Successful Fundraising Tips

Ways to Maximize Your Online Fundraising Efforts

Before asking for donations, make sure you know how to “ask.” The ask should be personal, emotional and natural. It should reflect your personality and should not be formal or sound rehearsed. Every ask should include:

  1. The need you are trying to address
  2. Why it is important
  3. What you are doing about it
  4. “Will you help by doing X?”

Here’s an example:

1500 children are diagnosed every year in Canada with cancer. As a parent, I can’t imagine being told my son/daughter/neighbour’s child has cancer. That has got to be the most devastating news any parent can hear. I signed up for Tour for Kids a 3 day cycling event and I’m riding 100+ kms each day. The funds I raise will help send a kid living with cancer to camp and experience all the great camp activities normal kids get to experience. Will you help me today by making a donation of $50?

10,000 children are living with cancer in Canada. Many of these children live with physical after-effects such as blindness, deafness, growth issues, mobility issues, heart or kidney issues. These long term effects and the toll they place on young people and their families brings with them a host of psychological, social and economic issues. Camp is there for children and families and helps improve both the immediate and long term aftermath of childhood cancer. This year I’m riding 100km/day at Tour for Kids, a 3 day cycling event that supports kids cancer camp in Ontario. Help me today by making a $75 donation and together we can help the kids.

Donors are much more likely to give if they believe their money will not be spent on organizational overhead costs, and they are even more likely to donate if a matching gift is involved. Keep these points in mind when asking for donations.

Start your fundraising efforts early and use some of these tips to help reach your goal.

1) Fundraising Hub Personalization

Make sure you personalize your webpage by logging into your Fundraising Hub. Include a photo of yourself in last year’s jersey, with your family or during a training ride and your reasons for riding/volunteering. Then, send an email to everyone on your contact list and invite them to visit your webpage.

2) Send a Letter or email asking for support from EVERYONE you know

Plus, challenge them to forward the email to at least five other people. A copy of the “ask” email is in your Fundraising Hub. Feel free to contact us if you would like more info about Tour for Kids or the camps to personalize your emails. Have an email plan/strategy such as:

  • Week 1: Send to 10 very close contacts (family and closest friends)
  • Week 2: Send to 10-50 close contacts (your entire circle of good friends)
  • Week 3: Send to as many other contacts that you feel comfortable sending a message to (co-workers, friends of friends, distant relatives, your entire address book etc)
  • Week 4: Promote via social media to anyone who will listen

3) Share with your donors the benefits of contributing

Make it known they are making a positive, impactful difference in the many programs supported by Tour for Kids and Coast to Coast. Donations give children the opportunity to attend these fabulous camps and have a normal childhood experience. Financially, your donor receives a tax receipt for donations $20 and over!

4) Make your own contribution

Start by making a donation to your own fundraising page. Other people are more likely to donate to your page when they see that someone has already contributed. Donating some of your own money also demonstrates to potential supporter you are serious about helping Tour for Kids and the camps.

5) Company donation matching programs

Ask your company to match the amount of pledges you receive from your fellow co-workers and ask others to see if they can investigate getting their company to match pledges as well. Some companies we know that offer Matching Programs are: Investors Group, Manulife, McDonald’s, Eli Lily, VISA and Google

6) Fundraising dinner at your favourite restaurant/pub/ski club

Ask your favourite local establishment to host a fundraising dinner/auction for you. They supply a deal on food and drink, and you supply the donation forms!

7) Option to cash donations…volunteer!

If money is tight, ask your donor if they are interested in volunteering at Tour for Kids. We need support year round in addition to event season, feel free to connect us with potential donors/volunteers

8) Ask for the right amount

Take a good look at who you’re asking for donations and make sure you ask for the right amount. Don’t ask for $100 if you know they can pledge $1,000. It may also help to identify the cost of camp activities, such as:

  • $25 pays for a lifejacket
  • $40 pays for a harness for the ropes course
  • $50 pays for the hot chocolate for a winter camp
  • $100 sends a child to camp for a day
  • $150 pays for medical supplies at day camp
  • $350 pays for 40 campers to attend a family day event in their community
  • $500 pays for a month of craft supplies
  • $1000 sends a child to camp for ten days
  • $1200 sends a family to camp for a weekend
  • $1500 pays for the food for a teen weekend
  • $2000 pays for Leadership programs
  • $5000 pays for a day camp program for 4 to 7 year olds in their community
  • $10000 pays for a new dock

9) Beneficiaries

Get to know the camps and Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation well. You’ll be asked by your donors where the money is going and it will be very impressive to a potential donor if you’re able to speak eloquently about it. Please ensure you reinforce our 100% donation model with your donors and refer them to our site ( In simple terms when your donor goes online and makes a $50 donation, they immediately receive a tax receipt and that entire donations of $50 goes to providing camp programs and activities for our campers/families. Unlike other charities, we do not take a percentage of that $50 for admin fees. Our sponsors cover the costs of our event expenses, including admin fees

10) Office fundraising challenge

Speak with everyone in your office and get them to challenge each other to raise the highest amount. Many tour for kids riders give their jersey to their top fundraiser as a prize and thank you.

11) Social media tips

Start fundraising through Facebook and Twitter after you’ve sent out your list of emails.

  • Get started on Facebook by tagging the people that have already donated to you and thanking them for their donations. When you tag someone your post gets shared in your activity feed and the other person’s activity feed too. This also sets the frame that people are already donating to your page
  • Use your social media accounts to give updates of your progress towards each goal and ask for people to help you
  • Don’t make every post an “ask.” Share inspiring news, positive anecdotes about the cause. Check out Tour for Kids posts on FB ( and Twitter (@tourforkids)
  • Use proper language. Please no swearing and no acronyms, if a post is inappropriate to say in the presence of a child, then it’s inappropriate for social media. When in doubt please contact us. Feel free to use the following
    • #TourforKids, #Cycling, #EpicCycling, #T4K, #KidsCancer, #CyclistsWhoCare, #BeyondKidsCancer, #WhyWeRide, #Epic, #Cycling, #LittleHeroes, #CancerCamps, @CampOoch, @CampQualityCan, @CampTrillium

12) Send a personalized thank you note to every contributor

Make sure everyone who makes a donation receives a personal word of thanks from you. Use the ecards set up in your Fundraising Hub, a personal email or a handwritten note. The style is ultimately up to you, but the core message must convey the gratitude and impact of their contribution. Many riders/volunteers send a follow up note after the Tour and include a few photos from the event. About 30% of our donations come in after Tour for Kids when riders/volunteers share their stories of their weekend.

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