Change Lives: Raise over $4,000 for your Charitable Cause with these 9 Social Fundraising Tips
Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by Glenn Petriello to promote his fundraising efforts for the 2012 Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City’s RBC Race for the Kids to be held on September 29, 2012. This post is not associated in conjunction with BBBS of NYC and is strictly the content and opinions of Glenn Petriello otherwise noted by cited content researched through his volunteering role with the agency and their website.
Have you ever had a charitable cause that you wanted to share with friends, family and co-workers? Was it based on a notoriously evil disease like cancer or diabetes? Was it in honor of a loved one?
The questions on the level of our motivation can go on and on. We all want to make a difference and cure all of bad things in life that affect those who we care about. The biggest challenge we face is getting that opportunity in front of people. I have learned a few creative ways over the past few years with which I have been able to raise over $4,000 for a charity that is near and dear to my heart and I’m excited to share them with you!
How I Became Involved with BBBS of NYC
Back in September 2009, a friend and I had just finished enjoying a long day of celebrating the New York Yankees’ 27th World Championship parade down the Canyon of Heroes in Lower Manhattan. Over some food in the Applebee’s in midtown, he told me about how he had been getting involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC (“BBBS of NYC”) but more specifically their Young Professionals Committee (“YPC”).
I was intrigued and he talked me into going to the next YPC meeting. It was a moment in time that I will never forget. After learning more about the BBBS of NYC and the YPC, I was blown away by its mission and its impact on the lives of so many children throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City.
After I became more involved, it came time to prepare for the annual BBBS of NYC RBC Race for the Kids which is held in late September at Riverside Park each year. It’s a 4K Run/Walk which allows the Bigs and Littles time to have fun, interact with other Bigs and Littles and be a part of Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play and it is open to the public as well. All proceeds go straight towards Big/Little matches. According to BBBS of NYC, the average annual cost to establish and maintain each professionally supervised Big/Little match relationship is $2,000.
BBBS of NYC’s Mission
The mission of BBBS of NYC is to provide mentors to all children who need caring adult role models–special friends who can help expand their horizons, realize their potential and enrich their futures–changing their lives. We seek to train community organizations in every neighborhood, empowering them to establish their own mentoring programs.
BBBS of NYC Stats
According to BBBS of NYC, mentoring is a powerful and effective tool. Studies find that children enrolled in our programs are more likely to achieve in school, avoid risky behavior, and improve their self-esteem. Statistics show:
- 67% improved school attendance
- 69% improved grades
- 69% improved relationships with their family
- 71% improved attitude towards school
- 78% improved sense of future
- 90% improved relationships with their peers
- 91% increased self-esteem
- 96% of our Littles graduate from high school
My Fundraising Efforts
In 2010, I set a goal to raise $1,000 and was able to send out an email to my co-workers, family and friends. I wound up surpassing my goal to an astounding $2,235 due in large part to the help of my company’s matching program as well as very supportive network.
In 2011, I made my goal one dollar more than I what I raised in 2010, $2,236. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to meet my goal and was just shy of it by $410, totaling $1,825. My efforts helped me to raise my Race for the Kids “career” total to $4,060!
For 2012, I had the urge to implement the “go big or go home” strategy for my goal. I decided upon $3,000. It is certainly no small task in about a little over a month’s time but I felt that I had to push myself to the next level. Social Media and creativity would definitely have to be a key component for succeeding.
Concurrently, as the Chair of the Sponsorship Committee of the YPC, I am at the front lines in raising money through corporate sponsors for our annual BIG Night Out event. Through this role, I’ve become aware that every single dollar counts to help support the children in our five boroughs who need a positive role model in their lives. With your help and generosity, children can be matched up with an adult and you can contribute to the power that changes lives.
Social Fundraising Tips through your Social Network
Over the years, I have come to love the competitive nature of raising money for a cause that is dear to me. Here are just some of my tips to harness the power of your social media communities:
- Matching Gifts Program – This is by far one of the most beneficial and easiest ways to increase your fundraising total. Check with your HR department to see if your company matches your donations and be sure take advantage of it. It is a win-win for both you and your company!
- Company Email Blast – This has been a proven technique. Although emails may get lost and never be seen by most co-workers, those who do see it and have supported in the past show their continued support. It’s a great way to show your company that you are involved in the community and it gives co-workers a sense of doing something good for a great cause by making a small donation.
- Casual Friday – This is something I have not done yet. I have seen it bring in a lot of money for another co-worker for her charitable cause. Just think, the more employees that are in your company, the more money you can raise and if your company has a matching gifts program, you’re doubling everyone’s donation! If your company does casual Fridays already, then think of coming into work all dressed up in black tie or business formal attire. Get creative but please make sure you get approval from management before you organize it!
- Post to Social Media – Share your special donation page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social media platforms you are on. You never know who will see it and make a donation because they love the cause.
- Facebook Tip - It also helps to send a personalized, private Facebook message to one or more friends to get their attention. Usually, people will see the link and your message for support in their news feed but there is no connection there until you engage them, discuss the reason(s) for the message, educate them on the charity and/or cause and give them a call to action. Worst case scenario – they say no and you move on. We’re all not rich and we all can’t support every cause. It’s all about supporting each other and making a difference together.
- Twitter Tip – Definitely tweet out to your network and utilize a hash tag relating to your cause or even include the charity’s twitter handle. They may feel the need to retweet or mention you in a tweet to display some type of gratitude for your fundraising efforts.
- Pinterest Tip – If your cause is an event, pin a picture of the event or you at the event from a previous year and link it to your donation page and give proper credit to the owner of the picture if it is not you. Feel free to include a little bit about your efforts in the description of the pin as well.
- Blog – If you have a blog with a following, do what I have just done and create a blog post sharing your feats, your purpose and your motivation to raise awareness to your cause and provide some tips and a call to action.
- Incentivize Your Fundraising – This usually means you have to invest in your supporters but it will surely be appreciated by them. Back in 2010, I found a BBBS store online and ordered small tokens of appreciate for those who donated. For 2011 and 2012, since I have a side chocolate e-commerce business that I am working on, I have included incentives that based on the amount of money you donate, you can get free chocolates from Simply Euphoric Chocolate. Be creative and put some thought into it and make it worth their while!
Which tips have you taken advantage of? Which tips do you want to take advantage of the next time you have to fundraise? What other tips would you like to share? With these tips, I am sure that you will be able to increase your fundraising in the future and feel the need to continue sharing your special charitable cause and make a difference in so many lives! Just remember to harness the power of your social network!
If you would like to sponsor me, it’s simple, easy and secure. You can donate directly through my personal fundraising page with a credit card. For more information on the 2012 BBBS of NYC RBC Race for the Kids please visit http://www.raceforthekids.org, follow them on Twitter using #RaceforKids.