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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Girl Activist Fundraising Ideas: a guide to killing it at fundraising

Alice Wilder showcased her fundraising ninja skills while fundraising for SPARK Summit on Piggybackr. We asked Alice to share her top fun & free fundraising ideas.

1. Throw a (fundraising) party

Asking for money is awkward. Asking your friends, who very likely aren’t loaded, for money is even worse. I didn’t want to ask my friends for money, but I knew that they loved going out to eat together. So I invited all my friends over to my house. I said they could donate what they  would have spent on a dinner out.  I cooked dinner, played music music, and I had a secret weapon - I used to work as a peer educator for Planned Parenthood, so I offered to give safer sex tutorials. I put out a jar and had my friends donate as much as they were able. It was a super fun night.

2. Take advantage of low tech media to spread the word about your fundraiser

Girl Fundraising Ideas
Alice Wilder's Piggybackr Page

I knew how to use social media for my fundraiser. I used facebook to invite friends to my party,  and Twitter and Tumblr to spread the word about my fundraiser. But this left out a huge group of people. I wrote a letter to my family all across the country, many of whom are too old to hear about the fundraiser from social media. In my letters I explained why I cared so much about the fundraiser. I asked for a modest $25 donation. The next week checks started coming in. Many were well above that $25. Obviously not everyone has family that can afford to do this. I have relatives who are retired and like charity work, so I knew they would probably have a little to spare. One thing others could try is asking for donations in lieu of a birthday or graduation gift. After I received donations I wrote individual thank you notes, detailing how their money would be spent to help girls.

3. Offer donation rewards (and know your audience)

I know teens very well, and I’ve gotten to know my fair share of feminists. Teens love seeing their friends doing silly, slightly embarrassing things. Most feminists love Beyonce. I offered several incentives for donors, but by far the most popular was the individual Beyonce dance video. I pledged that if someone donated $10 I would do a silly, overdramatic dance to the Beyonce song of their choice. It was a hit. I sent countless videos to my friends, making them swear that it would be for their eyes only. One friend would receive an outrageous, dramatic performance and testify that it was well worth the donation. The best part was that this reward wasn’t a chore - I dance to Beyonce all the time. It’s good to offer rewards that you’ll actually enjoy giving to your donors.

Knowing your audience is the key to offering rewards that raise money. Chances are, you know your classmates and potential donors pretty well. Use that inside info and brainstorm with your team.

4. Reach out to your community for support

Contact your everyday community - community leaders, businesses and organizations. But don’t just stop there. There’s an online community for your cause too. Do some research and seek out people who are respected broadly in your community. Who are the most well known people within your cause? Which coaches, teachers, directors, and advocates do you look up to the most? Look for people who are well respected but not so famous that your email or Twitter @reply will be lost in their sea of requests. Think Craig Ferguson, not Jay Leno.

Alice Wilder, 18, is from Charlotte, North Carolina and looks forward to starting her first year at UNC-Chapel Hill this August. She has been an activist for SPARK Summit since June 2012. Alice works with U by Kotex and Girls for a Change’s “Generation Know” campaign. Her work has been featured on Upworthy, the Charlotte Observer and Rookie magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @Alice_Wilder. Once Alice made a rude guy run away from her with a single glance. This is her proudest moment.


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