Fundraising For {Mere} Mortals | Megan Brauner | Skillshare
Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
12 Lessons ()
    • 1. 01 Introduction

    • 2. 02 Fundraise Like a Teenager

    • 3. 03 Where the Money is

    • 4. 04 Getting it Done - What's the Plan?

    • 5. 05 Who Do You Know?

    • 6. 06 Who Knows You?

    • 7. 07 The Letter

    • 8. 08 The Email

    • 9. 09 The Vocalized Ask

    • 10. 10 The Thank You

    • 11. 11 Everything Else

    • 12. Bonus Video - Social Media Fundraising

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

It seems like everyone is fundraising these days.

Whether you’ve just signed up for your first fundraising walk-a-thon, are considering a crowdfunding campaign to bring your record-producing dreams to life, or just want to know that it’s possible to raise funds for a good cause WITHOUT annoying your friends - this class is for you!

Join long-time fundraiser and teacher Megan Brauner as she breaks down the components of a friends and family fundraising campaign into manageable, bite-sized pieces that leave you AND your donors feeling happy and excited to be part of a meaningful, world-changing opportunity.

Learn tips for raising funds quickly, efficiently and professionally with minimal ick.  At the end of this class you will have

  • a robust list of potential donors,
  • a plan for how best to communicate with each of them, and
  • a fundraising letter that can be personalized and updated for each of your donors

We’ll touch on emails, events, and why teenagers really ARE the best fundraisers in existence.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Megan Brauner

