1. Get over the fear of asking!
We all feel it! But did you know research shows most people give money just because they got asked? So don't be shy! Remember: you're not doing this for yourself (you're doing it for the animals), people genuinely want to help (most Americans are very philanthropic), and they want to support you. Just as you're proud to be helping helpless animals, your friends and family and coworkers will be proud to support you!
2. Make your fundraising personal!
Customize your fundraising page with your own story. Why are you fundraising? Is there a pet or person who's inspired you to do this? Are you challenging yourself to walk the 2 miles? What's your ultimate goal? Tell people your own story, add a photo that makes sense (e.g., of your own pet), and people will be more likely to give to help you reach your goal.
Visit Face to Face. Ask potential donors for a few minutes of their time. Let them know why you’re participating, and remember: you are not asking for the contribution for yourself, but for thousands of homeless, abused and injured animals.
Call. Pick a weekend afternoon to call your contacts and just let them know you're participating in Paws in the Park and why. You can let them know of our wonderful programs and successes, or you can share your own personal experience in adopting a pet, taking a training class, receiving help, volunteering... you get the idea!
Use Social Media. Post requests for support and updates on your progress on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Consider making the Paws in the Park logo your profile picture in the months leading up to the event. And thank your donors on social media; it will make them feel good and inspire others to follow! Or even use the Facebook Tag Board below.
Handwrite letters. The handmade touch can make all the difference! Personalize your letter with details about yourself and the reasons you are walking; you might even want to include pictures of your pets! Consider enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope to make things easier for them (you'll find your response rate is much better).
Modify Your Email Signature. Include a link to your Paws in the Park page in your email signature with a brief request for support-- like:
Bethany Smithson | Director of Animal Snuggling | 300 Harlem Road, West Seneca | Office: 716.815.2233
I'm participating in Paws in the Park this year! Support me and thousands of needy animals by making a tax-deductible donation at [Insert link to your personal page]
3. Get goofy and creative! Fun and humor are great ways to get people involved!
Entice people with rewards. Known for being a baker? Offer cookies for donations of $25 or more. Maybe you have something valuable you don't need? One fundraiser gave away football tickets to his largest contributor of the day. Maybe you have a talent you'd like to lend to others-- e.g., photography, yard work, singing, writing poetry, etc.? Or maybe you'd like to do something silly like shave your head, wear the "opposite team" colors for a day, or send photos of your dressed-up pet to others in exchange for their donating to your page. Or even use the Facebook Tag Board below.
4. Set mini-goals! These can be really fun!
Be inventive. If your total goal is $500, let people know you'll dye your hair blue, wear your clothes backwards, be silent for a day, or only talk in rhyme for a day after you reach $250.
Take advantage of significant dates. Someone's birthday coming up on the 10th? Ask everyone to give $10 on that day. Celebrating an anniversary? Ask everyone to donate $13 for good luck.
Give friends or co-workers their own goal. Sometimes it's easier to get donations when people have a tangible thing they're donating for. Let them know if they donate $__, they'll be funding ___ spay/neuter surgeries. Or $___ helps an animal get adopted.
5. Keep asking!
It's true, and we've seen it year-after-year: the more emails you send out, the more donations you'll get. Use the easy templates in the participant center or make your own. And remember to follow-up: oftentimes, people are happy to donate but simply get busy or forget.
Ask businesses you patronize. Ask the places you frequent for a donation. You support your hair stylist, dry cleaner, doctor, dentist, gym, coffee shop, and favorite restaurant; they will be happy to support you!
Get other groups your participate in, colleages at work or your neighbors involved. Have a meeting coming up? Let people know you're participating in Paws in the Park and would love their help. No meeting? Use Paws in the Park as an excuse to get together! You could host a bake sale, garage sale, plant sale, karaoke party or other event to get others involved and celebrating.
Does your company offer a matching gift? Ask your human resources person; matching gifts are a great way to double the money you raise! To coordinate, contact email@example.com.
6. Say THANKS!
Always send a thank you note or email when you receive a donation. We make it easy; you'll find a thank you template in your participant center.
Facebook Tag Board
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