So you have created a fundraising page for Active Heroes and are either just starting out or you can’t seem to get any donations. We have prepared a list fundraising tips for you to use in order to increase your ability to raise funds for military families.
These are not in order but instead a guideline.
Make sure to go through each one of these tips to maximize your chances of raising more funds!
1. Set your goal!
Whether you are honoring someone you love or lost, or participating in one of the Active Heroes’ events , set a goal for yourself so you have something to strive for. Be optimistic but make sure to also be realistic. If you have never raised funds before it’s best to start with a small amount of $100 – $500. As you reach these goals then we suggest you increase the amount in reasonable increments. $1000 is a very obtainable goal for a month long campaign but make sure you promote your fundraising page often to get results.
2. Share often and strategically!
It’s no secret that if no one knows about your fundraising goal then you won’t get any donations. That is why the Active Heroes’ fundraising pages have the share buttons right in the middle. Simply share to Facebook, twitter and send out an email once a week and you are bound to see results. Achieving your fundraising goal, however, may take more than just a weekly post. We suggest getting involved by walking, running, hiking or biking and set a goal of miles. This will let your friends, family and connections know that you are serious about raising funds to help military families. Mark Smith set a goal of walking 100 miles in March. Every day he posted how many miles he completed and added a link to his donation page once a week for the first 3 weeks. As he got closer to 100 miles, he increased how many times he shared his fundraising page. He only raised $100 for the first 3 weeks but the last week leading up to his completion of the 100 miles, raised over $1000. Increasing how many times you share your fundraising page at a strategically selected time is the real key to raising funds!!!
3. Thank every donor..with this secret
Thank every donor on facebook with a link back to your page! This is a big secret that takes many professional fundraisers years to learn. Responding back to your donors on their Facebook page can attract their friends to donate also. It’s important to change your message each time so that it doesn’t look like you just copied and pasted it. Personalize your message so the friends of your friend get excited and want to help. Also try doing this on other social media sites like Twitter and Google+. If you can get your friend to make a post talking about your fundraising page it will work even better!
4. Educate yourself and be prepared!
Make sure to read our About us page on Active Heroes so that you are prepared to answer any questions your donors and supporters might have. Its important to let everyone know why you want to help Military families so badly. Many people don’t understand that a record number of Veterans and their families are unemployed and applying for financial assistance. Its also a sad fact that 18 veterans a day are committing suicide. Letting your friends know that they can help make a difference will surely get them involved. If you ever need our help in this endeavor we are available to you 24/7 by email at info@ActiveHeroes.org
5. Personalize Your Misson!
Being different will make you stand out in a crowd! Donors tend to respond to your personal reason for fundraising. Prepare a letter indicating why you are participating, make a colorful presentation and make sure your fundraising page looks amazing. Remember you are marketing yourself and your mission to help Military families! Your personal message is what will appeal to those you are asking to donate funds to you. We encourage you to talk about why you are involved with Active Heroes. Your fundraising is meant to inspire and evoke the same spirit in the people who are supporting you! Feel free to personalize your fundraising page and if you need help we are available to you 24/7 to help you by email at info@ActiveHeroes.org
6. Take your fundraising to the next level!
Pictures and social media post can work well but a video speaks volumes. You can really take your fundraising to the next level by creating an inspirational video. Not everyone thinks they can make a good video but advancements in technology have made it much easier to create and edit videos. Even a blog style video where you talk about why you want to help Military families can be extremely helpful to increase your donations. Make videos of your training and fundraising efforts. Include them on your fundraising page as well and post them everywhere you can. The great thing about video is you can really get creative. Just turn on the camera and tell your friends why you want to help military families and how they can get involved.
7. Create a Match frenzy!
Show your friends, family and business colleagues how serious you are about this fundraising project. Make a donation to your own page and dare your friends to match it. This tactic can really be successful if you find that you can’t get any donations. This works best if it’s your birthday or on certain holidays. Even making a $5 donation with a match challenge can get the funds flowing. Think Big! Don’t be shy about soliciting everyone on your email list. Most people are anxious to support non-profit causes that extend their services for free to the people that they are serving! If you have 150 people on your mailing list…send away. If only ten people make a donation that is incredible! Do not send once….Send it two or three times! Feel free to utilize our marketing materials from our website to help you in your fundraising efforts!