Major Gifts Officer | Fundraiser


Hello, I'm Megan, a fundraising professional in Phoenix, Arizona. I've spent my career raising funds for some of the largest and best known nonprofit organizations in the country, including the American Red Cross and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I love sharing the story of our mission and teaching others how to do the same! Outside the office, you'll catch me hanging out with #LazloTheChihuahua and writing too-clever-for-their-own-good second hand resale posts on craigslist.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. 01 Introduction: hi and welcome Teoh Fundraising for Mortals, also known as how to raise money for an amazing organization without annoying your friends . I'm Megan and I've spent about half my career raising funds for some of the biggest and best known nonprofit organizations in the country and the other half teaching volunteer fundraisers just like you. How to do the same. I'm willing to bet you're watching this video because someone is trying to convince you to join a fundraising campaign, probably for a really great organizations. But you still have pit in your stomach, probably because you've been on the receiving end of some poor fundraising techniques, some annoying fundraising techniques, whether it's in an official solicitation from a non profit organization or a friend on social media or even those cute little girls selling cookies outside of the grocery store. I bet you some of these tactics even worked on you. But if you're honest with yourself, they probably also made you feel just a little icky. Well, I have good news. Fundraising does not have to be like that. For someone like you that's ready to make a real difference in the world, I can show you how to set yourself up for success with minimal. I find that most volunteer fundraisers who take on ah walkathon or some other fundraising vehicle tend to have a hard time getting started for two reasons. They're scared of being rejected and they're scared. They're not gonna make their goal. And I get it. It's hard. Asking for help is hard. Asking for money is hard. It can feel embarrassing and annoying. And what if you don't make your goal? Sometimes the amount of money that you're expected to raise can feel insurmountable, especially for a non millionaire. How do you even get started? And once you do, how do you keep it from taking over your whole life? Well, we're gonna face both of those fears right here in this class, and at the end, you're going to have a plan, the tools that you need to knock your fundraising goal out of the water. And you're gonna be that amazing fundraiser that I know that anyone could be. And then you can leave that image of the sleazy salesman fundraiser right in the dust 2. 02 Fundraise Like a Teenager: have you ever noticed that the older we get, the more experience we have, the more knowledge we have? And yet we're Mawr, terrified of some things than we ever were as kids. Fundraising is like that. So think about the teenagers in your life. May be one of your Children or a sibling or yourself at that age. Have you ever noticed that teenagers have no problem asking their parents for money? What little jerks? What gets them the nerve to think that their parents want to fund their funds well, three really specific things get dinner. The first is that they're asking for an appropriate amount. The teenagers I know never asked their parents for $2500 for a case of Crystal. They asked for maybe 20 bucks to go to a movie or 50 bucks for new shoes, whether they realize they're doing it or not. Teenagers are carefully calculated amount of money that they're going to ask for. That gives them the highest probability of success seconds. Teenagers always know that if they ask one parent, and she says, now they can always go to the other parent, and maybe they'll get a better answer. Or if both parents they know they can just wait a while and then go back and ask again. And they might get a better answer. And the third and most important reason why teenagers have the nerve to ask their parents for money and listen carefully because the supplies directly to you. Teenagers know that even if they ask their parents for money, even if their parents say absolutely no, no way, no how teenagers know in their heart of hearts, without a shadow of a doubt that no matter what, their parents still love them. And, of course they dio. I know it sounds silly, but I'm here to tell you that if you ask your friends and family for contributions in a sincere, meaningful way, even if they say now they're still gonna love you, you're still going to get invited to parties. You're still gonna get invited to Happy hour. You are not going to be a pariah in your community. So whenever the doubt creeps in and it will from time to time, likely more than once, I want you to take a minute and think about teenagers put on your teenager hat or headphones or whatever the kids are wearing these days and fundraise like a teenager 3. 03 Where the Money is: So where do nonprofits get their money from? Where do you look? Contrary to popular belief? Most on profits actually don't get the majority of their funding from corporations or big foundations. They actually get it from individual contributors. Individual donors. Charity Navigator, in fact, says that in 16 2072% of all donations to all non profits in the U. S. Came from individuals. And it's true your fundraising will come from individuals to the money, really is in the pockets and pocketbooks of your friends and family. Trust the statistics here. Numbers don't lie even if people dio the fund raising that you're like leaving. Asked to dio in the industry is called Peer to Peer Fundraising and peered for fundraising is actually changing the way nonprofits fund their programs and complete their missions, and it's incredibly helpful. It also gives you as the fundraiser this incredible opportunity toe advocate on behalf of organizations that you care about, and I know that you do care because otherwise you wouldn't be here. I also know that appeared of your fundraising can be intrusive. We all have that friend that posts post after post after post on social media about their fundraiser. That makes us feel both guilty and annoyed all the same time. But again, fundraising does not have to be that way. Anyone can do it. You don't have to have some kind of enormous following. You don't have to use tactics that make you feel bad. You just have to believe in the organization that you're raising money for and be prepared to talk about that, talk about that excitedly and inspire the people in your life to give generously. So how do we do that? How do we inspire generosity? Well, here's a secret. It's not actually that hard. It's really just about talking positively and excitedly and sincerely about your organization and about your fundraising. You do so without apology. You don't beg or bug anyone. If I hear somebody even one time say, Oh, hey, I don't mean to bug you, but I want to talk to you about this thing I'm doing. It just makes me want to scream, because if you don't believe enough in your organization and your passion project to think that it's bugging me, then you clearly aren't that sold on it. And that doesn't inspire generosity. You just want to be positive and educated and smooth and sincere. But I