One Part Campaign – One Part Event

Every ‘thon based fundraiser whether it’s a fun run or a walk-a-thon consists of two major planning components – the campaign and the event.  There may be slight overlap between the two, but usually these two important activities are fully capable of operating independently.

Sometimes when explaining the fundraising process, we remind our customers that the campaign is the part that raises the money and the event can be thought of as the reward for a successful campaign because, let’s face it, it is the funnest part of the fundraiser.

Both parts are equally important because…

  1. If your campaign is poorly executed your fundraiser will struggle financially and give voice to the “I Told You So” crowd who didn’t want to make a change and…
  2. If your fundraiser isn’t fun, well, let’s face it, that’s just sad.  All it takes is some music, food, drinks and games. We joke that kids get excited about a fire drill, so of course it will be fun.

That puts most of the pressure on the campaign managers, but that’s okay, we know how to run a campaign, and we’ll share our secret. Start with this simple formula in mind…  Communication + Motivation = Participation = Donation

Communication: Communicating important campaign and event information to hundreds of participants (or their parents) can be a daunting task. FundMonkey’s campaign management platform utilizes email addresses for participants.  If you don’t have a list, we’ll provide online registration to help you get an updated list and create donation codes for each student and provide the tools for mailing your participants.  We’ll also help you with take-home fliers and provide insight on how to increase the number of online registrants for your fundraiser.   Once participants are registered we make it easy to send emails and donation codes to collect online donations and motivate participants with contests and prizes.

Motivation: Nobody has more experience in motivating fundraising participants than our customers who use our campaign support page. We encourage our customers raising money for school children to invest in awesome prizes for top earners.  We provide several ideas for great prize packages and contest ideas that will motivate grade levels, classrooms and individuals to raise more fundraising dollars.

Participation: With event-based fundraising in schools, participation in the event is usually mandatory however, participation in the campaign is completely voluntary. With the proper communication and motivation, we’ll show you how to increases campaign participation. With the proper resources, you can make the campaign as much fun as the event, we’ll show you how!

Donation: Fundraising is a numbers game. By increasing participation by just a small percentage, you can add thousands to your fundraiser. FundMonkey will provide the best strategies and resources to maximize your fundraising campaign and help you earn more in overall donations than ever before.

At the end of your fundraising event and awards ceremony both event planners and campaign managers can high-five for a job well done and start planning for next year!

 

 

Summertime Planning for Your Fundraiser

We usually suggest that it takes about 60 to 90 days to plan and host your fundraising event in order to achieve maximum results.

This Spring, a school held their first fundraising event with us, and did it all in only 4 weeks, from their initial phone call to their event date.   Their goal was only $9,000, however, they raised over $18,000 dollars with profits of around 95%.  We love this story!

After the dust was settled I’m sure the question was there, nagging in the background…. “How much more $ could we have raised with just a little more planning?”  We know this question well, because we’ve heard it before.

Here are a few simple things you can do over your summer vacation to prepare for your Fall Fundraiser.

1.  Register your event early – We have so much information available on our website, that registering early and accessing the know-how page will give you a HUGE head start!

You will also have time to experiment with your Pride Page, the Event Management tools and the Pride Pledge transaction server.

Don’t be afraid to test these services.  Add yourself as a participant, experiment with the email gateway and make a $1 donation to see how the system works.    

2.  Prepare for some ‘light’ reading – In the exclusive know-how section you will have access to our integrated “Step-by-Step” guide.   Here you will find 17 links with detailed information about planning your event, managing a successful campaign and hosting your fundraiser.

Reading on VacationAt the bottom of each page is a link that reads “Printer-Friendly Page”.  Make your pages printer friendly, print them and store them in a binder for light reading between snoozes in your hammock.

3.  Download and Edit Forms and Fliers –   You’ll find several sample letters, forms and fliers on our Know-how page.  Each of these documents is in Microsoft Word format.

You are welcome to download and edit each document for your specific event as needed.  Each of these documents is formatted to print on your event stationery.

If you have an idea for a new document that helped with your event, send it to us.  We’ll post it for others to use!

4.  Talk to Potential Business Sponsors – Much of the pre-planning that we suggest is preparation for your kickoff.  Your goal is to have all the business sponsors and donated prizes lined up before your kickoff.

Use the materials in your starter kit and the sample letters on the Know-how page to send letters and donation forms to local businesses and request cash or in-kind contributions.

A week after sending the letters, assign event committee members to follow up with your potential businesses sponsors.  Inform potential sponsors of the viral nature of your custom Pride Page and how many views you expect your page will receive during your campaign.

5.  Get Email Addresses – After several years, we think we’ve discovered the formula for fundraising success:  Communication + Motivation = Participation = Donation

Manage your event from your home computer.   Our tools will allow you to share your event, contests and incentives directly with participants or their parents via email.

Blue Email IconTake-home fliers and “backpack stuffers”  may also work, but only if they find their way out of the backpacks.

You should also send pledge codes and your custom Pride Page link by email at least twice a week, significantly increasing participation and donations!

Getting email addresses for your participants will significantly increase communications with participants and parents and increase the success of your fundraising campaign!  Take time during the summer to determine your strategy and update your mailing list.

6.  Trust your brain –  With all the reading and thinking about your fundraising event during the summer, you will become very familiar with our system and the steps for hosting a successful event.

Soon you will develop instincts on the best way to approach your event.  Trust those instincts, trust your brain!  If you’re still unsure, just give us a call, and we’ll happily share our experience with you.

