By Kimberly Goldklang
Did you just register on Donor Drive to be a participant for Knight-Thon 2019 and don’t know where to start? Well, you’re in the right place! Even the highest of fundraisers had to start somewhere. Making The First Ask is the beginning of a beautiful journey on the road to Dancer Minimum and beyond! Here is some advice for first time participants on “How To Make the Ask” and continue to fundraise steadily all the way through Spring Semester.
Begin with the basics– your friends and family. Asking a stranger for donations can seem intimidating, therefore a great way to start the process is to ask your friends and family. For most people, these are their first donors and their first asks!
One of the easiest ways to ask for a donation is through social media. Connecting your Donor Drive to your social media accounts is the best way for you to get the word out and will most likely be your biggest source of donations! Insert your donor drive link into your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook bio to allow everyone who visits your page to right away see the link and learn about our cause. Write a facebook post or tweet and include your donor drive link, so family and friends can easily access your page and donate. To make the most effective post, include a miracle story, facts about our hospital, or even why you choose to support this cause!
Another great way to encourage donations is to ask for a specific amount, so your potential donors feel like they are contributing to something and can make a difference no matter the amount they are able to donate. One way to do this is to ask for five $5 donations or say that if you raise $100 in a week you will post an embarrassing photo or video of yourself! For example, this year our Promotions Director, Ally, is going to dye her hair pink if she raises $1,500 by the end of the month! Be creative, there is no right or wrong way to fundraise.
After showing your involvement through social media, and making a public ask, another great way to raise funds is through a direct ask! Venmo requests to friends can be a great way to get donations. Just send a request to all your contacts on venmo for $1 to $2, most people will respond to the request to get rid of the notification and it’s an easy way to make a few bucks. After all, every dollar counts!
Sending a fundraising email is another great way you can directly reach out to potential donors. You can craft your own email, or use the Messages tab on the top of your Donor Drive page to use a template. Fundraising emails are perfect for extended family, past teachers, or people you have not seen in a while. To create an impactful fundraising email, include your personal Knight-Thon Journey and a video of a Miracle Story.
If you ever find yourself stuck in fundraising, ask for help! Whether it’s your Team Ambassador, a fourth year participant, or a member of the Leadership Team, everyone has had their own Knight-Thon journey and can offer you a different piece of advice to keep your fundraising going strong. After all, everyone was a first year participant at one point and can understand the struggles of fundraising.
Remember that you can also donate to others! Put your money where the miracles are and support your fellow participants and team members by making a tax-deductible donation to their donor drive. Donating to others creates a chain effect and keeps the movement going, it is also a great way to make the day of a fellow participant, or help them out if they are feeling stuck in their personal fundraising!
To make sure you always get notified when you get a donation, set up alerts. Register your cell phone number with donor drive, so you will instantly receive an alert every time a donation is made to your page. There is no better feeling than getting a text from automated@donordrive! Once you get those alerts, send a Thank You! Tell your donor how much the donation means to you and where the money go towards. You can use Donor Drive to send Thank Yous or make it a little more personal and write a handwritten thank you. If this is your first year participating in Knight-Thon, this will probably not be your last time asking for donations, so always recognize your donors to encourage them to donate year after year.
The First Ask is always the hardest. Once you get that first donation, the others will be so much easier, and all of a sudden you’ll be hitting Comma Club for the first time! In every Ask, make sure to explain Knight-Thon to each potential donor and what the movement means to you. When people see your passion and your heart, they are more inclined to donate and relate with our cause. Remember to always put our cause at the forefront of every Ask, because every kid deserves to have a childhood outside of the hospital.