know that doesn't new funders, or it kind of takes a while to get there. So key and some interesting talking points. Find some things that really resonate with you. That means something to you and memorize them. Right. Um, on your mirror in the morning. Put them next to your computer. Put him on your phone. Repeat them, toe everyone. These are the kind of things that you want to share all of the time that will make your fundraising smoother. The other thing that you're gonna need is a story, something that really pulls at the heartstrings. And I know that you might be thinking I don't have a story. Someone just asked me to be part of this, and it seems like a good thing. I don't know anyone with cancer. I don't know anyone with diabetes, but that's OK. You just need to learn to tell a meaningful story. Whether that's about someone that you actually know or someone you read about. This is where you can say, you know, I just heard that an old friend son passed away of cancer and I have kids and I couldn't imagine what that's like. I had to get involved. That's the kind of story that you can tell until you do find one that is personal to you. Most of your donors aren't going to have a personal connection to your organization as well . So your job is to help them make that personal connection, helped them toe empathize. And those stories and those talking points that you can probably find in a five minute search on your organization's website. Those are the things that are gonna anchor your fundraising that you're gonna use in all parts of your fundraising campaign. They're going to keep you on track. They're gonna keep you sincere, positive and from verging into the crazy lane. 4. 04 Getting it Done - What's the Plan?: now that we've addressed the fear that sometimes comes along with peer to peer fundraising , where the money comes from and how to talk about your fundraising, now is the time that would make a plan. So you might want to get yourself some coffee or cocktail and settle in, because now we do the work that's going to set yourself up for success. Given what you know now about those things, about where the money comes from and how to talk about it, you obviously know that the best and quickest way to raise money for an amazing nonprofit organization is personally through the people. You know, the number one reason that people do something charitable, whether that's donating their time is a volunteer or their money is because they've been asked. It's not actually because they are the most amazing, selfless, kind hearted people that you know. It's really because they were asked. I bet that that's actually the reason you're thinking about joining a fundraising campaign because you were asked, as humans, we don't like to disappoint, especially not people we know we like to say yet, so your job is going to be to make it as easy as possible for your friends, your family and your other connections to say yes. So how do we do that? Well, what I like to start with is what's called the letter campaign, and about 80% of your fundraising will come from that letter campaign. I've actually even seen it go much higher. It also means that 80% of your efforts should be focused there. The rest beat I 20% be that events or product sales. Be careful because those things can suck up a ton of your time and often bring in a lot less money. So the letter campaign. It is a bit of a misnomer because it's not just about a letter. Whenever I say the letter campaign, I want you to picture a three part communication effort. The first will include a snail mail letter and then a digital communication, much like an email or Facebook message. And then a in person, face to face or on the phone followed, asked well, and the reason why we do this is because even with best of intentions, people are busy and they need reminders. Marketing folks will tell us that it takes people a hearing or seeing something three times before they take action. Fundraising is exactly the same. I know that it happens to me. A friend of mine will send me a letter about her amazing fundraising campaign that she's doing for an incredible organization. And I'll read it and I'll be inspired And I will think, Yes, I want to give and I will set it down on the counter and within a few days, mail is on top of it. Things were on top of it, and suddenly it's been weeks and I haven't given. And then my friend might follow up with me on an email to Hey, I don't know if you got that letter that I said and I think Oh my gosh, yes, yes, I'm Donadoni, I really am. And then I get another email and another and another, and suddenly her email is out of sight in my inbox. So this is why we follow up with potentially 1/3 face to face or over the phone. Ask. It's because we need that opportunity to share with our donors three times in which they can potentially get even when they meant to do it on the very 1st 1 The other reason why we do this three part communication campaign is because most of us have a communication channel that we tend to prefer. I have a girlfriend to admittedly doesn't check her mailbox more than once every six weeks . Six weeks. And I have some lovely and wonderful relatives that don't do very well with email or Facebook messages either. So now you might be thinking, Well, this is all well and good, but I don't know enough people, and they really do know are not going to get enough to make me reach my goals. I'm not gonna be able to do this. Well, banish the thought because you are and you will, because we're gonna use an easy three step process that has proven successful from the time and time and again. And the donors that I've worked with time again, it's really simple. First stuff is to make our list of donors. Second stuff is to organize this list, and the third step is actually implement that letter campaign. So how do we do it? We're gonna break it down in the next video 5. 05 Who Do You Know?: Okay, Step one, Who do you know? Great. A piece of paper. And let's brainstorm, What are the groups of people that you know that you could potentially ask for? Don't think too hard about this will organize it later. Go ahead, shouted out, Yell at the screen. It's fine. Nobody's around, but we do. Write them down. So we have the easy ones. We have your friends, your parents. Your significant other may be extended. Family, aunts, uncles, cousins, co workers. But we can go a little deeper than that. Maybe people your gym for yoga class or country club. Maybe people at the place of worship if you have one or your neighbors, maybe your teachers. And what about service providers, Perhaps your hairdresser or your pool guy or your barista or your Children's teachers or your Children's baby sitter? Now what if we took some of these and kind of moved them around a little bit? So maybe you have your parents, but what about your parents, friends or your friend's parents? I know that I don't talk to my mom's best friend, Diane for probably more than five minutes once year, Christmas, but I guarantee you she knows more about my life than most of my friends here. Why? Because my mom talks about me and Diane feels engaged in my life and interested in my life and interested in supporting the things that I do. And I know that it's not just my mom. All moms and dads do this no matter how old you are. And I'm sure it's actually very similar