Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fundraising for the Human Race

Every year our organization participates in the Human Race, an event run by the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, that enables hundreds of non-profit and educational organizations the opportunity to fund raise for their cause. 
CalSERVES at the Human Race 2012
This year we are exploring some new strategies that build upon what was successful in previous years.  Check out my blog from last year to read about my Top 10 fund raising ideas.

Because we are fairly large organization, we focus quite a bit on teams. We provide recognition for team achievements as well as individual successes.  We encourage teams to work together to come up with both their own strategies and their own incentives.  Our schools make up their own teams and are able to make incentives (ex. extra planning time) and group strategies (ex. recycling program, bake sale) that are specifically meaningful to their group.

In previous years, we have always given prizes for top fund raisers.  This year, we are also giving prizes for achieving certain levels.  That way, those who may feel like they cannot compete to be the highest fund raiser, still have levels to something to shoot for...and who knows, once they get started they may reach the top!

Meaningful Recognition
It is difficult to raise funds in this economy.  We celebrate and honor those who put the time and energy into supporting our cause.  We have a "Wall of Fame" in our office to honor those individuals and groups who have achieved benchmark levels.  We have a special recognition lunch that I host to honor those who have raised $250 or more.  We post the accomplishments of those who fund raise in our social media which is a great way to expand your reach as friends and family of those high achieving fund raisers will check out those posts.  For our group, we provide incentives that are both personal (ex. 1 hour massage) and meaningful (ex. a set of books for the students).  When the prize is for the students or school, we make it clear that it came because of that person's achievements (ex. book plates recognizing the fund raiser).

Unique Fund Raising Ideas
We encourage any and all ideas to promote the Human Race and raise funds for our students.  Many of our strategies are home grown and offer an easy way for all to participate.  Here is a list of strategies that have been successful over the years:  bake sales, car washes, providing a service (photography, flower arranging, etc.), art sales (including children's art), lunch delivery, dine and donates, corporate sponsorships, matching donors, and much more

Jump Start Strategies
Every year some teams get a slow start.  There is a lot going on in our program and in peoples' lives, so we try to give incentives to start early.  We give out our first prizes about 6 weeks prior to the event.  We also send out committee members to work with sites who are struggling on developing fund raising ideas.  To motivate their team, some team leaders will split the donation they intended to give among their team to give their members that important start and some success to build on. 

These strategies and more will hopefully lead our organization to its goal of $15,000 and me personally to my goal of more than $1,000.  If you would like to help me, my Human Race web site is accepting donations: