Matty Gregg is dedicated legionnaire in the Mudder community. Raising over $100,00 for charity, he's become an expert on how to make the most of fundraising efforts that help people in need. While we’re in the season of helping people up Everest 2.0 I thought I would share 5 tips on what makes a successful fundraiser so you can get up that steep, fundraising half pipe.
Set a realistic goal.
And if you don’t hit your goal, it’s okay.A good fundraising strategy takes years to develop. My first year of fundraising I viewed as a total disaster, attempting to hit $10,000.00, and only raising $1,300. I vowed that my goals would be more realistic, and that I would change my approach. The next year, I set $3,000 as my benchmark, and I reached $3,500.Many of the people who gave to me were people from the year before. I realize that time is an important factor in developing a fundraising relationship with friends, family, and co-workers.
Fundraising is about personal connection, not money.
If you make a personal connection with someone through your fundraising work, you have succeeded on many more levels than one particular fundraiser. Giving someone access to what’s in your heart is the key to many things in life, and fundraising is no different. More interesting than the fundraiser, people want to know who you are and what makes you tick. Oblige them, and you’ll find yourself to be happier and more successful in fundraising than you ever imagined.
As part of finding that personal connection, it’s always good to ask this question of a potential donor: “Have you or anyone you know been affected by _____?” It starts off the conversation in a very personal way without asking for details that could make a donor uncomfortable.
Sometimes people will simply want to support a cause you’re supporting, and that’s completely wonderful. But never forget that by giving money to you, they’re supporting you and your fundraising efforts.
Also, a rule that I firmly believe in: if you can’t come up with at least three reasons that the fundraiser is important to you, then consider supporting another cause. I have given a ton of advice to folks throughout the Tough Mudder community, and the first thing I will ask is, “Why are you supporting this group?”, if they don’t have their answer ready, I usually suggest that they look elsewhere to put their efforts.
Matching gifts are a Fundraiser’s best friend.
The secret to my success is finding donors who work for corporations with a matching gifts program. There are lots of companies that will match the amount of money donated by your donor. Every dollar you get from them nets $2 for the cause. You can find a search engine for companies with matching gifts here: https://www.matchinggifts.com/rit/
Raffles are better fundraisers than asking for straight money.
You might know someone who knows someone who knows someone who’s famous or has something really cool or priceless that they’re willing to part with. Set up a raffle scenario in which you give away that thing in exchange for a donation to your cause. It’s a great way to generate interest, and rewards people to be good with an incentive.
It’s much more fun with a team of people.
This is the first time I’ve focused my efforts on asking others to help fundraise. It was the best decision I ever made; I don’t feel as if I’m working alone. I share stories with the folks on our team from a daily basis on how to better approach fundraising. As well, I have made new friends and have learned things about people I would never have known. Plus, I see our totals going up almost on a daily basis, and I’m not pushing as hard as I have in the past to achieve my personal goals.
Almost everything is better with a team of people. This year, we have almost 30 participants on our team shaving their head for St. Baldrick’s at World’s Toughest Mudder. Tthey are all amazing people, from a financial advisor in New York, to a multiple year winner of World’s Toughest Mudder.
It is incredibly rewarding for me to see a diverse group of people get together to raise money to end children’s cancer. Carter would be flattered. I know his family is.
About the Author:
Matty Gregg has raised over $100,000 for charities in the past two years for his races at World’s Toughest Mudder. He would love to invite more people from the Tough Mudder community to join in the fight against children’s cancer by signing up or donating to the cause closest to his heart HERE.