with your friends. Parents. I know, but I talked to my parents about the things that my friends are engaged in, and my mom is very supportive of that, so we have some good building blocks here. But what if we took this list and added a little tiny word in front of some of these groups ? Can you guess what it is? It's a little word. Three letters, Big impact old. Okay, maybe not a former former neighbors, former teachers, former coworkers. I mean, it doesn't work for me, but maybe for you, maybe your former significant others, depending on how that worked out either way. Point is, there's a lot of people that you could potentially reach out Teoh, and they don't have to be people that you are currently really associated with while you're working on this list, pull out your phone pullout Facebook at those groups to your list, and I know what you're thinking. Their Facebook friends. They're not really friends. If you ask them for money, it's gonna be weird. Well, I promise you, at some point you did feel a connection with these people enough to either seek their Facebook friendship or respond to their request. Your job now is to reconnect in a meaningful way and what is more meaningful than raising money for an amazing organization? An amazing project. But we'll get to that a little bit later. Do not discount anyone. Do not discount anybody. It's not your dog to decide if they can afford it or if they're interested in your cause. Your job is to offer them an opportunity to make a difference and let them decide. I've been fundraising for a long time, and even I'm guilty of doing this from time to time. A few years ago, I was raising money for cancer research organization, and I happened to post my fundraising link on Facebook. I was diligently working through my letter campaign, and I woke up the next morning to a $250 donation from a friend from high school that I hadn't spoken to in decades. I was shocked. I had no idea we had lost touch after he'd been deployed with the military. So it quickly hopped on messenger and grappled with trying to reconnect with him and asked how he was doing and try to find out why he had given so generously Teoh an organization of a person that he hadn't talked in such a long time. And it turns out he had a really close friend that had passed away of cancer and had always wanted to do something in that friend's honor. But he was stationed out of the country and didn't feel like he had much opportunity to do that. So when he saw my project, he made a difference, and he gave what he could, and it made such a difference. It was huge. That donation meant so much to me. I was so grateful, and I was also really ashamed because I hadn't even considered sharing my fundraising opportunity with him. I hadn't shared with him about this incredible organization in a meaningful way. I know now that that would have been incredibly meaningful for him. It's a mistake that I try not to make very much, and I want to urge you not to make either moral of the story here is you are offering your donors an opportunity to make a difference in a really big way. Don't withhold that opportunity from anyone, regardless of their circumstances, their location or what you perceive to be their interest in your cause. As you fill up this list with groups, you're gonna actually extrapolate out to individual names. And as you do that, feel free to use the memory jogger that I've provided for you in the attachments to help do that. 6. 06 Who Knows You?: You should be feeling pretty good about your list by now. But before we go on to step two, I want you to do one other list generation exercise with me. You might need a big piece of paper for this one. Do you remember doing spider grids in elementary school where you start with your name in the middle and then draw some lines out? So I'd like you to do that and then put some of the folks closest to you in that next level . Maybe your mom, your best friend, your boss, Your favorite child. Uh, So who do these people know? What are the groups of people? What are the groups that these people are associated with that you may not be yet. My mom. She's part of a book club. Lot's more of a wine club that has books. My boss, he is on the planning committee for a festival in town. My favorite child is actually dogs, so that doesn't quite count. Although he does have a vet who my paid copious amounts of money to over the years. So that might be something for me to think about later. Either way, if you even get to just the third level of this. A spider bread. A lot can come from it. So what happens when your mom gives you a few minutes to talk to her book club about your incredible project with this amazing organization And you dio And afterwards, Jane from the book club comes up to you and tells you that she was actually impacted by the work that this organization has time and invites you. Teoh, come speak at her other book club. You know, the serious one where they actually talked about books. Sorry, mom, but either way, you're your list is going to grow organically and expand beyond what you even think possible. And I'm gonna be sitting here right here inside your computer. Sang told yourself So. Now you know, we have this great list and we're gonna organize it a little bit, and we're gonna do that so that we're spending your time as wisely as possible. The next part is a lot easier if you have your list in war document or online somewhere where you can manipulate it. So what I'd like to do is it like you take your whole list and break three groups and pull them up to the top. The first is the people that are closest to you. You know, your parents, your significant other or your best friends, people that really care about you as a person. Kind of your sure thing gets. And then I want you to move up the group of people that you think are most likely to be able to give the biggest possible gift. There's no kind of magic formula and figuring this out. Sometimes lifestyle cues could help. Do the drive a fancy car. Do their kids go to private school, that kind of thing. You're going to bump that group up to the second space, and then you're gonna look at people who are most impacted by your cause or your organization thes air, the people that are often most motivated to help this organization to do its work. I've seen a lot of times. Fundraisers will want to shy away from people that are maybe what they can start to closely impacted by the organisation, maybe the family of a patient or something like that. But what I've seen is that a lot of families are really looking for something to do something tangible, that they can make a difference. And being part of your fundraiser might be just the kind of thing that they're looking for . So again, don't get don't discount anybody. So you're gonna move those three groups to the top and those of the people that you're gonna reach out to first on? The reason for this is twofold. One, it'll inspire you. And I will make you really excited to see those gifts. A sure thing. Gifts coming in quickly and the larger gifts. Of course, we'll get you to your goal lot faster. But also, you're gonna inspire others. This way. Most number of organizations that you'll be working with will give you some sort of fundraising online page that you use in your efforts and on these pages a lot times the list, the actual names