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!



Boost Your Proceeds with Employer Matching Gifts

Many businesses, large and small, may offer benefits that go unnoticed. One of these unknown benefits encourages employees to give back to their community by participating in charitable fundraising activities.  In exchange, employers offer an “Employee Matching Gift” program to those employees.

Employee matching gifts (also known asmatching funds) are grants an employer makes to match its employees’ charitable contributions.

Unlike food and product sales, a fundraising event makes your participants and/or their parents eligible to receive Employee Matching Gifts.   We provide a template that can be downloaded, for registered users, that may help your participants and/or their parents to double their personal contributions. 

Employee matching gifts often are dollar-for-dollar, but some companies will give double or even triple the original donation. Some companies may also give matching gifts for an employees’ volunteer efforts or paid time off.

Procedures vary with each company. Typically, individuals must submit forms to their employers. They can usually get more information about their matching gift benefits from their human resources department.

Small companies that don’t already offer such a program, may be willing to match an employee that is participating in a fundraiser  Be sure to encourage your participants’ parents to ask about matching funds for your event.

Download our “Corporate Match Form” and include it with every take-home packet provided at the kickoff.  Include instructions for using the form and encourage parents to talk to their HR departments or small business owners about a matching program.

You can double personal contributions by encouraging your participants and their parents to inquire about Employee Matching Gifts where they work.  Another example of how our campaign management software and your event are far more profitable than food or product sales.