Fundraising Tips

Kyra WaltersIs there an organization that you really want to support, but they don't allow children to volunteer onsite or at events? They always welcome donations, no matter how old you are! And fundraising can be a lot of fun if you are prepared and have a positive attitude. Be ready to hear "no" a lot, but don't let it discourage you. It makes the "yes" feel even more rewarding when you hear it.

Safety first! When you go out to fundraise, whether it's to chat with business owners, set up a donation table at an event, or knock on doors, please keep these safety tips in mind.

  1. Always take an adult with you. They do not have to fundraise with you, but they should still tag along to keep an eye on your safety. My mom stands on the sidewalk while I ring the doorbell.
  2. No matter how nice a homeowner may seem, always wait outside for a donation.
  3. If you go after dark, wear light clothes or reflective gear to make it easier for cars to see you.

Dress appropriately. You are representing the organization you are fundraising for. Make sure to have a groomed appearance and wear "business casual" attire to ask people for money. A nice shirt and slacks or skirt are fine. Or if you have a tshirt from the organization, wearing that with some nice clean jeans can work too.

Speak confidently. Be prepared to speak clearly, get your initial point across quickly and answer questions. It's okay if you don't know all the answers, just do your best with a positive attitude. Small children should do as much of the asking and talking themselves as possible. They will feel so proud knowing they did it themselves! So parents might want to have them practice a few times before you go out.

Know your organization. Do you know the mission statement of the organization? Do you understand it? Make sure you do before you go out in the public to represent it. Contact the organization and ask for their 501 c-3 tax ID number and make sure to have it ready if anyone wants to have the number.

Offer receipt confirmation. Take a pen and some notebook paper with you on a clipboard. Ask donors if they would like to give you their names, address and donation amount on a list. This way you can offer to have the organization send a receipt directly to the donor for their tax deductible contribution. Not everyone will want a receipt, but most people will appreciate the offer. All checks should be made out to the organization and not to you or your parent!

Stay positive. Most people will be polite even if they say "no" but there is a possibility that you will come across some people who do not understand what you are doing and can be very rude. Do not take it personally. Just thank them for their time and move on.

Be respectful. If someone has a "No Soliciting" sign, please do not knock on their door or go into their business. They have those signs up for a reason. If the lights are off at a home, assume they are not there or sleeping. And please do not go to homes after 8pm. That's when many families are putting children to bed.

Have fun! Once you get the hang of it, you will gain confidence and you may even discover that you have a new talent that you really enjoy!

Online Donation Pages

Another fun way to fundraise is to create an online donation page. Visit the website or call the organization you want to fundraise for and ask them if they have this option available. Sometimes, they will have a "Tribute Page" or "Individual Donation Page" available year-round and other times they will only have event pages available during certain times of the year. It never hurts to ask!