Trick or Treat Fundraising on Behalf of Grace Smith House
We know what you're thinking - "I have to ask people for money?! I'm not comfortable with that! What if they say no?" We get it, making "the ask" the first couple times can be a little awkward for a first-time fundraiser. The good new is, not only are you asking for a worthy cause that effects people in your own community, you're also providing your friends and family the chance to be a part of something good, to feel like they're making a difference. We all daydream about fighting off a horde of zombies - come on, we know you do - and here is your chance to beat back the forces of darkness. Check out our tips for fundraising below to prepare yourself and your friends for this awesome undertaking. Now, go knock on some digital doors, trick or treat a little, and drag back a bag laden with candy bars and dollar bills!
Ask That’s all there is to it, just ask! Ask personally, ask directly, and ask repeatedly. People who receive a group email or see a Facebook post are a lot less likely to donate than people who get a personalized, individual request from you by email, by phone, or in person. Call up someone you know, send a private message, post in your favorite forum. The more people you ask, and the more personally you make the request, the more people will respond to you, and even reach out to others on your behalf.
Ask repeatedly If you thought to yourself, “uuuuuhh, tip number one is a little daunting, let’s see what tip number two has got going on,” then girdle your black leather corset. Many people will wait to donate until you remind them, because they need to know how important this cause is to you. Send out follow-up emails, slip the request into your conversations, and continue to post on social media.
Ask everyone (more than once) Of course you’re going to ask your friends and family – that seems like the safest thing to do, right? Because we’re all a little uncomfortable at the thought of asking other people to give us money. But the truth is, you are not asking someone to donate money. You’re providing someone the opportunity to support a worthy cause, and one which might affect them or someone they love. With so many people being affected by domestic violence, this isn’t a personal cause – it’s a common cause we can all get behind. Ask your coworkers, classmates, neighbors, business associates, church goers, everyone in your circle to give just a little, and you will achieve a lot!
Ask for a specific amount This can make asking easier, and help you determine how many people you need to help you reach your goal. Ask for an amount depending on what you think the other person is capable of giving, and if they turn you down, suggest a lower amount. Try things like, “hey, I’m trying to raise $150, would you contribute $15 towards preventative education for teens suffering from abuse?” This gives the donor an idea of where the money is going, how much of your goal they are being asked to contribute, and let’s them know others will be chipping in as well. Your friends might not be willing to give you a whopping $50, or even $25. But we bet they’d contribute $5, if they thought this really meant something to you.
Communication 101 Big social media fan? If that’s the crowd you’re looking to reach, really customize your approach with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and be sure to direct people to our website. Not a social media fan? Email or phone calls are the best option, though face to face is almost always a guaranteed win, especially if you’re asking for small amounts, and is a necessity for asking for super-duper large amounts.
Customize your page This is where it gets really fun! What ghoul doesn’t want their own customized catacombs? Go all out, with photos, your story, and why Grace Smith House or the issue of domestic violence matters to you. Donors respond best to visual images and personal text. Set the goal you want to reach, and if you reach it, increase it again! Make this campaign your own! The more you own it, the more fun you’ll have fundraising for it.
Domestic Violence matters to everyone. We probably should have started with this one, but it seemed like such a bummer. The truth is, 1 in 3 teenagers will find themselves trapped in abusive relationships before they reach the age of 18. And it doesn’t get any better after that: 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will also suffer from abuse in their lifetime. So the chances are, you know someone affected by abuse. You just might not know it, or they may be afraid of reaching out for help. By fundraising for this cause, you aren't only helping us; you’re helping someone you know or love to get help.
Don’t get discouraged We really appreciate all your efforts to fundraise, and we know it can be tough sometimes. Don’t get discouraged; try shaking things up a little, stir the witch’s cauldron, so to speak. Try a different means of communication, like phone calls instead of social media. Reach out to a different group of people, like coworkers instead of friends. Host a get together, put out a donation jar, and at the appropriate moment, explain to everyone what this cause means to you and ask for their support. Ask your teacher or preacher, coach or boss, to let you have a chance to say a few words. And remember that even if you only raise a few dollars, you’ve also made a huge impact by bringing domestic violence to more people’s attention.
Funny social media posts Domestic violence is an issue shadowed in doom and gloom, and many people skip over depression social media posts. So take a different approach and lighten things up a bit with a fun. Grab people’s attention with the idea of a costumed parade, with giant pumpkins, with spiced cider, whatever will get their attention. Avoid the darker aspects of abuse.
Get creative! Creative types, now is your chance to shine! Techies, get your tech on! Make an awesome video to share online to get people to your site, make a giant donation barometer to fill in as you go, create an “advent” calendar to mark down the days till the parade, share the progress on your costume, ANYTHING! People love stuff that is fun, silly, engaging and creative. We’re sure you can come up with something crafty, creative and fun!
Get personal It should be no surprise that personal stories grab the most attention. Consider sharing yours on our site, explaining to people why fundraising for this cause matters to you. Don’t get too graphic or dramatic – keep it light, but honest.
Make a donation yourself This should seem like common sense, but we thought we’d include it here just in case. Seeing that you have made a donation signals to people looking at your page how dedicated you are to this cause. Donate what you are asking others to give, whether that’s $5 or $50. Your investment, both in time and in money, is what will encourage others to be drawn to your efforts.
Update, update, update Be sure to keep your fundraising page, and your donors, updated. Let them know when you reach a certain goal, or how far you are from reaching the next fundraising level. Thank them personally, and publically, to not only show your appreciation, but get others involved. The more engaged and included your donors feel, the more likely they are to share your fundraising page with friends in their circle.