By Dana Nelson, Executive Director at GiveMN
Birthdays are big time at our house. I LOVE my birthday because it means doing something special. I ate cake for breakfast, had lunch with my grandma, and heard from my friends all day that they were making donations to my son’s school!
I was blown away by the generosity of my friends and family, and by how easy it was to raise nearly $850! I’ve been talking about fundraiser pages as an easy way to ask for donations in lieu of birthday presents, so it was time to try out this little-known tool myself. It was rewarding, challenging, and illuminating, but most of all—it was fun!
Here’s what I did and what I learned. Let’s call it Ten Tips for Fundraising on Your Birthday:
- I clicked on the big orange fundraise button in the banner at the top of GiveMN.org.
- I logged in to my GiveMN account. It was easy to do using my email and password.
- I typed in the name of my cause—my son’s school, Venture Academy—and the page name I wanted to give my fundraiser: 450 Dollars for 45 Years – My Birthday Wish for Venture Academy.
- Then I was ready to create my fundraiser page! I included a picture that the school sent me and my personal story about why Venture Academy is important to our family.
- I went through my email list and Facebook friends and made a list of people who might consider making a donation. It was longer than I thought!
- I wrote my first email. This was the hardest part of the whole process for me. I had to think about why I was fundraising for Venture in a way that people outside of my family might care about. And I had to be okay if they didn’t respond or if they said no.
- I sent personalized emails. They weren’t long, but I made sure they were unique and heartfelt.
- I shared the link on Facebook and tweeted about it, which is easy from the Share This Page area of your fundraiser. I was delighted when friends saw it on social media and made a donation!
- I let the organization know what I was doing. They amplified my efforts by sharing the fundraiser page with their email list of parents and supporters. This lead to a few more donations!
- I sent personal thank you notes to each person who gave–sometimes by email, sometimes a handwritten note, and sometimes a kiss (Thanks again, Mom!).
The GiveMN fundraiser page worked swimmingly. Okay, I did forget to click Update once and lost my first draft, but it was EASY to do and a great way to raise money for an awesome school. I raised nearly $850 that will help to pay for a few special year-end field trips.
Asking for a donation in honor of my birthday or in lieu of a present was as special as cake for breakfast and was a great way to connect with even more people to share the mission of Venture Academy.
So there you have it. The secret of GiveMN fundraiser pages is revealed! They are great for inspiring your kids to raise money, an easy way to fundraise for a fun run, or start a friendly fundraising competition with your friends in the neighborhood or on that board you serve on.
I’m excited to hear how you will use a fundraiser page to help the organizations you love! Send me your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a GiveMN Selfie Stick!
Thanks for igniting generosity and growing giving.