3 Tips to FUNDRAISE IT FORWARD
Raise more money (and awareness!) for the causes you care about.
Is your company raising funds for community causes? The employees at StarFish Medical have more than doubled the money they donate to The Mustard Seed Food Bank annually under my leadership.
Learn how StarFish has become the Greatest Overall Contributor to the VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge for the last three years in a row.
In 2022, I won the first ever Janet Baird Award for Community Champion from VIATEC in recognition of my efforts to improve Victoria BC through charitable contributions, events, and volunteer work. This blog shares how my approach to fundraising developed and includes 3 tips for a successful campaign.
TIP #1 SHOW & TELL: Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and share your story. It will add authenticity to your campaign and give donors something to relate to.
Telling stories can be the best way to get your fundraising message across. I like talking about how I needed to access the food bank myself. They helped me make ends meet when I was injured and off work after falling from a ladder putting up my holiday lights (PSA: don’t become a statistic! Practice ladder safety). Statistics are helpful but it’s the narrative behind the numbers that brings them to life.
My friend, Lisa Wall (She Recovers Foundation), puts it this way, “Personal stories of impact share the outcome; statistics shine a light on how many people need it.” Telling your story humanizes the cause you are fundraising for and gives the goal deeper meaning.
TIP #2 KNOW YOUR WHY: Choose a campaign you personally care about. Being clear on why you are raising money will drive your efforts from a genuine place, which will touch and inspire people to give.
Ask yourself, why am I raising funds for this cause? When you know why you are doing something, it becomes easier. Big challenges are no match for intrinsic motivation! Little did I know that my experience accessing the food bank would end up fueling my desire to fundraise for them years later.
My friend, Mike Manhas, started Rewired Recovery Foundation. Mike says that “If your heart is in the right place, whatever you do will work out”. I get that now. It’s why I do what I do. I tell anyone who listens that raising money for the food bank is “not an us and them thing; it’s a We thing”.
TIP #3 KISS: Keep it simple yet effective by planning ahead and leading people directly to the finish line with clear, easy steps.
When formulating a fundraiser, a good rule of thumb is to Keep It Simple, Sunshine! Fundraising Season can be a crazy time. Donors are busy, deadlines are looming, and priorities are all over the place.
People need you to draw their attention to the cause and keep it there. Treat your fundraiser like a campaign by planning ahead and coming up with a theme each year.
I like to send fun communications using photos from past events, which Avi Lugassy from The Gift of Music says adds “social proof and helps people really feel what the fundraiser is all about”.
At StarFish we run one scheduled activity a week, like our annual Chili Cook Off or the ever-popular Chicken Sh*t Bingo. And one of the most lucrative things we’ve done is make it easy for employees to donate by going completely cash free. Employees simply submit a form pledging their donation and it comes straight off their next pay cheque! Easy peasy and it must work as we’ve doubled our donations since implementing cashless, automatic deductions.
I’ve come full circle in my personal experience with foodbanks. It is a privilege to fundraise it forward to an organization that so generously helped me and continues to support so many in our community. Little did I know that doing so would become the highlight of my year!
I hope my tips help you in your efforts and invite you to try one (or all!) of them in your 2023 campaigns. Let me know how they impact your fundraising and stay tuned on Facebook and LinkedIn as we reimagine and reboot the Food Bank Fundraiser this year. There are new and exciting things coming this Spring!
Images: StarFish Medical
Trinity MacRae is the Office Coordinator and unofficial Cultural Glue at StarFish Medical. She uses her personal experience to inspire others. Trinity joined StarFish after being a self-employed house cleaner for many years while raising her son as a single parent. She loves to be of service and use her energy to connect amazing people with awesome causes.
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