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So you’ve decided to fundraise for your favorite nonprofit organization, Barbells for Boobs. Congratulations! You’re joining a community of everyday people making a difference for the causes they love. The good news is you don’t need to be a fundraising expert to raise a lot of money. This article can help you crush your fundraising goals even if you’re new to the process.

We’ll teach you how to set up your page, ask for donations, and promote your campaign. And there are checklists at the end of each chapter to help you stay on track.

Here we go!

Chapter 1: Get Started

Fundraising is a chance to make a big impact, even if you can’t personally make a big donation. By mobilizing your friends and family, you can help Barbells for Boobs reach more people, raise more money, and make a bigger impact.

The first step is an easy one: create your fundraising page. We have a registration page that looks something like this:

Your page will come branded with our colors and logo, but you can (and should!) personalize it. You can do this by adding your own pictures or videos to the page. This is your chance to tell everyone why Barbells for Boobs is important to you.

This fundraiser used her page to share her story about why Barbells for Boobs is meaningful to her. This kind of personal touch helps to motivate her readers. Friends, family, and acquaintances will be moved by her story and are more likely to give to her page.

You can also use your page to explain the significance of your fundraising goal and/or ask people to give a specific amount. For example, if you’re fundraising to celebrate your 30th birthday, you might ask your friends and family to donate $30 each.

These personal touches help your potential supporters feel more connected to you and Barbells for Boobs. With these elements in place, your page is ready to accept donations. Next, we will identify all the people in your personal network you can ask to contribute.

What Should Your Goal Be?

We have a preset fundraising goal for you, but you can always set your own.

Don’t be afraid to be ambitious. While the average individual fundraiser nets $568, many people have raised tens of thousands of dollars.

You can always change your goal if you need to.

Chapter 2: Outline your audience

Your network is bigger than you might think.

The power of fundraising is in mobilizing your own personal network of family and friends. Rather than making one gift by yourself, you can get all the people you love involved. You get to share your passion, and Barbells for Boobs gets much-needed support from a wider community.

Even if you’re not a “social butterfly,” odds are, you have dozens if not hundreds of contacts who might be willing to help. Some of these friends are closer, but you never know who might be moved by your story or feel compelled to support your cause.

Your inner circle

When it comes time to ask people to make donations, it’s best to start with the people closest to you. Your inner circle is made up of the people you know will be happy to hear from you and want to support you. People like your family and close friends.

You can brainstorm a list of these people first. Here’s what your list might look like:

Hold onto this list. In the next chapter, we’ll cover how to reach out to them.

Your social network

Your broader social network will be much larger than your inner circle. Nowadays, we’re connected to hundreds of people through social media. Half of all adults using Facebook have more than 200 friends.  Add Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn; you’ve got a huge audience for your fundraising campaign.

Some of these groups will be reachable by email, but social media will also be very important when appealing to this audience.

By posting personal updates about your fundraising campaign, you can hopefully inspire some people in your networks to visit your page.

Other groups

The third tier of connections is with groups or organizations you belong to. Are you on a recreational sports team, or do you attend church regularly? When you reach out to these groups, you can reference what you all have in common before asking for a donation. For example, if you play in a recreational soccer league, you could reference the upcoming practice in an email and also let everyone know about your fundraising goal. You can also mention it at practice.

Other groups you should appeal to include:

If you’re hesitant to ask all these people for help, remember that you share things in conversation and on social media all the time. This time, you’re doing it for a good cause. You’re showing people your passions and giving them the opportunity to make a difference.

You also never know which of your friends or acquaintances have a personal connection to Barbells for Boobs. This is why it’s worth promoting your fundraising page and appealing to all of your various networks, on- and offline.

Chapter 3: Ask for donations

Many people are afraid to ask others for help, but research shows that people are more willing to lend a hand than you might expect. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to approach the people in your network through email, social media, and more.

Remember that it’s not a selfish ask—you’re trying to help a good cause.

The worst they can do is say “no.”

Email

When it comes to asking people for help, the more personal you can get, the better. If you ask a big disconnected group of people all at once, you can fall victim to the bystander effect. When you make a general ask, people are less likely to act because they assume someone else will take care of it. This is why we targeted more specific groups of people in the previous chapter.

Start your fundraising campaign by approaching the people closest to you first. These are the people who are most likely to donate. By asking them to give first, you can start moving the bar on your fundraising page before you appeal to your entire social network.

If you regularly talk on the phone with some people in your inner circle, tell them about your campaign directly. They may even ask you to send them the link. Email is the easiest way to reach out to the whole group. Plus, you can include a link to your page.

Consider writing a few personalized emails for the people in your inner circle. For example, you might compose one message for family and another for close friends.

Be sure to include the following information in your email:

  • The organization you are fundraising for
  • Why you are fundraising
  • The fact that you’re starting with your closest family and friends before opening up to your larger network
  • What you want them to do: “Will you help me reach my goal by donating?”
  • A link to your fundraising page

Emails to the family

Here is an example of what an email to your family might look like.

Hi Martinez family,

I’m writing to let you know that I’m fundraising for Barbells for Boobs this month. As some of you know, my best friend Anne-Marie was diagnosed with breast cancer, so it’s a cause close to my heart.

The Resources After Diagnosis (RAD) program is designed to give athletic women diagnosed with breast cancer a comprehensive support system focused on improving the quality of life and outcomes through health, fitness, and community. I’ll ask everyone I know to check out my page and donate if they can, but I wanted to ask my family first. Will you help me reach my goal of raising $1,000 by making a donation?

You can check out my fundraising page by clicking this link!

Any support you can give will mean so much to me. Thanks for reading and helping me fundraise for Barbells for Boons and women impacted by breast cancer.

