One month from today about 50 women will be meeting at the Riverside T stop to embark on their three-day Wilderness Heals event! The event is so close I feel like the next month is going to fly by and with that I want to cover something that is really the heart of the event and that is fundraising.
Wilderness Heals is a community that raises funds for the Elizabeth Stone House and each hiker is responsible to raise $1500. Now don’t worry or panic about fundraising, you have until September to complete your fundraising efforts but I find that it is easiest to do most of your fundraising before the actual event. It is a bit easier to tell your donors that you are going on a three day hike than that you have completed a three day hike and are looking to raise money. This is what works for me but plenty of folks don’t have time to fundraise before the event and still make it work.
I know for me the summer months are busy and filled with plans so I try to set goals for myself so that I check in with myself about my fundraising progress. So to maximize all of your donations I made a small check list of things you can do to make sure you are setup for successful fundraising.
- Create and make your fundraising page unique. You can write about your goals and what you want to get out of the challenge of hiking for three days and your fundraising, what the Elizabeth Stone House does, or a personal story. There are three reasons why people want to donate: they want to support you, they want to support the organization or they have a personal story or experience with domestic violence, homelessness, or knowing someone who needed services like the ones provided at ESH.
- Send out a fundraising email. This is a great way to remind folks (if you have already talked to them) or let a wider net of people know about your fundraising commitment and the hiking challenge you have taken on. Feel free to provide information or a link to the Elizabeth Stone House but definitely include the link directly to your fundraising page! A trick I find to be successful is to send out separate emails to people addressing them individually, it is much better than an email blast (and if you do this remember to bcc: folks so you don’t give away all of your friend’s and family’s email addresses.
- Host one event. I like to try and host at least one event to get people to come together and donate. You could host a 4th of July BBQ and charge a cover charge or a yoga class or a game night etc. Check the other FUNraising blog posts for more ideas.
- Set goals. Like I said earlier, it is best to set small goals for yourself, $1500 is a lot of money and so by breaking it up by a few months and trying to raise a set amount of money for that timeframe it will feel more manageable.
- Ask Everyone. This might be some of the hardest advice I give but after doing this for six years I truly know that asking everyone is an awesome way to maximize your fundraising efforts. You never know who will donate and so many times I have received donations from unexpected places. Ask your hair dresser, coworkers, neighbors, anyone, you never know their story and why they donate but it is an amazing feeling getting donations in unexpected places.
Hopefully these tips will help lead you on your way to a successful fundraising season. At the Elizabeth Stone House we are forever thankful for the money that is raised through Wilderness Heals, it makes up 10% of their budget for the year and these unrestricted funds are very important to making things happen that cannot be covered in grants.
Feel free to email me or comment if you have other ideas or have any fundraising questions for me!
Happy Wilderness Heals Wednesday!