Editor’s Note: Even though this article was written specifically about fund raising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the ideas and concepts are universal.
Uncomfortable asking people for money? Everyone wants to make a difference, but we all have our comfort zones, and this is a deal killer for some. If this sounds like you, here are a few easy steps that can make this experience rewarding, and not stressful!
- Be an educator, not a solicitor. St. Jude sells itself if people have a few facts, so I share these in my messaging. Go to http://www.stjude.org/quick-facts and you will be amazed at what you never knew. You can do a simple message such as “Did you know that no family ever pays for treatment at St. Jude, and the survival rates on some childhood cancers have increased from 20% in 1962 to 80% today thanks to treatment protocols developed by St. Jude. That’s why I am running as a St. Jude Hero to raise money!” Include your web link after that and the money comes in!
- On Facebook? Type in your St. Jude Heroes web page address in the status bar, the link pulls up and you can make an announcement such as “I’m running this for St. Jude!” See, that’s not asking for money directly, is it?
- Personal emails are easy with the St. Jude Heroes website. If you have an “address book” on your computer, there is an easy “upload contacts” button. Upload them all, then you can then choose some or all to customize your email messages. For example, I send a different one to business contacts that to friends and family. Once again, educate and provide your St. Jude Heroes link.
- Do you have a “signature” set up at the bottom of your emails? I add a link to my St. Jude Heroes donation page just below my company information. People ask me about it or just donate.
- Be “you.” People who know you want to support you, and if it is important to you, it will be important to them. In conversations when you mention you are running as a St. Jude Hero, they always want to know more. Be prepared with some of those facts.
These are just a few things that may help you if you have a hard time asking. Everyone has a different reason for signing up as a St. Jude Hero, and that affects the amount of effort put forth. There is no shame in setting your goal as $100 to qualify to wear the St. Jude Heroes singlet in the race. My experience is that once someone gets started, they quickly exceed that amount.
I hope you will share other ideas here on how to get donations for those who have trouble asking.