Tips & Tools
Whether your goal is to raise $100 or $1,000, AIDS Run & Walk Chicago is here to support you along the way!
STEP #1: Set your fundraising goal. Simply put, those who set clear, public goals are most likely to reach them. To learn how to set your fundraising goal online, watch the Fundraising Tutorial below:
STEP #2: Begin soliciting for donations! Research shows that in-person asks are most compelling; however, email messages are still quite compelling while also being time efficient. To learn how to send emails from your fundraising dashboard, watch the tutorial video below:
STEP #3: We held several Fundraising Workshops this year - if you were unable to attend in early August, view our presentation to see our tips.
STEP #4: Expand your involvement. Join the Super Striders. Form or join a team. Volunteer with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago in the weeks leading up to AIDS Run & Walk Chicago.
Post to Social Networks: Update your friends and followers on your progress toward your fundraising goal; provide the registration link and ask friends to join you!
Give “Thanks” on Facebook: Thank your donors by writing on their Facebook walls. Also, update your status with your fundraising goal. This activity in the News Feed will inspire others to sponsor you.
Tweet and Retweet: Follow the AIDS Foundation of Chicago on Twitter and retweet any post that moves you. Bring your followers closer to the cause by keeping them current on events and news. Ask your followers for donations every once in a while – even small donations of $5 or $10 add up very quickly!
Logo Up!: Use the NEW AIDS Run & Walk logo as your profile picture. In the description of the photo, include the link to your fundraising page.
YouTube: Add a personal touch to your requests for donations or to your thank you messages by creating a video. Tell your story, relay your mission, compel your friends and family to donate and participate.
State the Facts: Include statistics and HIV/AIDS related news in your status updates and emails. Some great resources: AFC’s Inside Story blog and POZ.
Dress up your email signature: Add a link to your fundraising page in the signature of your email. Make it as easy as possible to become a donor. Branded email signatures coming soon!
Bake Sale!: Old or young, everyone loves a sweet pick-me-up after lunch. Set up a snack area in your office with a sign that reads “Suggested donation: $1”. This is a great opportunity to recruit co-workers to join as walkers/runners as well. You’ll be surprised how fast the goodies disappear and the donation jar fills up!
Corporate Matching Gifts: Ask your HR department if your company has a matching gift program. Encourage your donors to ask their employers as well.
Other Matching Gifts: If your employer does not have a matching gift program already established, ask your boss to match the proceeds from your next fundraiser. This may seem bold, but you cannot receive what you do not ask for. You never know who may become your biggest advocate and supporter.
Make everyday Casual Friday: Charge your co-workers $5 per day to wear jeans to the office – they get to be comfortable and support your cause! (Of course, be sure to gain corporate approval first.)
Lunch Fundraiser: Find a local restaurant to donate a catered lunch to you for walking/running. Anyone who pays the suggested donation of $5 or $10 is welcome to the feast!
Dining Out for a Cause: Ask a local restaurant to donate a portion of one evening’s proceeds to your AIDS Run & Walk Chicago fund. Make invitations or fliers to get the word out to your friends and co-workers – you’ll bring business to the restaurant and make strides toward your fundraising goal.
Chili-off!: Host a party where a handful of guests all prepare a chili dish (or other main course that can be made in a variety of ways). Invite other friends to be “taste-testers” – have everyone donate $5 or $10 to sample the chili.
“And the winner is …”: Use your charm and social skills to acquire raffle prizes from businesses that you frequent or brands with which you have a relationship. Sell raffle tickets for $2 each or 10 tickets for $15. That’s a bargain!
Benefit Show: If you know a band, dj or comedian, ask if he/she would be interested in doing a benefit for your AIDS Run & Walk Chicago fund at a local bar or coffeehouse.
Guest Bartending: Many pubs and taverns around town will be more than happy to let you get behind the bar for a night. All of your tips go toward your fundraising goal. Please contact AIDS Run & Walk Chicago if you’d like to be put in touch with bars that are open to this idea.
Sport the Red Ribbon: Wear an AIDS awareness ribbon or pin a couple of days a week – let it start the conversation for you. Each conversation is a valuable opportunity to ask for a donation.
Complete the Donor Checklist: People cannot donate to you if they don’t know you’re walking/running. Talk to everyone you meet throughout the day. See if you can get everyone on the Donor Checklist checked off!
Tips for Students
Bake Sale: Invite both faculty and students to showcase their baking skills in your bake sale. Hold regular bake sales to build a customer base – people love their afternoon treats!
Penny Wars: Create a competition between classrooms or majors, the goal being to collect the most pennies. Pennies give positive points, silver coins give negative points. In the end, the team with the highest dollar amount wins! Solicit the donation of a winning prize that will motivate the teams.
Host a Sports Tournament: 3v3 basketball, badminton or dodgeball – charge $5 for individual participation or $25 to form a team. Sell donated goods at your concession stand. Charge $1 for spectators.
Pie Smash: Ask a teacher or the student body president to agree to be smashed in the face with a pie to raise money for AIDS Run & Walk Chicago. Students and faculty try to out-bid each other for the privilege of throwing the pie.
Involve parents: Don’t be shy! Send a message to all parents that includes a donation form and AIDS Run & Walk Chicago website information. In addition to their generosity, they may have friends and co-workers who would like to donate.
Have other ideas?
Send us an email to share: firstname.lastname@example.org.