- Download the Sample Fundraising Letter - Walker (Word document)
- Download the Sample Fundraising Letter - Team Captain (Word document)
How to Raise $250 in 5 DaysKey First Steps
- Set an overall Team Fundraising goal to focus and motivate your team.
- Set individual fundraising goals for you and each Team member.
- Be ready to tell people how their donations will be used to find the cause, provide world-class care for patients, and work towards a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
- Make your own contribution of $25 - $25
- Ask 3 family members to contribute $25 each - $75
- Ask 5 friends to contribute $10 each - $50
- Ask 5 co-workers to contribute $10 each - $50
- Ask 5 neighbors to contribute $10 each - $50
Want to raise much more than $250?
- Write a letter explaining what it is that you are doing, why you are doing it, and how people can sponsor you with a contribution to Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center and mail, e-mail or hand-deliver it.
- Email is a powerful tool you can quickly send your letter to everyone in your address book. Include a link to your More Talk! More Walk! page.
- Check to see if your company provides corporate matching; include this information in all your materials and presentations.
- Organize creative Team fundraising events (i.e., car wash, bake sale, garage sale), with proceeds going to team totals.
- Place a collection jar in a common area for loose-change contributions in support of your "More Talk! More Walk!” Walk Team.
- Challenge other groups or departments to a fundraising competition.
Team Captain Fundraising Tips
Congratulations and thank you for joining us as a team captain! We want to help make your fundraising as fun and successful as possible so we’ve put together some best practices and tips below!
Remember this and remind your team: you are not asking for donations for yourself you’re asking on behalf of an organization you believe in!
Once you have registered your team and yourself, personalize your individual and team pages with your fundraising goals, a photo or video, and information about why you joined the event and what your personal connection is. The more you personalize your page with your connection to Parkinson’s disease and the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center, the better. Your donors and teammates want to know why this is important to you. Once they understand that, it will likely become important to them as well. Make it fun and personal, and make sure to update the information on your page occasionally. Perhaps provide an update from your life, how your fundraising is going, etc.
Once your pages are updated, it’s ready to be seen by the world! Do you know the number one reason people don’t give? It’s because they weren’t asked! Include everyone you can think of when you are sharing your recruitment and fundraising campaign! People are rarely resentful when a friend or colleague asks them to join their team or donate to a cause they believed in. Even if they are financially incapable of giving at this time, they won’t resent you for asking. So don’t be afraid to ask. The worst that can happen is that they will say no but if you don’t ask at all you can guarantee they won’t join or donate! You never know who might have a connection to the cause and is looking for an opportunity to donate or get involved.
Make a list of people from the different areas of your life you’d like to ask to join your team or help fundraise. Use our circle of influence and fundraising worksheets to identify prospects and set goals. Once you’ve identified who you would like to join your team, consider the best way to recruit them. Perhaps you should send an email with details to your coworkers, hang flyers in the break room or announce your plans over a staff meeting. (Make sure to check with your boss first!) Maybe for your friends a Facebook post would be best or a personal call or text. For your family, let them know about your efforts at the next family dinner. Try to personalize your asks in ways that each group will be most responsive to. Make sure to include information for both recruitment and fundraising in case they are unable to join the team, but would like to make a donation. Make it as easy as possible for them to join your team or donate.
Social media is a very popular fundraising tool now. Share the link to your homepage on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever you use. Invite people to donate and to join your team as well! The most successful social media fundraising campaigns have structure and keep things fun and interesting. Give some thought to how and when you plan to post to your sites. When do you get the most likes or comments on your posts? Do pictures or videos help grab your audiences’ attention? How often do you feel you can post without losing your network? The more thought and planning you put into your campaign the more successful it will be.
In any communications asking for donations, be sure to remind them all donations big or small are accepted and make a difference!
“Old fashioned” letter writing campaigns are still extremely successful fundraising tools. For your personal fundraising campaign as well as encouraging your team members, pull out your address book, type up a letter and mail it off to everyone you know! Make sure the letter includes why Parkinson’s disease and the Institute are important to you, what your personal connection is, why you want them to donate, etc. Include how they can donate, your individual or team webpage link, an address where they can mail checks to, etc. If you are planning any fundraisers in your individual or team campaigns be sure to include information about that. You can include general information about Parkinson’s Disease and the Institute to educate those who aren’t familiar as well. Check moretalkmorewalk.org for templates for these letters as well.
If your network is less responsive to traditional mail, put the same information you would have included in the letter into an email and send it off to your entire address book. Consider how you will structure your email campaign, how often you will send emails, what the content will be, what day or time you will send them, etc. We suggest sending another email 2 weeks after your initial email to those who have not yet donated and again one week before the event to those who still haven’t donated.
Make sure you are welcoming new team members right away. If possible a personal text, call or email is great. Perhaps you’ve created a Facebook event post there and tag your new teammate welcoming them! Make each team member feel included and welcomed, helping to motivate them early on! In the same vein, thank any donors right away, too. You will receive emails when you get new team members and receive donations online. Through your fundraising headquarters you’ll be able to send thank you emails to your donors. Personalize your thank you emails to each donor so they know how much it meant to you and how grateful you are. Even better is a handwritten thank you note it doesn’t have to be long, but your donors will appreciate the extra effort.
Make sure to engage your coworkers in your efforts! Tell your employer all about what you’re doing and see what they are able to do to support you. Are they able to match your fundraising or make a flat donation? Donate a paid day off or a jeans day as a fundraiser? Form a separate corporate team? Let your employer know how important this is to you and see what they can do to help!
Add a signature line to your personal and, if allowed, professional emails with the link to your fundraising website.
Plan a team fundraiser to engage the whole team, get them excited about the event and help everyone’s fundraising campaign. What do you and the team love to do? What do you enjoy? What would be fun and relatively easy to implement? Does your great grandmother have an amazing spaghetti recipe that would be perfect for a spaghetti feed? Does your team include a lot of children? Plan a babysitting fundraiser you and your team mates will watch your friends” kids for a period of time for a donation. Perhaps a movie night or wine tasting is more appealing to you. Do what works for you! The sky is the limit!
Whatever it may be start planning early! Rally the team together to choose a fundraiser, set a date, create a list of tasks and delegate! If everyone chips in, the planning is easier for all involved! Be sure to ask your local stores for any donations you may need so you don’t have to pay out of pocket!
After the event, make sure to email your original distribution list to give them an event update. Let them know how successful the event was, how much you raised and that it’s not too late to donate if they haven’t yet. Be sure to thank them for their donations, support and joining you at the event. Send all team members a personal email or note thanking them for their participation and hoping they’ll join you again the following year!