Fundraising Tip #11: Send reminders

Written by on July 21, 2010 at 10:42 am

With the MS Challenge Walk less than two months away, chances are you've begun your fundraising in earnest. Depending on when you started, now may be a good time to remind your potential donors of your progress toward your goal and that you need their help to reach it.

Since I walk for my mom, who has MS, I send my postal solicitation letter around Mother's Day every year. That's four months before the walk, which puts July at a halfway point to my fundraising deadline. By now, I have collected dozens of checks and online donations — yet less than half of the people I solicited have responded. I hope many more of them want to, but summer vacations inspire forgetfulness of more mundane tasks, and mail gets piled in the corner of the kitchen with my SASE at the bottom. A gentle reminder helps these friends and family avoid the "Oh, crap, I forgot!" moment that occurs when they realize in late September that you've already walked!

Since I have already reached out to my donors postally, I send reminders via email. You may do this via your Participant Center or regular email. If the latter, be sure to include a link to your online donation page. Just like including a SASE makes it easy to receive checks, providing a link makes it easy for donors to click and donate.

If you feel uncomfortable nagging your friends, remember that that's not what you're doing. You're providing them the opportunity to help someone they care about and be a part of something greater. Fewer people will begrudge you that than will help you meet your goal.

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.

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