8. Take it to the streets!
When donations dry up it’s time to take it to the streets! Utilize the Media: Send a press release or media advisory to your local and regional media outlets i.e.; newspapers, radio stations, magazines etc. Send a video to your local Television Station! Ask your local Chamber of Commerce to post your event. Many towns have websites that might support your cause. Doctor’s offices will more than likely post your event as well. Create a flyer, print it up and start passing it around! We recommend these people of interest that have hung flyers up for us before: Exercise and Fitness Studios, Local Businesses, Restaurants, Hair dressers, Nail Salons, Classmates, Neighbors, Meet Up Social Organizations, Clients, Extended Family, Support Groups, Alumni Associations, Doctor/Veterinarian Offices, Professional Associations, ALL of your social media friends and connections, Professors, Religious Leaders, Your Child’s Teachers and PTA Organizations, Lawyers. The possibilities are endless! Just keep plugging away!!!
9. Stick it to your boss!
Ask your Place of employement and your co-workers to support your fundraising effforts! Many employers match donations so be sure to check with your human resource department. Please note that it can take up to 8-10 weeks for employers to provide a matching gift in kind.
Many people have held their boss to large donations especially during November and December. Every corporation needs tax breaks towards the end of the year so this is the perfect time to remind your boss to help out.
10. Pinch those Pennies
Every town has a gas station and most will help a charity out especially when it comes to raising funds for Military families in need. First, find a suitable jar and wrap it with this message: “Help Military families in need by making a donation today”. Next, make sure to put on the donation jar: “Donations go to Active Heroes (Tax ID# 45-413-8378)”. Thirdly, print out a flyer or entire presentation on Active Heroes to present to the owner of the gas station which will help get their attention. Follow that up by telling them about your passion to help Military families. Make sure to set up a schedule to come by and pick up the donations. Turn those into a money order or write Active Heroes a check:
PO Box #197825
Louisville, KY 40259
11. Set up your first big event!
For those who have the time and energy to get more involved we suggest creating an event in your town. This requires that you build your local contacts and work on getting a team together. We suggest something small to start off so you can learn if it’s a sustainable event. Then year after year, you can grow the event even larger than you hoped for. Ideas for past events are 5k, 10k, mini marathon, marathon, polar plunge, sport toss tournament, 50/50, raffle, golf tournament, paintball tournament, horseback ride, 24/12 hour team relay and many more. Contact us about your idea if you need help: info@ActiveHeroes.org
12. A phone call is worth more
Sending out emails and posting on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can only get you so far. When donations dry up, its time to reach out by phone to let your friends know that you need their assistance. Asking for a donation this way might seem really intrusive. Thats why it’s best to ask your friends if they would like to join your team instead. It never hurts to have more people on your team when it comes to fundraising. See if you friends will create their own fundraising page to set up a competition…
13. Its competition time!
Competing against you friends is a great way to drum up donations. First find a friend who is interested in raising funds for Military families. Next, plan when you both will compete against each other for the most donations. We suggest doing this for an entire month so your donors have the chance to help you fundraise. Make it really interesting by having the loser do something embarrassing like wear a jersey of the team they don’t normally cheer for. The loser can do a number of things, so be creative and your donors will love it and help out more!
14. Ride out the wave of donor fatigue
Donor fatigue is a phenomenon in which people no longer give to charities, although they have in the past. On a larger scale, it can also refer to a slowness to act on the part of the community or any other donor base in response to a call-to-action. When this happens, it’s best to be on your toes. Being a good fundraiser takes practice and the intuition to see a few moves ahead. We suggest going over all the ideas for fundraising we have listed here on this page and remember that different activities work during certain months especially during any holiday.
15. Stay the course! There’s always next month!!!
So you didn’t reach your goal. Don’t be discouraged. I have been raising funds for charity for 5 years and sometimes no matter what I seem to do, donations just don’t happen. Some months are better than others. It’s just a simple fact. A new month brings a new chance to get creative and start over. Try new tactics or work with a friend or family member to reach your goal. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to fundraising for Military families. Don’t forget to be yourself and fundraise in a way that will keep you happy and excited! We are always here to help you with whatever idea you can come up with. Just send us an email to info@ActiveHeroes.org