Now that you have signed up for the Cycle Against Cancer, it’s time to start fundraising! The money these events raise will help hundreds of people fighting cancer in Connecticut and the more you raise, the more we can give away. So let’s get started with some tried-and-true fundraising tips!
Set a goal. This is very effective in encouraging people to give. People like to be a part of something successful. When they see your goal, they will be more likely to give because they want you to be successful. Plus, setting a goal also lets people know that you really care about the cause, so set a goal today!
Donate to yourself. It seems weird, but it's effective. You know how, when you go to a party and nobody has touched the buffet and everyone just stands around looking at the food? And then one person bravely grabs a cheese and cracker and the next thing you know, the line is out the door? That's because nobody likes to be first. It's the same thing here, so make a donation to your own page to get things started. You can at least donate the cost of a class, because you are getting one for free!
Ask people to donate. It can be tempting to just post your page on Facebook and hope for the best, but you will get MUCH better results if you actually ask. The good news is, you don't have to stalk your friends like you just found your eighth grade boyfriend on Facebook. Just a couple e-mails and asks will do. You can e-mail people directly from your CAC fundraising page or you can copy and paste the link into an email from your personal account. Either one will work!
I tend to send 3 e-mails in total when I am fundraising - I send the first e-mail a few weeks before the event, I send the second e-mail 1 week before the event, and I send the 3rd e-mail on the day before the event. This is because people fall into three categories.
Category 1: The Immediate Givers. These people are super organized and spend their mornings cutting their kids' sandwiches into adorable shapes before they head out to their full-time job. We regard them with a mixture of amazement and suspicion. However, these folks will click the "Give Now" button as soon as they get your e-mail and for this, we love them.
Category 2: The Gentle Nudgers. These people got your first e-mail and sat there thinking warm fuzzy thoughts about you and how awesome you are for doing the Cycle Against Cancer, and then promptly forgot. If you send a cheery reminder a week before the CAC, these people will slap their foreheads and run for their credit cards.
Category 3: The OMGer's. Yup. You know who you are. These people read your first two e-mails and promised themselves that they would donate to you later. Then Netflix released Season 2 of This Is Us, so they spent the weekend binge watching it on their phone, instead of sponsoring you. But these are good people, even if they did watch half of the finale during their kids' basketball game, so if you send them a "Last Chance to Sponsor Me" e-mail the day before, they will think, "OMG! That spin thing is tomorrow! I better donate!"
Ask for $10. If you are really nervous about asking for donations, then start with a small ask and ask your friends for $10. Almost everyone can give $10, so they will say yes. Then they will go to your fundraising page and say, “Welllll, so-and-so is really awesome. I’m sure I can give more than $10.” The next thing you know, your fundraising total is through the roof. The first time I tried this, I raised $1300, just by asking for $10.
Use social media. Definitely take advantage of the wonder of social media! What I like to do is thank my friends who have given on a daily basis, tagging them in the thank you and including the link. Each day, I thank the people who donated the day before. This means that this post will show up in your newsfeed and their newsfeed and the newsfeed of alllllll your mutual friends. This is good for a number of reasons. One, saying thank you is important! Everybody likes to be thanked and being thanked publicly is awesome. Two, it will remind other people to donate without you constantly pleading for donations. This is a good thing because we want people to donate to you, not block you forever.
If you are new to fundraising, I recommend you set a goal of $250 – it is a very achievable goal and if everyone who participated in the Cycle Against Cancer raised $250, we would raise $250,000 – all to help CT cancer patients!
OK, those are my tried and true fundraising tips for the Cycle Against Cancer. Even if you haven't started fundraising yet, there is still plenty of time - just send that first e-mail now! Trust me, your friends and family love you and want to support you, so get out there and ask!