Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One Step at a Time...

If you are anything like me, after signing up for the 3-day.   My head was spinning.  I had so many ideas and things that I wanted to do.  My best advice... Take one step at a time... Write everything down.   Just because you write it down doesn't mean that you will do it all, but I found it kept me more organized.  I made a game plan.  I would take one idea and run with it.  I first went and secured the sight that I wanted to hold the fundraiser at.  Then I would get all the art work and signage together.  ( I to date have never paid for a party center or venue to hold an event at. ) I trade my advertising of the establishment for their donation of location.  I take the artwork back to the owner of the location that I am using and get them to sign off on it.  Once that is done I go and have all the copies that I want done run off.  If they are fliers I usually have them put of varying shades of pink paper to make them "POP".  I save the color copies for posters that I will put in highly visible locations. ( You want to be careful when you are doing your advertising as I have found that it adds up quickly if you are not careful. ) I did one event last year and I spent more on fliers trying to get people to come to the event then I ended up making at the event! ( Lesson Learned ) !   As I would go out into the community I always had fliers with me for my next event, donation forms, and letters to explain to people who I was and why I was doing this.  I would walk around town and literally go from one business to the next asking for donations and handing out my letters and asking to post fliers in their store windows.  Does this take a lot of time... YES!  However, I found that I was much more successful going door to door and explaining what I was doing and why.  On the phone, people can hang up on you.  Face to face, people are more willing to sponsor you because they can SEE your dedication!  Now, I am not saying that this will ALWAYS work, but I found I got much better results.  Ok, here is where some of you will have problems...( Listen to what I am going to say before you lose heart...)  "NO"... When some of you hear "no" you take it personally... DON'T!!!  Do not let "no" sway you from your goals!  You never know what the situation is.  Sometimes it is our timing, sometimes they have been asked by so many people that they have to make a cut off somewhere and other times they just don't chose to donate for whatever reason.  Before I completely give up I make one last "pitch"... Instead of asking for an item, I ask for a gift certificate.  Here is why... If you ask the business for a gift certificate that is ( HALF ) the value of most of their items, then it becomes a WIN-WIN situation.  Here is why.  You get something to raffle off or use however to make the money that you need for your donations.  They get a customer that may have never been to their business before and they are guaranteed to make some money in the process.  If they still say "no" then thank them for their time and move on.  I usually don't send letters out "into the unknown".   I have had literally no luck in that department.  If you can write amazing letter then go for it!  I am by no means and expert in this. This is only my second year walking, but I just hope that some of my ideas can be helpful or give you insight.  Last year I had five different fund raisers.  I was exceedingly busy trying to coordinate it all ( mostly by my self ) if you can get a team together or find friends that will help you along the way it will make your fundraising much easier.  GET CREATIVE & HAVE FUN!  This is a journey, your journey... It's not just about raising the money that you need, or showing up and walking for three days and covering sixty miles.  It is everything that you do and put into it.  Take pictures, make memories and above all else enjoy your journey, what ever it may be or where ever it may take you.  If you need help ( even if this is your first 3-day ) it is there, all you need to do is ask.  You will find some of the kindest people that you will ever want to meet and they are all willing to help you.  Even if you are an individual walking remember you are part of a TEAM!  When one wins we all win!  


  1. Once again you've done it: put it exactly right. And thank you for the gift card idea if they say the "big no" right off the bat. I also have had NO luck with sending letters of to the wild blue yonder, and will be huffin' in to get things donated this time around! :)

  2. We have a thing in Pampered Chef where you reward yourself for "No's". This gives me the great idea of applying the game here. Typing on my phone is hard.... will be back when I can get to a computer. :-)

  3. Ok, I'm back! In Pampered Chef, the HARDEST thing for people is to make phone calls. You NEED to be calling your customer base to check in on them, see if they have anything they need to order, or most importantly, if they want to have a party.

    But the phone is REALLY intimidating for people. So what they do is have you make a NO chart. Something as simple as rows of boxes. Then at the end of every row, you reward yourself.

    So... say you love ice cream, but you're trying not to eat it. So you have a row of 10 boxes. And every time you ask someone / some business for a donation, and they say NO... you write the name in that box. Once you get 10 NO's... you get to enjoy an ice cream.

    Obviously, the reward / numbers can vary for each person, but the idea is to turn the negative into a positive. People will look forward to getting another NO... and then they'll be even HAPPIER when they get a yes!

    I think the statistic they used on us was you have to ask 10 people to get 3 yes answers.