1. Make a list of everyone you want to reach out to. Go through your family tree, email contacts, mobile phone contacts, social media contacts, and people you see in your day-to-day activities. Categorize them by the best way to reach them: email, phone call, social media, letter, in-person, etc. Even though email and social media are the most effective methods, part of fundraising is knowing the best way to communicate with others.
2. Email. A personalized email is the most basic tool of fundraising, and that's because it works! Include the facts: you will be running/walking at Race For The Rescues, and by sponsoring you, they will help support homeless pets. Include something personal - you adopted a homeless pet, and it made such an incredibly difference in your life. Always remember to include your URL, so people can click on it right away. Send it through your personal email account or through The Race for the Rescues website. Send lots of them!
3. Social Media. Through your personal race page, directly share to your social media outlets.Videos grab people's attention. Consistency is key, and have fun with it!
4. Follow up. Folks will probably NOT donate the first time you ask. If you’re using social media, post it MULTIPLE times. Send out several emails, make several calls and write several letters. Try to get meetings so they see your passion in person!
5. Passive Fundraising Techniques. Send an email to everyone on your list every week - not to solicit, but to publicly mention everyone who has donated by name. This is both a "thank you" to your donors and a clever reminder to those who haven’t donated yet. You can also send updates: “Today, I ran a mile to train for Race for the Rescues.”
6. Capturing major donors. If there is anyone in your life who you think has the capacity and/or motivation to give a major gift ($500 or more), consider taking them out to lunch, coffee, or dinner and ask them in person. If they are not local, you’ll have to rely on the phone, postal service, or email.
7. Gratitude. Whether it’s a "shout out" on social media, an email, a hand-written note, or a gift (or all of those), you can never thank someone enough for their support. Remind them they have saved lives with their donations. Be sure to make them feel how important their role is. Side note: respect anonymous donors, but know you can still thank them!
8. Reach it, raise it. When (yes--when--not if) you reach your goal, CELEBRATE and THANK! And then, raise it! Don’t just stop with your first goal. If you’ve achieved it, and there’s still time before the Race, bump it up.
9. Prizes. Race for the Rescues offers awesome fundraising incentive prizes. Check out the site: www.racefortherescues.org to view each fundraising-level prize. If you are a team captain, you can also offer prizes within your own team. A little healthy competition engages your team members and incentivize them to reach their goals.
10. Create a fundraising plan and follow through with it. Use a calendar to map out your fundraising efforts, so you don’t get overwhelmed. Doing a little bit everyday adds up.