1. Set Your Goals High

There is no minimum fundraising requirement for  Run or Walk to Conquer Cancer participants but don’t let this stop you from setting your goals for personal fundraising high. Our goal in 2016 is to raise $25,000 in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Think of fundraising as a personal challenge but also as a part of the adventure. Think of the lives you are touching and shoot for the stars! The more money we raise, the more good work that the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre can do. More research, more patient care, services, and education means more lives saved. So think about a fundraising goal that would be a truly BIG accomplishment for you. Remember the golden rule of fundraising: if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Take the courage you found when you decided to be BOLD and register for a half or full marathon and get out there and fundraise. Aim high. And go for it!

2. Creating Your List of Potential Donors

Sit down with a piece of paper and write down the names of all the people in your life. Family, friends, neighbours, co-workers. Go through your address book. Include your doctor, auto mechanic, relatives, former classmates, your child’s teacher, everybody you do business with, your dry cleaner…you get the idea. Think about any people who’ve asked you for money for a charity before and put them on the list. Don’t leave anyone out. You never know who has been personally affected by cancer and who might be waiting for an opportunity like this to support this cause. Next to each name on your list, write the method by which you will contact this person for a donation. The options are a face-to-face meeting, an email from your Personal Page, and a fundraising letter.

Here are some suggestions as to how to contact the different people on your list:

  • Face-to-Face Meeting

  • For potential major contributors ($1,000, $2,000 or more), you will want to set up a face-to-face meeting. Don’t be scared to ask for $1,000. If the donor cannot give that much, they are still likely to give a smaller denomination. Remember if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

  • Email from Your Personal Page

  • Sending an email from your Personal Page is the easiest and most effective way to fundraise. Send a fundraising letter as an email to the people who are comfortable with computers. This is a great way to network because you can ask your donors to forward your email donation request to everyone they know.

  • Fundraising Letter

  • This will be a letter that you type or handwrite and send in the regular mail. Use this method for people who do not have a computer and would appreciate the personal touch that this letter will give. Once you have received a donation from someone, let them know that their contribution, whatever the amount, is important to you and that you appreciate it. You can also invite your donors to High Park on race day to cheer on the team, so that they can see the results of your hard work in person. After the event you will want to send out an email with some photos, and an additional thank you for your donors’ support.

3. Your Personal Page & Fundraising Online

Fast fundraising is only a click away! Online fundraising is the most efficient method to raise funds for The Run or Walk to Conquer Cancer. You can reach friends and family worldwide and ask them to make a donation online. It's fast, easy and secure!

After you register with the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon, sign up to collect pledges & create your own Personal Page fundraising page. On your Personal Page you can tell your story, post a photo, and request donations. When donors go to your page, they can read your donation request and donate right there online. Please encourage all of your donors to use the online system. It saves Princess Margaret Cancer Centre time and money, and your donations will be credited to your account immediately, instead of four to six weeks of processing time that paper donation forms require. Your Personal Page also automatically tracks your fundraising balance, so you and your donors can watch your progress.

4. Major Contributors & Face-to-Face Meetings

For your potential major contributors, you’ll want to set up a face-to-face meeting. It can be lunch, dinner, a casual coffee or a walk around the block. Be sure to set a definite time and place.

Then, tell your donor how much you hope they’ll give. This may seem difficult, but when you are specific, you might be doing your donors a favour. They may have no idea how much money to offer, so ask them to donate $1,000. By telling them how much money you would like them to give, you have let them know how important this is to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for $1,000 because a donor will not give more than they can afford, but they will not give more than you ask for.

5. Fundraising Letters

You’ll want to send fundraising letters to any potential donors whom you are not asking though an email or at a face-to-face meeting. Though a fundraising letter campaign can be enormously successful for many fundraisers, it is less personal than a face-to-face request and could result in a smaller donation.

When composing your fundraising letter, remember to personalize it as much as you can. Make each letter different, as if it were any other piece of personal correspondence you were sending to a friend. Address your donors by their fist name, and open up with a personal comment.

Then after you personal opening, explain that you are participating in The Run or Walk to Conquer Cancer and are writing to ask for support. Explain your own personal reasons for participating. Though you will want to keep your letter fairly brief, try to engage your donors in your personal journey and inspire them to give.

Ask for a specific amount, such as $250, and enclose a donation form with a stamped returned envelope. Once the donor has made the decision to give, you want to make it as easy for them as possible.

6. Expanding Your Giving Circle

You can multiply your donations by giving additional donation forms to your family and friends who have already donated. Ask them to talk to people about your participation in The Run or Walk to Conquer Cancer and help you ask for donations. With this word-of-mouth in place you’ll reach people you never even knew before.

7. Follow Up

If you haven’t received a response from someone you’ve asked for a donation, be sure to follow up. Make a phone call or send a quick note to make sure that they haven’t forgotten your request. A good way to keep people involved in your adventure is to send an updated email. Keep your donors and potential donors informed of your fundraising and training progress.

Once you have received a donation from someone, let them know that their contribution, whatever the amount, is important to you and that you appreciate it. You can also invite your donors to cheer you for you on race day, so that they can see the results of your hard work in person. After the event you will want to send out an email with some photos, and an additional thank you for your donors’ support.