $15, $30, or more.
Asking for donations is easier if you pick a method you are comfortable with. But keep in mind that email and personal texts are the most effective tools. Facebook posts and tweets are likely to get passed by, because they are directed to such a big audience.
So get personal! Email or text your potential donors individually with a short note telling them why Safe Passage matters to you, why you’re supporting the organization, and why they should join you. Remember to include the link to your page.
Most of us know someone who’s been in an abusive relationship. Remember this when you’re reaching out to people – Safe Passage’s mission will resonate for many of your family and friends.
Make sure you’re spreading the word by including something like this in your email signature: “I’m running (or walking) in the Hot Chocolate Run. This amazing event raises money to support survivors of domestic violence, and I’d love your support. Please consider donating.” Be sure to include a link to your page.
Donors are more likely to give if they see that you’ve made your own commitment to Safe Passage – even if it’s just a few dollars. When you ask people to give, you can tell them “I’ve made my own contribution because this cause is so important. Will you join me?”
Of course, you can share your page link right away – it’s all set up for you. But you’re more likely to raise more money if you update your photo and the text to tell your supporters why Safe Passage matters to you.
Be sure to let your donors know how much their support means to you. Hand-written notes never go out of style, and personalized emails and public Facebook shout-outs are great, too! Be sure to send a final thank-you after the event, letting people know what you accomplished thanks to their help.
Let’s say your goal is $150. That might seem like a lot, but when you break it up into smaller donations, it will be easy to reach. Ask three family members to sponsor you for $25 each. Ask a few friends to donate $10. Ask three neighbors, housemates, or coworkers to give $15 each.
You did it! Thank everyone for their support, and consider raising your goal to motivate others people to give.
Many people will wait to donate until you remind them. Remember, when you ask people more than once, you’re telling them how important this is to you. It is definitely OK to text or email people every couple weeks, and to post on Facebook a few times a week.
Think beyond friends and family. You can ask everyone you know to sponsor you: neighbors, colleagues, ex-coworkers…members of your faith community…people on your softball team…third cousins…your parents’ friends. Ask everyone!
We are so grateful that you’ve asked! When you ask someone to give, you’re helping to get the word out about Safe Passage. If you ask people directly and personally to donate, most will say “yes” because they’ll understand how important this it to you.
Come up with a special way to motivate your donors to give. Offer every donor a raffle ticket for a handmade item you’ll give after the event – like a scarf or a batch of cookies. Post a silly thank-you video for every donation you get. Write each one of your donor’s names on a t-shirt you’ll wear during the event. Or come up with an idea of your own!
Please don’t be discouraged - this is true for most of us! Facebook posts and tweets come at us a mile a minute and they’re easy to ignore. Email and text are far more effective, so make sure you're doing that.
If you’re a team captain, make sure that your team members know how important Safe Passage is. Tell your team why you’ve decided to support Safe Passage, and ask them to join you in fundraising.
Make a big deal about the milestones you hit in your fundraising efforts. Post on social media, send an email, and toot your own horn when you get your first donation, your fifth donation, and so on. Make a big deal when you’re halfway to our goal. Share your success – your enthusiasm will motivate people to give, and your donors will feel like they're part of something big.
Be sure to tell people why you’ve decided to support Safe Passage. Are you taking a stand against domestic violence in Hampshire County? Are you walking or running because you want to support survivors of domestic violence? Whatever your reason, say it proudly. When you tell people why the Hot Chocolate Run matters to you, they’ll want to support you!
For some donors, $20 represents a large donation. But if you have a friend or family member who is able to give a larger gift, don’t be afraid to ask. People are much more likely to give when you ask for a specific amount, and every year our participants raise donations of $100, $250, $500 and beyond.
Reach out to friends and family who live in other places. HCR donations come in from all over the U.S., and even England, Italy and Mongolia! Although Safe Passage is a local organization, about half of our donations come from outside Western MA. Your donors are supporting YOU as much as they're supporting Safe Passage.
Some people will give because they believe in Safe Passage’s work. Others will give just because they want to support you. Others will give when you explain why Safe Passage matters to you. Some people respond to a more serious message, and others when you keep it light. Rotate between these messages so people will see the message that resonates for them.
Have you met (or surpassed!) your fundraising goal? Terrific! Keep going! Log in to your page and raise your goal. The more you raise, the more people Safe Passage can help – it’s that simple.
Update your page every week or two to give your donors something new to see every time they visit. It’s a great place to post updates on your fundraising milestones.
Upload a photo. Replace the default text with information about your team and why you’ve chosen to come together to support Safe Passage. And consider changing your team fundraising goal. The default is $1,000 for all teams, but we suggest starting with a goal of $150 per team member (so a team of 5 people would be $750; 20 people would be $3000). Make your goal ambitious, but realistic. Once you reach your goal, increase it to keep your donors and team members motivated!
Be sure you’re communicating with your team regularly – an email or text once a week is great. Give an update about your team’s progress towards your goal, and make sure your team members know about the fundraising tips on our website! Make sure you communicate what you expect of your team members. We suggest asking everyone to raise at least $150. These emails are a great place to talk about friendly competition.
Competition is a terrific motivator for many teams. Choose a team to compete with and call them out on social media. Keep it friendly and fun. Or, create competition among your team members when you email your team each week. Be sure to recognize anyone on your team who’s done particularly well in their fundraising that week!