I don't think I've ever verbally asked someone for a donation. I've sent tons of letters and e-mails, but I've never initiated a conversation seeking a 3-Day donation. I just have hard time doing it. And last year, I felt a little guilty asking people for another round of donations after my family and friends had been so generous the first time around.

The reality, though, is simply asking for and receiving direct monetary donations is the easiest way to reach your fundraising goal. When you have to worry about training, hydrating and all the other things that go with the 3-Day, it doesn't hurt to save yourself some time and energy when it comes to fundraising.

So, I turned to my team captain from last year, Cari (who was a superstar fundraiser!) for some advice on how to ask for money. Here's what she had to say:

Fundraising is never easy. Most people enjoy making a difference. They either put money aside and make donations, volunteer their time to a cause they feel is in need or simply do an act of kindness. The people who donate money usually donate to something that has touched them. If they know you are doing something that requires a lot of effort you would be suprised how many will donate to you.

But the most important thing to remember is "It is not about you." It is about ending breast cancer. You are just the vehicle that helps put their money in the right hands to help cure breast cancer. You will be surprised at the people who you think will donate, and don't. But more surprising are the people who make little money or who you barely know, who do.

In my experience their are two good ways to ask for donations. The first is to write a heartfelt note to every person you know on cute stationary, telling them why you are doing this. Include the name of the organization and explain what it requires of you to join this group. Also, include a donation form and a return envelope to make it easy. Mail this to every single person you know, including your friends' parents, your parents' friends, your hairdresser, your doctors, and your holiday card list.

I have found that people will make a donation if they can and won't if they can't. It is that simple. They are not offended by your asking, because it is not directly affecting you. (Well, it really is if it saves you from getting breast cancer). It is not like you are asking for money so you can go buy a new wardrobe for your new job. Having something in writing, that they actually have to make an effort to throw away, seems to tug at their hearts.

The other way to ask for donations is via the Internet. The younger crowd seems to prefer this way, but it is very easy for them to hit that darn delete button and never think about it again. Make sure you include all of the information that makes it easiest for them to donate.

Don't forget to ask everyone you know. You will be surprised how appreciative people are that you are doing such a noble task. Last year, I received a donation from a brother of the friend I had sent a letter. The brother was visiting from out of town, saw my catchy letter about saving boobies and donated $200.00.

Don't forget it is not about you it is about saving breasts. We all have them, including men, and they must be saved.

From Jillian: You can see some sample fundraising letters here. And don't forget to enter this week's giveaway.

Next week's Friday FundRAISER will showcase a Thorlos promotion that allows you to donate $7 to the 3-Day for each pair of socks you sell.
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4 Responses
  1. I love that you emphasized that when it comes to asking for donations, it's not about you! That's so true and couldn't be said any more clearly. I like to tell my teammates that they should never decide for someone if they can donate or not. All you can do is ask!

  2. Rhowena Says:

    I'm a survivor and this is my first time walking, and yet, I still have a very difficult time asking for donations. I love these suggestions and hope that it works for me, too!

  3. Margie Says:

    AWESOME post! "If you don't ask, they won't donate!" I have had a couple surprises in terms of who has given to my walk. I sent out cute thank you notes to my donors, and the daughter of one of them saw it, and donated $25.00. I'm going to be asking folks to pass my information on to others they know as a result!

  4. crimsoncat05 Says:

    wonderful information!! I have done one round of e-mails so far, but I also plan on sending letters including donation forms, etc. and these suggestions about who to send them to (ie, doctors, hairdresser, parents' friends, etc.) are very much appreciated!