When is fundraising season?

Thursday, January 8, 2009
With my deployment pending (unfortunately), Team Sam went into fundraising mode early. I wanted to contact the majority of our potential corporate sponsors prior to my departure and with the recycling trial run, we felt it was best to start in October of 2008 for the May 2009 Great Strides.

I didn’t start nearly that early last year, which begs the question: When is fundraising season? At the organizational level, I doubt there is one. Our own CFF in San Diego ran a second major event in December to raise money. Alicia and I didn’t participate in that directly as we had a CF event already planned for that morning. Yet this does go to show that at least the foundation doesn’t seem to have a “season” per se.

As an individual fundraiser, I do have a season, at least at this time. I figure it runs from around February until the end of May. That’s when, if I’m not deploying, I have done the bulk of my fundraising. But I’m still a young fundraiser, so let’s open this up.

When is fundraising season for you? Is it year round, and if not, how do you decide when to start and stop?

If you run it year round, the question is: How do you keep finding new donors? Or do you have donors who give multiple times throughout the year?


Katey said...

My typical fundraising season is February to May as well. Our great strides walk is usually the 1st weekend of may. So I do the bulk of my fundraising during that time. Our local CFF, however, has events all throughout the year.

It's hard to find donors that are willing to give to multiple events. Therefore, I really don't ask my main donors twice, only for my great strides walk. I try, instead, to assist our Foundation in recruiting corporate sponsors for multiple events. Although there are some friends who are willing to donate twice during the year.

I think it's also hard, because I participate in other charity walks, that are close to me and my family as well. And while, I'm always willing to donate, I can't ask my family and friends, because that takes away from my fundraising. I know that sounds selfish, but not really sure what to do about that?

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Great job on the new blog! I love what you are doing with it. This is going to be a little off topic... Embarrassingly, I never got around to donating last year. It was one of those things I kept meaning to do but kept forgetting about and then May was over. I didn't realize I could donate at any time during the year. Duh! Also, it never crossed my mind that I could actually do fundraisers FOR you. Again, Duh!

Here's my main question: how can I best help you raise funds? Right now outside activities aren't really possible (love the Applebee's idea!) but I have a blog. = ) How can I best use the blog (other than just a link in a post) to help you?

Keep up the good work! And thank you for the sacrifices you are making (deployed!) for my family. We don't take it lightly and appreciate you beyond words.

Kelli said...

We do most of our fundraising from Feb - May for Great Strides but we also help with an annual Wine Opener which takes place in the fall.

Business-wise we pick and choose who we are going to ask for which event based on their clientele. Upscale places support the Wine Opener and family-type lower-scale places support the walk. The only other way we contribute to the wine opener is by inviting our friends (to buy tickets) and my husband's business is a sponsor.

Great Strides is our main "fundraising event" and it is really a celebration of the fundraising our team(s) have done over the months prior.

I set a timeline, sorta like this:
February: invite walkers to kick-off party (to motivate them to fundraise)
March: send out pin-ups & jeans 4 genes, get walkers registered
April: Letter campaign (love it when the money rolls in!)
May: Pizza Fundraiser & Walk

Hope that makes sense!

Kelli said...

Also, if you guys decide to do a letter campaign I can send you our past letter for ideas.

Dan said...

Great comments all!

Katey, I'm glad to hear that we're in good company even though we're new at this. I kind of felt like you did about asking people to donate twice. My dad is the only one I know of who does this more than once, and he usually will send some money either for Christmas or for Samantha's birthday, just because he really feel strongly about it. But I don't think I could feel good about asking him or others for more than one event.

I don't know that it's selfish, or if it is, maybe there's no way around it. It's just life I maybe. We have our focus (CF) and the other things, while wonderful, are secondary. I have a post coming up about that sort of thing actually. I have supported open source software, my church, and other projects, but outside of those things, really CF is it.

I have thought of using recycling as my way to raise money for other events, like the Palestine issue or other disease research, but my thoughts are still immature on that note.

Dan said...

I like the idea of having different "types" of fundraisers, to reach different clientele, so to speak. That could really help us as we move forward in the future and as our campaigns mature.
Alicia and I would love to see the fundraising letter. If you want, please email it to Alicia. We have done some in the past, but we are always looking to enhance our program!

Dan said...

I firmly believe that any friend of mine is a potential team member! Even if you can't do the outside activities (obviously, I can't this year either), you can still raise awareness for the cause and raise funds either for Team Sam or for your own walk if you join one nearer to you.
Alicia and I will be in touch with you in more detail. Thank you so much!
And thank you so much for helping us get this blog started. You have already helped spread the word and we appreciate your effort!