Through your efforts to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association, you are acting as a volunteer, an advocate, and a representative of the Alzheimer’s Association – helping us to achieve our mission. Thank you! Whatever event you are participating in, we want to ensure you reach your fundraising goals.
The following fundraising tools are available as a reference to help you get started with your fundraising plan and acheive your goal.
Develop your plan and reach your goal
Take the time to organize your fundraising plan to help you succeed in the long-run. The five things to contend with are:
- Setting your fundraising goal
- How to ask
- Who to ask
- When to ask
- How much to ask for
Set your fundraising goal. Set your goal before you start fundraising. Begin by raising the minimum requirement, and expand beyond that. Think about the programs and services made possible by the money you raise.
Determine how to make your ask. This is where you should get creative. The most successful fundraisers use a combination of face-to-face conversations, emails, social media and letters to prospective donors. We highly recommend you setup your online fundraising webpage for easy “asks” to a broad, approachable audience. Personalize your page with your story and photos.
Your personal contact is what makes the difference. Talk about a friend or family member with Alzheimer’s disease or other personal reasons you have for running and raising money. Tell supporters your fundraising goal while talking about the race you will be participating in. When asking for pledges, be relaxed, but show your enthusiasm. You’ll do best with the style of solicitation that reflects you and your personality.
Determine who to ask. Ask everyone! Begin by drafting your target list of prospective donors, then implement. Your list may include family, friends, colleauges, your employer, neighbors, church members, local businesses, clients/vendors, community groups, your physician(s)/dentist, hair stylist, and running club members.
Remember to include any vendors, consultants and business with whom you may work. They can choose to make a personal donation or a business contribution. The larger your contact list, the more money you will raise to support critical Alzheimer’s disease education, care, and research.
Determine when to ask. Get started early! You will see that your energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Don’t just pick a day in the future and pretend you’ll start then – putting it off results in stress at the end of your training. Start today and you will be surprised at how quickly the results accumulate.
Determine how much to ask for. The amount you ask for from each sponsor varies. For example, you would probably feel more comfortable asking for $100 from a close family member than from a neighbor. Be sure to have an idea of how much you want from each person before you make the inquiry, but don’t be afraid to ask for more than you expect.
Keys to Successful Fundraising
It’s no surprise that most people are intimidated by the prospect of raising money. You’re not alone. But with proper planning, reaching your fundraising goals are no sweat! The staff at the Alzheimer’s Association will work closely with you to help you achieve your goal.
Be the first to contribute. Once you are registered to run, your easiest pledge will come from yourself. Remember, it is always easier to ask others if you have already sponsored yourself.
Fundraise in a variety of ways. The most successful fundraisers use a variety of methods including: soliciting personal donations, asking for employer gifts and employer matching gifts, holding fundraising events, having “benefit” tag sales – you name it!
Share your commitment to the Alzheimer’s Association & the race. There is a guiding principle that will help you throughout your fundraising forthe race: your commitment to run for the Alzheimer’s Association is an impressive goal. It will touch and inspire others. People admire and respect those who set a goal and go for it! They will want to invest in you and be a part of your incredible accomplishment.
Incorporate the cause in your message. Remember that you are running for very personal reasons and to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. You are helping people and their families who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and making a huge contribution to the community. Become knowledgeable about where your donations go and you will inspire donors to give more.
Ask directly. You raise money when you ask for it. The more people you approach, the more money you will raise. Don’t assume people will donate without being approached directly!
Ask for a donation that matches your commitment. What you are doing is a big deal! Don’t assume others can’t make a donation that matches the size of your commitment. Let the person decide what s/he wants to donate.
Always keep your donation form handy. You may be at the market, or at your dentist’s office, or at your children’s school, or at the gym; wherever you are, you are in a perfect place to ask for a donation. Keep the donation forms with you at all times, and be prepared to present one at a moment’s notice.
Follow-up. Never hesitate to follow-up with potential donors – many people simply forget to send in their check and a reminder is all they need.
Letter and email writing tips
When soliciting prospective donors by letter or email, remember these key tips:
- State exactly what you are doing and why. Sharing your personal story is also a key motivator for donors to support you and the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Include your personal fundraising goal in the request. If you wish, share how much you are personally supporting the cause as well.
- Highlight the important work being done by the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Be sure to say that the donation is tax-deductible and that checks should be made payable to the Alzheimer’s Association
- Enclose a copy of the offline donation form so that your donors can easily mail in donations, as well as provide the link to your personal fundraising webpage so they can easily donate via credit card.
- Be sure to thank all your donors!
- Mail/email contacts as early as possible. Ask as many people as you can think of. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
Setting up your own fundraising webpage will enable donors to easily make a contribution toward your efforts, as well as view your fundraising progress over the next few months. It’s easier to reach more people and it’s easier for people to donate.
To ensure a successful online fundraising campaign:
1) Build your personal webpage
a) The Alzheimer’s Association uses Convio software for online fundraising (Crowdrise is used exclusively for Team End ALZ Boston Marathon® and the Falmouth Road Race).
b) When building your webpage, highlight why you’re running your race for the Alzheimer’s Association and clearly state how a donation will further the mission of the Association.
c) Use pictures to add a visual component to your fundraising page. A picture could be the person you’re running on behalf of or of yourself. Update your page with training pictures, stories from your long runs, etc. The more you share about your experience the more compelling reason you are giving for people to support you.
d) Include your fundraising goal.
2) Email everyone you know with a link to your personal webpage
a) Use similar language as you would in a letter.
b) Include a link to your personal webpage.
c) You might also want to include catchy language for an email campaign, to grab your potential donor’s attention.
3) Build momentum with your online fundraising campaign
Keep donors updated on your training and fundraising progress. It’s amazing to see how many people will donate twice or even three times to your effort once they get an update on the success of your fundraising effort.
4) Thank your donors
Remember to thank every donor with a personal card or call. Donors will also receive a tax-deductible receipt from the Alzheimer’s Association.
Additional fundraising ideas
- Throw a themed party: wine tasting, country line dancing, costume, gourmet, etc.
- Hold a sale: garage, bake, etc.
- Sell a service: washing cars, cleaning apartments or handyman services.
- Hold a contest: chili cook-off, dessert, etc.
- Organize a “thon”: swim, bowl, karate, dance, etc.
- Host a party at a local restaurant or bar.
- Collection jar: at work, place a collection jar (near a vending machine or the kitchen) for people to place their change.
- Dress down day: for a specific donation, an individual has the company “ok” to dress down for a specified day.
- Send an office-wide alert: ask your manager if you can alert employees by sending a company-wide email or distributing a letter in everyone’s mailbox.
- Guess the number of beads in the jar: for a minimal donation, people can submit a count for the number of beads in a jar. Half of the money raised goes to the winner who’s the closest and the other half goes to the participant.
- Restaurants/local merchants: ask local business owners to donate a certain % of their profits for during one business day.
Your fundraising coach is also an excellent resource to brainstorm ideas and or answer questions. We are here to ensure your success! Be proud of your achievements. The dollars you raise will make a significant impact to end Alzheimer’s disease!
“The teamwork, coaching and social camaraderie of Team End ALZ is inspiring. Fellow runners and experienced coaching will prepare the novice and most advanced runner alike to train and succeed at any distance in an effort to raise awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association.”
-Brent Forester MD, longtime Team End ALZ athlete