Love,

Karla

Emails to other groups

Email is also great for asking your coworkers or classmates to donate. Here is an example email for the workplace. Emails like these allow you to tell people why you’re fundraising and how they can help.

Dear colleagues,

I’m fundraising for my favorite nonprofit organization, Barbells for Boobs. As some of you know, my best friend Anne-Marie was diagnosed with breast cancer, so it’s a cause close to my heart.

The Resources After Diagnosis (RAD) program is designed to give athletic women diagnosed with breast cancer a comprehensive support system focused on improving the quality of life and outcomes through health, fitness, and community. If you can, please donate to help me reach my goal.

Anne-Marie’s year anniversary since being diagnosed is coming up, I want to raise $600 by then. Anything you can give will help!

You can check out my fundraising page by clicking this link!

Thanks for helping, and have a good day!

Karla

Remember to include a link to your fundraising page so that people can donate immediately.

Take a few minutes to email your inner circle first, and then move on to your office, your softball team, or your church congregation.

Social media

Posting to your social media profiles is an important step to reaching as many people as possible. After you’ve reached out to your inner circle and are ready to open your campaign up to everybody, announce that you’re fundraising by posting links to your campaign page. While most people use social media regularly, they don’t all check the same platforms. This is why you should post to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and any other networks you have.

A social media appeal won’t be as long and detailed as an email, but you can start by simply telling people about your campaign.

Some tips for social media posts:

  • Posts with images tend to get more engagement, so include a screenshot or favorite picture from the organization
  • Include the link to your fundraising page
  • Ask people to share and retweet
  • Use related hashtags to make your post searchable

Don’t worry about coming off as annoying or bothersome. Social media moves so fast that a single post can easily get lost or ignored. This is why you should post multiple times to each platform. To keep your appeal fresh, you can change up each post with slightly different information. You can reference how much progress you’ve made toward your goal or include details about why Barbells for Boobs matters to you.

Here are some guidelines for how often to post.

  • Twitter: Once or twice per day
  • Facebook: At least once every two or three days
  • LinkedIn: Twice per week
  • Instagram: Twice per week

Chapter 4: Go the distance

Hopefully, sending out emails and posting to social media will get you well on your way to hitting your fundraising goal. But after the initial interest and excitement, you may find that your campaign slows down. Fortunately, there are some ways to keep people engaged and motivated to help throughout your campaign.

Weekly Goals

To reach your overall fundraising goal, it helps to break up the amount over however many days or weeks you’re fundraising. For example, if your goal was to raise $1,000 in four weeks, you could try to raise $250 each week. This means there’s always an upcoming goal that your friends and family can help you reach.

WHICH OF THESE TWO APPEALS SOUNDS MORE COMPELLING?

Please help me reach my goal of $1,000 by the end of the month!

I’m only $35 away from reaching my goal of raising $250 this week. Who wants to put me over the top?

The first appeal has a big goal and a far-off deadline. Someone reading might think, “I’ve got plenty of time. I’ll do it later,” or “My small donation wouldn’t make a difference.”

The second appeal has a sense of urgency, and the goal is within reach. Breaking up your fundraising goal can help encourage people to take the plunge and make a donation to your page.

Highlight Donors

Another way to maintain energy and excitement around your campaign is to thank donors to your page publicly. This shows your gratitude and celebrates the donor while promoting your campaign and keeping it top of mind.

Promote Barbells for Boobs

Educate your audience about Barbells for Boobs. You can also talk about the purpose of this particular fundraising campaign if you’re fundraising as part of a team or for an event. Show your friends and family why this nonprofit deserves their attention. One way to do this is to share a great blog post or some awesome pictures from our website.

You can also look for information on our website about what certain donation amounts help them to accomplish. This is interesting information to share on social media or in emails because it shows specific ways in which donations do make a difference.

Countdown to the Deadline

A countdown of the final days of your fundraising campaign can help get people’s attention. Your appeal becomes more urgent and compelling when you point out that time is running out.  You can even take a selfie or post a new image to count down the days of your campaign.

In the final days of your campaign, emphasize how close you are to your goal. People are especially willing to give when you’re shy of your goal because it feels like their gift is meaningful. It’s kind of like scoring the game-winning goal. It has the same impact on the score as any other goal, but it feels special to clinch the victory.

Chapter 5: Time to party 🥳

Reaching the end of your fundraising campaign is like crossing the finish line of a marathon.

Even if you didn’t hit your overall fundraising goal, you’ve done more for Barbells for Boobs than you would have if you’d just sent a one-time donation. You’ve surpassed the amount you could have donated on your own, and you’ve helped spread the word about an important cause.

Say “Thank You” to Your Supporters

Your donors will receive thank you messages from Barbells for Boobs, but take the time to tell them that you appreciate their help in reaching your goal.

Whether through social media, email, a phone call, or in-person, anyone who donated to your fundraising campaign will be happy to hear from you.

When the campaign is over, email your donors to update them on the final results. Showing them how their gift contributed to a larger purpose will strengthen the connection to Barbells for Boobs. Add a link to our website or blog so they can learn more on their own.

Keep in Touch for Next Time

Now that your campaign is over, you can pat yourself on the back. By taking the time to reach out to your friends and family, you’ve not only raised money for the cause you love, but you’ve also helped the people you love to connect with an awesome social impact organization.

To see how the money you raised makes a difference, stay on our email list, follow us on social media, or become a Heartbeat recurring donor. This way, you’ll continue to see the impact your work made possible. You can even update your donors with new success stories over time.

Now that you’re a seasoned fundraiser, consider lending your talents to our next campaign.

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