When you return from your vacation, you will be refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.

In just a few short weeks, while tanning on the beaches, you’ve become your group’s, fundraising expert, and you’ll be able to make thoughtful, informed decisions with our experience, resources and know-how at your service!

 

 

Popular Questions about Healthy Fundraising

We receive several questions about how much we charge for our campaign management software and why it’s a valuable part of your fun-run and walk-a-thon. Hopefully this will answer a lot of your questions.

Q. How much does the campaign management software cost?

The licensing fee is only $149 dollars, perhaps less if you have a promotion code. Best of all, there are NO monthly fees! All returning customers will receive a promo code for a $50 discount the following year.

Q: What is included with the Licensing Fee?

A. The FundMonkey license allows users to setup their account, create their fundraising webpage, create donation codes for participants, send bulk email to participants and manage online donations by participant, group and group leader (grade level and teacher). You also have access to our know-how page to help improve your fundraising success. Don’t forget our excellent customer service!

Q: How long is the software license good fore?

A: Your campaign remains active in our system until you close your event. Closing your event at the end of your fundraiser, will render your account and pledge codes inactive. All funds collected online will be sent to the physical mailing address provided at registration. Your fundraising page will still be visible but you will not have access for editing. Please make any post-event changes before closing your account.

Q. Are there credit card processing fees?

A. Yes, our total for online transactions is only 9%. We split that with the bank to cover all the transaction and monthly security fees. Overall bank fees are roughly 4% of each transaction and FundMonkey charges 5% to help cover our expenses and pay our staff for a total of 9% fees for only the transactions we process online.

Remember, you keep 100% of the donations you collect in person and 100% of the funds received from business sponsors.

Q. Is there software I have to install?

A. There is no software to install. As long as you have an Internet Browser such as FireFox or Internet Explorer and an Internet connection you are ready to get started.

FundMonkey is a web-based platform. You will setup your fundraising webpage, upload participants or enable online registration, communicate with participants and process donations online through our secure credit card gateway using your web browser.

Q: How do we use the FundMonkey to maximize our proceeds?

A: We have a proven formula that has been shown to work time and again: “Communication + Motivation = Participation = Donation”. With this in mind, the campaign management tools are designed to maximize your proceeds.

Start by uploading participant information and email addresses into our system. Our system will automatically create donation codes for each participant. Don’t worry about sharing this information with us, it is jealously guarded per our privacy policy.

Use the campaign management tools to email hundreds of donation codes to participants. The email includes fundraisng webpage and donation codes and encourages use of social media to make your fundraiser go viral and increase online donations throughout the campaign.

Participants will be notified, by email, each time a donation is made with their code.

You can also use the bulk email tool to send custom emails to all your participants and/or parents. Sharing information about contests and prizes will create competition among your participants.

Regular communication with parents and participants using the Event Management tools WILL increase participation and maximize your proceeds.

Q: Do we have to use ALL the services and ideas available on the know-how page?

A: Once you register your campaign with us, you are welcome to use as much or as little of the services and materials we provide. Your registered campaign license is for YOUR unique event. We’ll respect your wishes and do our best to provide a helping hand and sound advice, we want everyone to be successful.

In addition, your event will grow every year and you’ll have the flexibility to try different things each year. Many of your ideas will be very successful, if so, please share them with us and we’ll share them with the rest of our newsletter subscribers.

Small School Improves Profits with FundMonkey

In September, Assumption School held their 5th annual “Bike Ride Around Granger.”   For the last two years, they’ve relied on the marketing materials and technology, offered by Pride Fundraising, to help their school market their event with a custom Pride Page, acquire corporate sponsorships and raise money through on-line donations.Assumption School, a small k-8 school with only 80 students, chose to increase their proceeds by focusing on the online donation tools included with Pride Fundraising’s event management interface.  Their story is below.

80 Students Increase Online Donations by 164% over the Previous Year. 

“The previous year, we used FundMonkey for the first time and were very pleased with the service and customer support.  In 2009, we raised around $23,000”, writes Deb, event co-chair.  “After four years, we had really dialed in our Bike Ride, so, for our 5th annual ride in 2010, we decided to really push drive the campaign and the built-in credit card donation tools provided by FundMonkey.

“We did several things to increase our online donations.

  1. Created a weekly contest for the donation from the furthest away.  We also gave a prize each week for the person with the most online donations.
  2. We sent weekly reminders to parents encouraging their promotion and sharing of the Pride Page and pledge codes to their friends and family with e-mail and social networking.
  3. Held a ‘final push’ contest to help students wrap up online donations.
  4. Created email templates for parents to use.
  5. Created Facebook/Twitter status templates for parents to personalize and use
  6. Online donation information was included in EVERY piece of communication with parents. From emails and messages sent home with the students to information on our school website – our families were reminded multiple times of the simplicity of online donations through our Pride Page.

“Overall, our success was due in large part to the ease of the FundMonkey system.  Our families found it easy to request donations from outside our local community without having to ask Aunt Becky in Paducah to write a check, put it in an envelope, mail the envelope and then send the check to school with our students.

“The ease of use, combined with the familiarity of using the event management tools for a second year and our commitment to promoting the online donations, helped increase our online donations by 164% over the prior year.

“Our event raised an additional $1,754 in online donations, pushing our total event proceeds to just over $25,000, an all time record.  FundMonkey really helped us maximize our proceeds!”