of the donors to your page, potentially the amount of money that they've given or even just the total. But as time goes on, other donors will come to this page and they will see all of these donors who donated and they will see the average gift, and that will inspire them to to step up and do the same. That's kind of a really exciting thing. So then you're gonna take the rest of your list and group of my people who know one another and communicate with that group at roughly the same time. A couple of years ago, I was fundraising, and I actually got an angry text from a friend who was so upset because she had not gotten a fundraising letter for me yet. And she knew that two of our other friends have gotten one. And did I not want her to be part of it? Did I not think she was willing to be part of it? It was so embarrassing and terrible and shocking, and I didn't realize how much my friends cared about what I was doing, even though I had only really vaguely talk to them about it. So don't make my mistake and group this rebel together and contact them at roughly the same time. Oh, and don't forget to put your own name at the very top the list. You should be the very first donor to your fundraising campaign. You're gonna feel a whole lot better actually inviting your donors to join you in giving rather than asking them to give when you have not. And believe me, they're gonna feel a lot better about it too. 7. 07 The Letter: one of the things that will save you the most time and energy as you're getting to work on your fundraising campaign is toe. Have your letter and your email basically written so that you can edit that and send it out to all of your donors. It's the basic structure of a fundraising letter is pretty simple and Onley involved six sections. Section one is a personalized greeting. Never use dear friends or family. It just sounds way too much like a form letter. So take the time to add your donor's name and include a sentence or two that connects them to you. I worked with a fundraiser years ago. It was a gentleman in his late sixties early seventies, maybe, and he had a personal goal. He made it his mission to have as many individual donors as he could possibly have to his fundraiser. And he found elementary school friends that he hadn't spoken with in five decades and wrote to them I'll never forget one. He found this woman, and his first sentence of his fundraising letter was, you know, dear son, so I don't know if you remember me, but I put gum in your hair in first grade, and I never properly apologized. And then, you know, he made a suite joke at his expense and went on to tell her about this incredible fundraising project that he was doing and the organization that was working with Not only did he get a letter back from this woman and a donation, but he rekindled this friendship. That probably would never have happened if he wasn't willing. Teoh, reach out and tell her about this fundraising opportunity that he had and to connect with her in a way that was gonna make her smile and put her eats. So kind of a simple, honest, friendly opening sentence can do that for your letter. For example, Dear Sarah, I'm so sad that we live so far away from each other. But I love getting your Christmas letter every year with your adorable boys. Maybe if you don't have something to start with, check your friend's Facebook. See what they have been posting about recently. Maybe it's their favorite sports team, so you find a way to connect in that way to urinate. Sorry about that. Cardinals lost last week. You know it's sure to stop Luke and what we see in them in the Super Bowl. When you do this, you're telling your donors that, you know and understand and pay attention to what's important, that it puts them at ease and then it makes them ready and willing to read further and take in what's important to you, which is gonna be the rest of your letter. So that's the first section. And the second section is your wife. In the second video, we talked about telling a story that is meaningful, that is about your organization and why they're making a difference. This is where you would at this. Basically, what you're trying to say is I heard about this Need that this organization is meeting so and so told me about this organization. I wanted to be part of it. I knew I had to do something. So here I am. That's your want. So then you're gonna move on to Section three, which is your what's and you're what is not actually your walked on or your race or whatever your what is your fundraising campaign? You are fundraising. You are raising money you're taking on this big undertaking for an incredible organization . Obviously you're walkathon or whatnot is part of that, But I doubt you'd send the letter Syrian Martha, just to tell her that you're like walking a mile in a circle in a local park. Your fundraising. You have this big, hairy, audacious goal. You're this close to the goal. This is your what? So now we're on dissection for this is the call to action. What exactly do you want the reader to dio to give? Of course. But the more specific you can be about this, the better there is a magic and asking for a specific dollar donation. The truth is, people don't like to make decisions. What happens when they get your letter? And it says anything that you can give would be appreciated? They think, OK, all decide later and they said it down. They walk away because you haven't told them what's expected of them or how they can even make a difference. They don't want to be seen as too cheap. They don't want to be seen as weirdly generous. It makes it challenging for them. But when you tell them exactly how they can make a difference in the world today and you ask them to consider something specific they do. The first thing they think is Can I do that? And if the answer is yes, then you get a quick yes, and you get a quick donation off often. If the answer is no, then they think, Well, what can I dio and they get is close to that donation that you've asked for us possible. You've really given them the gift of figuring out what they can do to make a difference in the world. If you are uncomfortable with asking for this specific gift, there's a couple of things you can do that might make that a little bit easier. One of the things I do is sometimes I'll ask people to give their age to give $1 for every year they've been alive so that someone with diabetes could do the same. This often works really well because it can work on both your 20 year old niece and your 70 year old grandpa. But if all your friends were in their young twenties, that's not really a strategy that's going to get you very far. Something else that you might want to consider is asking for kind of a strange or unique number. Maybe Would you consider a gift of $152? Because there's 152 dogs that are euthanized every hour in the US and shelters, these kind of specific asks can get people to connect with your cause in a way that maybe they've never considered before. So then we're on to Section five, and this is how to donate, just as you were really specific in what you'd like them to do. You also need to be specific and how they can do that. Do you have, ah, fundraising link? Is it well typed out? Is it clear? Isn't easy for them to find Once they go to their computer, you might want to consider making it a tiny whirl if it's