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!