Use these resources to inspire you and help you fundraise.
There is no limit to your creativity when it comes to finding ways to fundraise. Here are some ideas and some examples from past DAs. Use this list to help you brainstorm and plan fundraising initiatives. You can also try a few different methods. Have fun!
- Donate a Day: Donate your birthday or a holiday and ask for donations instead of presents.
- Host an Event: Play to your strengths and host an event like a BBQ, a photo exhibit, a yoga class, a dance class, etc. Invite your friends and family or think bigger and get people from your community to join as well.
- “Athon” Campaigns: Marathons, bowl-a-thons, and dance-a-thons are all fair game! Ask for pledges from people who commit to donating a certain amount for each unit of achievement, such as a donor pledging $10 for every mile walked during a walk-a-thon. After you have completed your event, circle back with your donors to collect donations.
- Don’t Forget the Classics: Car washes, bake sales, raffles, and garage sales are classic fundraising strategies, but they work!
- Get Moving with Sports & Physical Activities: If you like to run, bike, play soccer, or shoot hoops—put those efforts towards a good cause. Ask your friends or family to pledge $1 for every mile you run in a marathon, $1 for every goal you score this season in soccer, 25 cents for every point scored on the basketball court, and so on.
- Start Writing: It may seem simple, but one of the best ways to spread the word about your campaign is to sit down and WRITE. Whether you email or handwrite letters, let people you love know why this project matters to you.
Check Out These Real Examples from Alumni DAs:
- Nate and Owen raised $5,700 by paddling across Lake Michigan
- Isabella raised $1000 by teaching a yoga class and giving a short presentation on her India trip to attendees
- Matt raised $300 by working with his school administration to allow a uniform-free day and encouraging students to pay $2 to participate
- Cate raised $3,900 by making and selling bracelets at her school
- Madi raised $10,000 by convincing a local waterpark to stay open for an evening and donate all proceeds to her campaign
- Mary raised $140 by asking for donations instead of presents for her birthday
And of course, there’s plenty of inspiration a Google search away! Check out CauseVox’s 101+ Fundraising Ideas to get you started.
Letter Writing Tips
Here are our five best tips on how to write an effective letter to potential donors:
1. Connect with the Donor
Try to make a connection with the potential donor. For example, “My father told me last year you visited Haiti with your church…” or, “As a teacher, I know you appreciate the value of education…”.
2. Keep It Simple
The shorter the letter, the more likely the potential donor will read the whole thing. Use clear, simple language so it sounds natural and from the heart.
3. Share your Experience
Sharing facts, stats, and numbers is helpful, but don’t forget the majority of people are moved by personal stories. Talk about how your time on the program inspired you to support this community.
4. Explain Your Goals
Emphasize the importance of what you’ll accomplish. Be sure to tell the potential donor why you’re interested in this particular project. For example, “I have developed a passion for environmental conservation over the past year, and this project is doing amazing work to help protect the Amazon.”
5. Ask for Help
Tell the donor what they can do to contribute and don’t be afraid to ask for a specific amount!
Here’s a sample letter to help get things started:
My mother, Sally Jones, gave me your email address and suggested I contact you about a life changing opportunity I was able to take part in this summer.
This fall in my social studies class we learned about the Dominican Republic’s sugar industry, and how racial tensions create poor living and working conditions for migrant Haitians. I was touched and saddened by the situation, but also encouraged to get involved. In July, I traveled to the Dominican Republic with an organization called Rustic Pathways and spent two weeks further exploring this topic.
During my trip, I helped run summer camps in Batey communities and built housing for families in need. Through this program, I was able to meet many members of the Batey community, and learn about the racial and economic issues that affect their everyday lives. Many families don’t have access to running water or safe housing. This helped me realize that I am passionate about philanthropy, and want to do whatever I can to help improve the lives of those in the Bateyes.
It costs $8,000 to fund an entire home for a family in the Dominican Republic, which can completely transform their living conditions. I’ve created a funding page at Classy.com in order to help raise money to build a new home for a family. My goal is to raise $4000 to contribute to the construction of a house, and I’ve already raised $500 through fundraising.
Today I write to you to ask for an investment in the futures of the community members of the Monte Coca Batey. I would be so thankful if you would consider donating $25 or more toward my campaign. This project wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of people like you.
Thank you so much for your consideration. All my best to the rest of the family!
Sample Social Media Posts
- Be Enthusiastic. Showing how passionate you are about your cause can be infectious.
- Make it Action Oriented. Include a call to action and ask readers to click on your fundraising page and donate what they can. This may seem obvious, but asking your audience to take an active step can significantly increase traffic to your fundraising page.
Sample Facebook Post:
Help empower women and support education for all! Check out my funding page for the Sacred Valley Project >> link to your campaign
Let us know if you’d like to see any additional resources added to the tool kit!