too arduous. If they write a check, who do they write it to? Where do they send it? Do they have to put your name or no in with it so that you get credit for it? All of these things need to be really specific and easy for them to find in Section five, and then we're on Section six and Justus. You had a personal greeting. You're gonna have a personal closing. Something along the lines of You know, Sarah, Let's try to get together soon. Ornate. Hope you're doing well. Thanks for your consideration. Go, Cardinals. So we've got Section one person reading section to the UAE, Section three the What's section four. Your specific called Action Section five. Your how to donate and Section six is the personal closing. And ideally, your your letter won't be much longer than a page, and we'll even include a photo of you. Now you have your basic letter written. All you have to do is copy paste. Make those changes to the personal greeting and the personal closing on the call to action . You want to be memorable, you want to be specific and you want to leave out the parts that people skip. People ask me all the time why snail mail? Well, because the U. S. Postal Service says that the average American only gets one piece of personal mail every seven weeks. Seven weeks, so it's a great way to stand out. I know I get excited when I get a piece of personal mail and it makes you want to open it. If you don't have addresses, that's okay. I found that a simple text telling people that you have something to send them makes them really excited. And they sent responses right away. I mean, who cares what they think they're getting is a wedding invitation or something. Now you have their addresses. I've also found that moms and grandmas are usually the keepers of official family address list on, And if someone in your family or close group of friends has recently gotten married, they probably do have a pretty accurate list they might allow you to use. So I would love to see the letters you write. So feel free to upload them in the project section, and maybe we'll get inspired by one another. 8. 08 The Email: When implementing your letter campaign, you can start with a snail mail letter and follow up with an email or a direct message, or you can flip off the ship. But they are different, and it's important to note the difference is an email will always be shorter. And there's really only four things that matter when converting an email reader to a donor . 1st 1 is the subject line. If you can't get them to open it, you've already lost him. You can be funny. You could be clever. Could be serious. But just make sure that the subject line doesn't look like a form letter. The second part is the first sentence I like to start my first sentences with something along the lines of. You know, Dear Sarah, I don't know if you got that letter I sent a few weeks ago, but I have some new, exciting news about the fundraiser I'm doing. This kind of thing tells the donor that number one you're serious enough about your fundraiser to reach out a second time that you know that they haven't given yet and that you're going to be giving them some new information in this email that they didn't get in the letter. Third part is that all important crystal clear call to action. What exactly do you want? The donor to Dio? And if they have to school too far to find that out, they're likely not, too. So make sure that it's up in the beginning of the email, and then the fourth part is just the link. Copy. If you are sending them Teoh, a fundraising Web page, make sure that you copy and paste properly because if the link is broken or if it's wrong, your donors unlikely to spend any time figuring it out. So in the attachment, I provided both the letter and a corresponding email for you, so feel free to take a look at those and add it, then make them your own and upload them in the project section so I can see what you've come up with. But before you go, I do have just a little bit of information that you might want to consider when you're thinking about your emails and its timing, and this is really only if you can have the luxury of timing here. It's not everything, but it might be worth thinking about. Studies show that people really respond best to e mails on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and, you know, probably that's because Monday they're getting their work week started Thursday, Friday they have their weekend in their sights. But that doesn't mean that if you only have Thursday nights to send out your emails, that you should just go ahead and do it. These are just some things that you might want to consider. Same with social media. Do you notice that your friends are mawr active on social media on weekends or after work? Might be some things to think about to take note as you're beginning this process. 9. 09 The Vocalized Ask: chances are that when someone receives your amazing fundraising letter and then they receive a follow up persuasive email most the donors on your list are gonna give. But for those who need to hear from you on one last time, I say, Just pick up the phone. A good in person or phone asked, Just uses the same principles that we've been talking about all along. Engage with your donor a little bit about their life. Be prepared to talk about your fundraising and your organization excitedly and with passion . Have some talking points and then ask for a specific gift. Those are the things that are going to make your ask flow. But however, I do know that that in person, our phone asked that spoken word were passed for support can be hard and can be intimidating. But one of the things that I found helps is if you consider all the possible outcomes and how you're gonna respond. What if your donor says yes? Are you prepared at that moment to take their gift? What if they say now, are you gonna stare at them awkwardly and mumble to the floor and make them feel uncomfortable? Of course you're not. You're going to say thank you for listening. Thank you for considering. Thank you for being my friend. Maybe you'll even ask them if you can keep them updated on your progress anyway. Chances are if they're unable to donate now, when they do have discretionary income, if you've kept them engaged if they feel included, the first thing they're gonna think about is you and your organization. What if your donor says, Oh, I don't know. I mean, any talk to my spouse, I men and you think about it. Well, I suggest asking if you can follow up in a few days or if there's any specific information that they like to know about your organization, it would help them make their decision thes things and practicing what you're going to say in response. Those things will make you feel a lot better as well. But like anything, practice makes perfect. So enlist a good friend to practice until you feel comfortable. We'll also consider this. There's a nonprofit organization, I think, in Texas that took its seasoned peer to peer fundraisers and asked them each to choose five people from their list of potential donors and to not do their letter campaign the traditional way, but to make an actual in person appointment with these people to sit down with them and actually ask them in person for support. They have the fundraisers estimate how much they thought these individuals were going to give. But you know what? The actual outcome of those face face asks were three times what the fundraiser actually thought that they were going to be able to get. If that doesn't tell you that people have capacity and willingness when offered an amazing opportunity in person, I don't know what will. 10. 