So You Joined a Charity Team...What Next?
OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. I am overflowing with anxiety and excitement. I just joined Team for Kids to raise $2,662.00 (hopefully much, much, much more than that) and run the 2014 TCS NYC MARATHON! Here are the four stages of signing up for a charity team.
1. Excitement. You think I CAN DO IT! I believe in this organization and I can make a difference!
2. Elation. You want to scream it from the rooftops! You are going to run a marathon! You are raising money and changing lives! You post it to your facebook wall, you tweet it, you email your friends and family, you tell your boss, your doctor and strangers on the subway. You’re kind of a big deal.
3. Overwhelming Fear. You are going to run a marathon. You think, “Oh my god I have to raise how much money? AND train for a marathon during a New York SUMMER!?” You do the math, if worse comes to worse and no one donates I only have to pay $532.00 a month. YOU FREAK OUT!
4. You Snap Out Of It. You remember that people do this all the time. Your charity has tons of resources to guide you through your plan of attack and how to make your dream a reality. And you remember you're fighting the fight for a cause worthy of running 26.2 miles for!
1. The easiest way to get started is setting up your fundraising page. MAKE IT PERSONAL! TELL YOUR STORY! Include pictures of you training and include what your raising money for. Your charity is the star of the show. You’re their publicist make them look good, find an angle, tell why you chose them, what do they mean to you, what’s at stake, why are they important. Times are hard and not everyone has money to spare but reminding people even $1, $5 or $20 makes a difference. And every donation is tax deductible.
2. SHARE THAT LINK! Post it to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
I asked my best friend Irene Rojas whose now fundraised for two marathons for tips and tricks. Here’s some tips to reaching your fundraising goals.
“1. Don't be afraid to ask anyone to donate ever!! It's for a good cause and all they can say is Yes or No.
2. The key is to be as personal as possible.
3. Try to think of 100 contacts you could send letters to. Ask your parents, (spouse, partner or significant other) and family members for addresses or Facebook people for them.
4. Consistency. Last season I gave up on Facebook but I found that this season, occasional posts here and there reminded more and more people to donate each time. Just don't overdo it or it will appear as spam and don't make your FB posts too long because people are lazy and will scroll right by it. Make it personal...or post a photo of your training or something to catch people's attention.
5. Sending out reminder letters. (Don’t be afraid to ask multiple times. People are busy.)
6. Get creative with fundraising. Make a commitment, "if I raise this much I'll die my hair pink" or hold fundraisers at different restaurants or have a beer pong tournament (for your over 21 college friends). You never know what will catch different people's attention.”
Irene is in training to run her second Rock N Roll San Diego marathon on June 1 2014. She has successfully fund-raised for Team In Training for both marathons. She also is the one who got me into running. She’s pretty incredible. (Click here to see her fundraising page)
Otherwise, use your charity team's resources! Ask your teammates what they are doing and if they have any advice. And if you get stuck remember to ask and ask often! Get creative! Remember it may feel like you're bugging people or begging for money but you're raising money for life changing organizations!
I chose Team for Kids because I have struggled with my weight my ENTIRE LIFE. I was always on the heavier side and struggled to feel confident about my body image. When I was in college I tragically lost my brother and I gained 50 pounds. With the encouragement of my mom I got active and dropped the weight. Now one of the ways I keep it off is by running. Team for Kids brings programs to schools to help combat childhood obesity. The more kids we can help get active and make positive choices the better! It’s an organization I strongly believe in and I am so excited to raise money for.
So, like I said ask and ask often. If you’d like to donate to my fundraising campaign CLICK HERE.
Have you ever fund raised for an event? What are some of your tips and tricks? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Until tomorrow! I'LL BE OUT POUNDING THE PAVEMENT!