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!



Nodland Sunnyside Case Study

Group Name: Nodland-Sunnyside PTA
Event Type: Walk for Pride
Challenges:  First ever Walk-a-thon
Opportunity: Make a Change from Catalog Sales
Goal:  $18,000 from students

When Nodland-Sunnyside PTA decided to host their first ever Walk For Pride, they did so with hesitation.  Their two schools, Nodland Elementary and Sunnyside Elementary, really depend on the proceeds from their annual catalog fundraiser to meet their financial needs.  Risking that revenue would strain their already tight buNodland Walk for Pride Photodget.

After their PTA group held a conference call with Pride Fundraising’s support staff, they made the decision to move forward.

With the tools, advice and know-how provided by Pride Fundraising, Nodland-Sunnyside started with a focus on community and parental involvement.   Emily, event co-chair, shares her experience below.

“We started by soliciting donations from area businesses.  Some of these businesses were owned or managed by parents of students; we also concentrated on businesses located near our school and the college track where we would be holding our event.  These businesses were given advertising space on ourPride Page and on t-shirts.

We raised nearly $5,000 in cash from local businesses, enough to easily cover the costs associated with the event, such as participant t-shirts and bounce houses. We had many other businesses donate prizes, water, food, and items for the goodie bags.

We kicked off the event with a rally at both elementary schools. The kids were told that if we hit our school goal, Principal. Hansen would get a pair of green shoes that he’d have to wear for a whole week to all of his meetings.  As an incentive, the kids all received their own little green high-top sneaker keychains.

The packets were sent home with all the students. These packets were ready for pledges and included several of the templates downloaded from Pride Fundraising’s Event Know-How page.  Each packet had letters for the parents, t-shirt order forms and “Employee Matching Gift” forms for parents’ employers to potentially double their contributions.

Parents were asked to help primarily with the event itself by volunteering to mark off laps, man the first aid station, sell water & snack mix, register participants. Other parents assisted with sorting t-shirts and filling the participant goodie bags.  A select group of parents were needed during the campaign.  Each Friday morning and afternoon they would tally weekly pledges for two schools.

During the campaign, each week for 3 weeks leading up to the event, we collected packets on Fridays.  Volunteers collected money, tallied pledges, marked the pledges tallied, on the envelopes, with highlighters and handed the packets back.

We held a contest every Friday for the most packets turned in for each classroom, not the most money raised.  We announced the winners on Monday.  The winning class got a prize, like granola bars.  The kids really enjoyed hearing their class announced over the loud speaker.

We also drew names from each school from the list of kids who turned in their packets. We drew 5 names per week from each school for a variety of prizes.

In Summary, the response from the parents and community was fantastic.  The event itself was held on a beautiful September afternoon – everyone in attendance had a great time and enjoyed the day and activities. Students were awarded a participation certificate with the number of laps.

Our first year participation was around 40%.  I was a little disappointed by that number, but am reminded that as this event grows each year; our numbers will increase as well.  Even with 40% participation, we met our fundraising goal.  I don’t have the data to compare this participation level to previous years.

Because we hit our goal, Mr. Hansen was “awarded” a pair of green Converse shoes.  He proudly wore them to all of his meetings and even our holiday programs in December.  We also had a “pie eating contest” wherein Mr. Hansen got green pie in the face. The students participating in that event were randomly selected from all the students who achieved their $100 goal. We even had local news on hand to record the event.  The video was aired on the evening and morning news.

The FundMonkey staff was great to work with and we are already making plans for next year.  Our goal is to get our business sponsorships sooner, before the kickoff.  We will also get more e-mail addresses from parents and use the Event Management tools for informing parents of the easy-to-use, online donation tools.

We’re very excited about the potential for next year’s Walk for Pride.”

Emily (Event Co-Chair)

Nodland-Sunnyside PTA