10 The Thank You: I suggest that before you begin populating your letter that you actually take your list of donors and jot down next to each one of their names what you plan to ask them for. And there's several ways that you can figure this out. You just have to ask yourself what you know about this person. Will do they spend on average trip to the mall? Do they have in everyday Starbucks have it back? Discretionary income can easily top $35 a week. What I try to do as a general rule of thumb is no single donor. I asked for less than 25 I don't ask for less than 50 if it's a couple. The idea here is that you want to get as close as you can to wait. Think that the donor will give and then add 25 to 50%. It's kind of like the opposite of prices. Right rules. Now, before we move totally Pastor letter campaign. Let's talk for one minute about the thank you. It's really, really important. Don't let 48 hours go by without acknowledging I donors gift, even if that's just a quick text message letting them know that you received it and you thank them, and maybe you'll follow up with something more personal later. This tells your donor that you received it, that it's being processed and night. It's been appreciated. So thinking people, of course, is the right thing to do, and thanking them properly is really important. But it also hopes you to build a pipeline in case you'd like to fundraise again. Or you find yourself in a position where you haven't quite met your goal, and you need to go back to these donors to request a second gift hand written Thank you or proper phone. Call these air both really great ways to meaningfully thank your donor, but there's a lot of other options to do. You have a photo of yourself engaging with the mission of the organization. Do you have, ah, color picture that your child drew? That's it. Thank you. There are so many options these days for actually getting custom thank you cards created that are relatively inexpensive. You might want to consider it. The reason is because these are the kind of items thes, thes customized thank you cars that people don't just throw in the trash they put on their fridge or on their computer, and they look at it and they think about you and maybe they want to check on your progress , and sometimes it's gonna result in a second gift even without you asking for one. Some donors do appreciate some public recognition on an easy way. To do that is to call them out in a Facebook page, a Facebook post or an instagram. A really unique thank you. This can make the donor feel really good. And it can have Abbott bonus of inspiring other people who know this donor to be inspired that they get and give us well. But do be careful because not everybody appreciates this kind of public adoration. Just make sure you know your daughters and one last thing about thank you's I actually received. I gave a gift to my university a couple of years ago, a small gift, and when I received the generic receipt slash thank you letter, there was a posted attached to it, and it looked like he was in handwriting, although I'm sure it was just a related print job that asked me if my company matched my donations and led me to a website where I could find out. Now I'm not entirely thrilled with the idea that a thank you asks for anything at all even to consider a matching gift. Nonetheless, it did make me think, and I do believe that matching gifts is a potentially untapped opportunity for peer to peer fundraisers. If this is something that interests you, go ahead and send me a message and we could talk about that offline. 11. 11 Everything Else: it's possible that 80% of your fundraising goal will be met by the letter campaign, Likely that your entire fundraising goal will be met by it. So that being the case, why do we bother talking about the other things? The restaurant nights in the events in the sales? If they take a lot of time and don't produce a lot of money? Well, because those things will be fine and because often they could be done as a group and because sometimes it's just nice to get out from behind a computer. Let's start with events. The key to hold staying an effective fundraising event is to plan ahead and keep it simple . Maybe you're planning to host a game night at your house. Ask all of your friends to bring a dish to share and a $10 donation work with others that have complementary strengths. Maybe you're an expert baker, but your friend works at an office that has more than 200 employees. Can you take your skill to his market and split the profits targeting your events? The right audience can also make a huge difference if you're a yoga teacher planning to have a yoga class fundraiser in your home. Make sure that you're inviting people that are already excited about fitness and interested in yoga people that are already predisposed to come. If most of your friends are like nomis day in bed, this probably isn't the fundraiser for you. You could also consider things that are already happening. Does your neighborhood host a block party that's really popular? Maybe you can talk to them about having an opportunity for participants to make donations at the block party is it's already happening. But remember that most non profit organizations will not cover the cost of any peer to peer fundraising events, nor will they reimburse you for costs after the fact. So you're gonna have to decide if you're willing. Teoh pay for some of those costs and just consider it as a donation. If you're gonna have a fundraising event, you can do something to help. You can reduce the small costs, but whatever you do, do not spend more money than you can raise. I know that Pinterest inspires us all with perfect, beautiful theme treats for fundraising events. But I'm telling you, nobody has raised more money at a fundraiser with hand dipped pretzel rods than with a bowl of pretzels. But again, there are other ways to take it up a notch and make your friend raising events just a little bit more effective and efficient. Think about ways you can take it up a notch. Try maybe a fundraising yard sale. Are you going? Teoh? Ask your buyers to round up to the nearest dollar or donate their change around obscene nearest $5 as a donation. If you are planning on having a bake sale, can you get pre orders for a dozen or half dozen or something so that you can guarantee years old revenue before the big day? You can also try thinking about mobilizing your network. Is there someone on your list that can host 1/3 party event for you? Do you have a yoga teacher on your list that already has a following and already has classes that she might be willing? Teoh Open up as a fundraiser once or twice. Do you have a barber that's willing to do a cut a thon? There are some great opportunities if you have donors on your list that are small business owners are they willing to give a portion of the proceeds from from a period of time or from a particular sale? Just remember, if you do go this route, that you are not the one that is expected to do the marketing for this kind of thing. If you're going Teoh, have someone host 