Molly FastNext month, I’ll be participating in a new-to-me fundraising event that doesn’t require, or seem to encourage, participants to raise a certain amount of money. There’s no fundraising minimum or goal. No registration fee. It’s a little like visiting a foreign country—I’ve never participated in an event of this nature. 

I’ve been surprised to learn since signing up in mid-October that communication (via email or through a team captain) has been nearly non-existent. There was no fundraising ask in the registration confirmation and apart from a fundraising push around Thanksgiving, I haven’t received any direction to fundraise.

But. Because event fundraising is just who I am and what I do, I haven’t prevented any of that from setting my own fundraising goal and going about attacking it. With less than a month to go before my event, I sent out an email and targeted 100 people asking for a donation for $50 (at least). 

Today, only four days since I sent out that initial ask via email, I’m nearly halfway to my $5,000 fundraising goal. My supporters don’t know there’s no fundraising minimum. (Unless you’re a potential donor and you are reading this. But don’t let that prevent you from submitting that donation today!) They don’t know that I’m not encouraged to fundraise. What they know is that I’m setting aside a Saturday in March to push myself physically and raise money. They know this is a cause which hits close to home for me—as I’ve outlined 18 people, myself included, who have been directly impacted and are inspiring me to take such bold action. They know that I’m so committed that I’ve set an ambitious fundraising goal and need their help in reaching it.

At Event 360, we believe fundraising minimums and registration fees make good financial sense. In fact, every time we’ve seen a minimum and/or registration fee implemented, there’s been an improvement in overall event performance. But if your event doesn’t have a registration fee or a fundraising minimum, don’t let it prevent you from taking simple steps to establish an expectation of fundraising from your constituents. You may be rewarded with participants who just need a little push to improve their own fundraising efforts. Here are three simple things your organization can do today:

  1. Ask your participants to fundraise. Yes. It’s that simple.
  2. Ask your team captains to encourage the participants on their team to fundraise. The more people sending the fundraising message, the better!
  3. Thank your participants when they start their fundraising and encourage them to keep going. Check-in when important milestones are met (first $500, reached $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, etc.). Some people will do more just by knowing that someone is paying attention.

I hope these simple reminders are helpful steps to ensure your organization and the constituents who support it raise additional funds for the great causes that you are all serving.

“Fast Fundraising Tips” blog posts are featured monthly. A passionate advocate of event fundraising and customer service, Molly Fast has been working as an event fundraiser since 2002. As the daughter of a 13-year breast cancer survivor, cancer has hit very close to home and Molly has dedicated herself to helping others see their potential in making this world a better place. At Event 360, Molly combines her love of customer service with event fundraising. When she’s not taking photos in Santa Monica, where she lives with her husband and their black lab Clancy, Molly can be found wandering around Ireland. You can find Molly on Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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