Step 2: Who to Ask and How?
Sitting down to decide who you will reach out to is a very important task. The simplest rule is: “Everyone!” This may seem a bit too vague but basically if you have a name or email or address, you should reach out to them! If you break it down into groups, the task won’t seem overwhelming.
For Crew and Riders of last year’s Ride.
You’ll first want to cultivate previous donors!
When reaching out to past donors, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration. Remember, in many instances, the people that supported you, were mainly supporting YOU and not always what NCAC does. It’s important to make your "ASK" personal. Share information about yourself. For example: “What you’ve been up to in the last year,” “How the bike ride has affected your life,” “Why you’re choosing to do this again,” etc. It can also be important to share how their money affected people in need. Further into this document, you’ll find a link to Programs Available to the Community for more detailed info. Its also important to specifically ask if they’ll consider supporting you at the same level or even increasing their donation. Remind your donors that if they want to support you through the online payment site, NCAC is able to offer a reoccurring payment plan (up to 5 months). This selling point may seem a bit easier to give $20 a month versus $100 at one time. We also are including a link to the Donation Form in this presentation. If your sponsors would like to maximize their donation, remind them that sending in this form with a check or actually handing you a check will save NCAC online processing fees. In 2015 of the $355,000 in donations NCAC was charged over $20,000 in online processing fees. Unfortunately, it’s a cost we can’t avoid if sponsors are paying via credit card.
Choosing your mode of reaching out to your donors
Remember, if you know someone, you should ask them; if you have an address, you should send them a letter asking them; and if you have an email, you should send an email. Here are some points to we’d like to make about each of the modes of communication.
Mailing a letter?
Make the letter about YOU. Your friends and family will support you first and NCAC second. If you are going to give them the option of sending in a check, include a self-addressed stamped envelope and ask them to send their checks directly to you so that once their checks are received, you can immediately send them a hand-written thank you card.
Sending an E-Mail?
Sending just one email will be less effective than sending a monthly email to update your friends and family on your training and fundraising progress. End each email with an “ASK” for support. Consider sending one in Jan, Feb, March, April and just before the ride in May.
Facebook is about entertainment; make your posts interesting, informative or inspiring, do not just ask for money. Also be cautious about over-sharing your NCAC posts. Don't ask for money more than once or twice a week. Vary the times of the day and days of the week that you post your requests for money to see which gets best results.
Asking Face to Face?
Do you know what an Elevator Speech is? (If not, look it up online). Develop and practice your NCAC Elevator Speech and either print some personalized NCAC business cards at home or go to VistaPrint.com and have a personalized NCAC business card printed that has your name, your photo and a link to your donation site. You do not need to be confrontational; just confident. Your friends and family will support you if you are clear about your purpose for being involved in NCAC. Give them your Elevator Speech, ask them to consider supporting you, and leave them with your NCAC business card. A Microsoft Publisher Business Card Template can be found here.
Hosting an Event?
Many people find that hosting a fundraising house party is a great way to build excitement about the ride. Among the very best of the books that describes how to do this is the one titled The Fundraising Houseparty: How to Party with a Purpose and Raise Money for your cause - 2nd edition by Morrie Warshawki. The book is $17.72 at Amazon and it's a very worthwhile addition to ones library.