1/3 party fundraising event for you. The idea is to increase your reach and decrease the amount of time spent on it. There are two other nonprofit fundraising activities that you may be aware of. Product sales and restaurant eyes. Product sales are when you work with really wonderful company who is set up to work with non profit organizations and peer to peer fund raisers to sell items at a premium. And then a portion of the proceeds is returned to the organization and the fundraiser. Many of these companies are really great and allow you to collect money and take orders beforehand rather than having to purchase a load of the product before. But like many fundraising events, you kind of want to think through Is this product actually appealing to the people that I'm trying to sell it? Teoh is the price point, right? Is it going to be worth my effort when I consider the percentage that's returned afterwards ? Also, much like events, there are ways Teoh potentially increase your revenue. Take candles, for instance. Maybe you are selling quality candles. They make pretty good gifts. Can you use Facebook birthday reminders To find out if any of your friends might be in need of purchasing gifts for their friends and family in the near future? Maybe your candles consol. That problem for them. Is the timing right for you to participate in a craft fair, where you can sell your items, your candles or whatever it is you're selling to donors that you may never have been able to get in front of just some different ways that you can potentially take those things up a notch as well as for restaurant? It's a restaurant. Nights are when you invite friends and family to come out to a particular cafe, they eat, and then they don't think the restauranteur returns. Part of the proceeds back to the organization and to you, The good news is many large restaurant chains have really easy turnkey abilities. To do this. You just go on their website. Fill out some paperwork. They assigned you a day at a time, and then you're ready to get to work. Inviting all your friends and family to this particular nights of that bad news is it can be really challenging to raise very much money these events. But again, like anything, there's ways to negotiate potentially with the restaurant or and take it up a notch. But do you consider that as your friend, if I have to plan to come to your event on a particular day particular time? If I have Teoh, remember to print out the flyer or mention the fundraiser if I have to come to a restaurant that I may or may not like if I have to order enough food so that your donation is actually going to be halfway decent. But the time all those things are done, I may have just rather you have asked me for a donation and I stayed home with my family. But assuming that you're gonna go through this, let's see about ways that we can take it up a notch. If the restaurant tour is assigned to Tuesday, can you talk to them? about potentially a Friday or Saturday, when your opportunity to bring in more patrons is greater if they're asking you to have your patrons bring in a flyer and a portion of the proceeds that they that they bring in will happen all day. What if they didn't have to bring in a fire or mention their fundraiser? But you got a portion of all sales for part of the day? If there are multiple locations of this restaurant, does the funders or extend to all the locations thes air? Just some things that you can do to potentially raise the revenue that could be earned it restaurant nights. But like anything, fundraising activities that are outside the letter campaign should really be carefully considered because at activities like this, you don't have a lot of an opportunity to connect with your donors to share the story of this organization and the work that it does. And it's really those conversations those that back and forth sharing of meaningful, sincere stories about your organization. Those are the things that keep peer to peer fundraising from becoming annoying. So thank you so much for watching this video course. I'm really excited to see how you dio Please keep in touch. Let me know how your funders and campaigns is going because you are now part of incredible army of fundraisers that is making the life changing work of nonprofit organizations possible. 12. Bonus Video - Social Media Fundraising: Okay, so you probably noticed that I have talked very little about social media fundraising during this class. This is the kind of fundraising where you see people post their fundraising link on Facebook multiple times and passively ask their friends network to please read and please share. And while these tactics are pretty common these days for fundraisers, I personally find them to be kind of intrusive and can actually turn true mission based fundraising into something guilt inducing that is easy to ignore and can actually block the kind of meaningful relationship building that really is at the core of peer to peer fundraising. Raising funds for a worthy cause should bring joy to both the fundraiser and donor. And I don't have to tell you that this kind of social media fundraising can be annoying to your friends and network. And unless you already have the kind of large, well engaged platform that some do, it doesn't tend to be the most effective way to raise funds for the average person. In fact, the only time I have ever seen true Social Network fundraising have any real impact on revenue was a fundraising campaign. I worked on with a 16 year old girl. Now, prior to our ever meeting, she had created a massive instagram following based on her Disney themed feed. I'm talking so massive that she was often recognized by strangers when visiting Disneyland with her parents and family. She did experience some measure of success, and so I asked her what she thought contributed to that support. And here's what she said. Number one Prior Teoh, posting about her fundraising for a few days. She would ramp up her engagement with her network. She would comment on their posts. She would ask them questions. She would generally show extra love and support for this group that was supporting her number two. She would always include a large, close up photo of herself smiling when she talked about her fundraising because she had noticed that that created a lot of engagement. Number three. Anyone who commented on her fundraising post, she would respond to them very quickly and always positively. And anyone who actually did donate would receive a special shout out on her feet. Number four. She kept her fundraising between the hours of 3 p.m. And 5 p.m. On Monday through Thursday because that's when her network knew that they could expect New Conta and number five. She never posted any photo that included large swaths of the color red because she had seen that that have really poor engagement. Seriously, go figure. Anyway, I thought her strategy was interesting and well thought out, and I'm really glad that it worked for her and for someone that does have this kind of large, well engaged platform already and has the time and ability to put into this kind of strategy consistently, It could be a way to boost your fundraising or grow your social presence further. But it really should never be counted on to carry your fundraising campaign, even if you are 16 years old and famous on the Internet.