One of the most meaningful ways you can help your charity of choice is by hosting an online fundraiser. Not only are you harnessing the power of your community, you’re also turning a dime into a dollar.
One donation vs. many donations could mean the difference between one tank of gas for a single mom to get to school vs. a year’s worth of keeping the lights on for her family… we’re talking BIG-time impact here!
Curious how to raise money for your cause? Here’s how to get started:
1. Become a Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser.
What the what? A “Peer-to-Peer” fundraiser is exactly what it sounds like.
You are reaching out to your peers (friends, family, classmates, coworkers, mentors, coaches, neighbors, faith-seekers, your local barista, Devon, who always has your café au lait ready, yoga teachers and of course your second-cousin, Terry, who’s always posting feminist cat memes… you name it! In fact, if you know their name or email, add them to the list!!!)
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a method of fundraising that empowers individuals (ahem, you!) to raise money on behalf of a cause (like, perhaps LiveYourDream.org?) using online fundraising pages.
Gone are the days of selling girl scout cookies door-to-door and stuffing cash into a manila folder.
For example, our LiveYourDream.org Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers use our customizable fundraising pages to collect donations from their community using a tool called Classy.
Many of our fundraisers also use Facebook to collect donations from their networks, as well.
Ultimately, you are acting as a fundraiser on behalf of your favorite charity (or charities!)
Through LiveYourDream.org, we make fundraising easy.
We give you the tools, coach you through building your fundraising page, and give you chances to make it your own.
All funds raised directly support our Dream Programs empowering women and girls.
2. Set up your own peer-to-peer fundraising page.
It’s easier than you think. We already made a template for you, just start here.
And then, if you want to get fancy, here’s how you edit and customize your personal fundraising page.
3. Choose a special day or event.
Yes, you could fundraise for us all year long, (I mean, omg amazing!) But according to science, your peers are more likely to make a donation during a special event like a holiday or your birthday.
“Thanks for the fuzzy socks Aunt Linda, but would you
consider donating instead?”
Or maybe you’re planning a road trip for the month of April to raise awareness about equal pay and you’re collecting donations in exchange for totally rad trip updates like pics of the world’s largest ball of stamps (yes, that’s a real thing, google it).
Choosing a special day or event really gives your fundraiser that extra oomph to achieve or even exceed your initial goal! When you’re raising money for a cause, mo’ money = mo’ problems solved.
4. Make it personal.
The best way to encourage your community to donate is by showing people why your cause matters.
Set up the problem and tell people about the organization’s mission. In our case, you’d say something along the lines of: “I’m fundraising to help domestic violence survivors achieve financial independence. LiveYourDream.org is a movement fiercely dedicated to ensuring every woman and girl has the opportunity to reach her full potential, be free from violence, and live her dreams.”
Share your story about WHY you’re passionate about this cause. You can make a video, post pictures or write about why this issue is close to your heart. This helps your community connect with your campaign on an emotional level.
Show your community how they can be part of the solution. For example, on our fundraising template, you can see that $25 could cover a tank of gas for a single mom to get to and from school; $75 could cover family groceries; $125 could cover an electricity bill for the month; and $500 could cover a student loan payment.
5. Get your family and friends involved.
The people who care about you the most are your biggest supporters! Ask those closest to you to make a small donation and share your fundraising page to get some momentum going.
Then, share your fundraising page with your larger network. Post on social media about your fundraiser at least once a week. Send emails and text messages asking for support.
Try individual outreach. Mass blasting your Facebook friends is a fine idea to get publicity, but winning people’s support sometimes requires a finer touch.
Think of it this way. You group text 10 of your friends: “Anyone want to help me move?!” You’d be lucky to get one or two volunteers (or I don’t know, maybe more? It’s possible your friends are better humans than mine).
But if you individually text each friend to say “Hey, can you help me move?” they’re individually more likely to say yes. Because psychology.
For that same reason, we find that one-to-one calls and emails can be a huge game-changer for beginner fundraisers.
6. Practice gratitude.
Celebrate every donation, big or small! Post updates of your progress on social media to keep everyone engaged.
You can thank your donors by tagging them on social media, sending an email, replying to any comments on your fundraising page, or by mailing a personal thank you note.
7. Follow these #ProTips
- Be confident when asking for support! People want to help. Let them!
- Make a donation to your own page–it proves you’re equally committed to your cause of choice.
- Set goals! $100 in week one, $250 by three weeks, etc. Having a goal helps you track your progress so you can ask for help overcoming the next hurdle.
Alyssa helped to launch LiveYourDream.org back in 2012 and has combined creativity and all-things-digital to develop a fun, meaningful, connected space for you to get inspired and take action. Her passion for women’s empowerment drives her day-to-day work, but also her own volunteer experience – from art-service exchanges abroad in Tanzania to helping families in domestic violence shelters in the states. For fun, she loves live music, yoga, dancing, traveling and pretending to be a food critic at new restaurants!