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Fundraising Tips, Tricks, and SO MANY Ideas!

Asking for donations can sometimes feel a little intimidating. But you don’t have to do it alone! This is a bit of a long blog post, but I hope it will get your ideas flowing, and provide just the inspiration you need to get after your fundraising goals. Let’s GO!

First Off: Some General Best Practices

MAKE IT PERSONAL. Edit and personalize your fundraising page- use your own picture, set a goal, and share why or supporting BBCH is important to you. Your excitement will be contagious, and on average, people who personalize their fundraising page earn 5x more than those who do not! Share your passion and personality on your page, and your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc. will want to support you and help you meet your goal. (PS- even if you didn’t personalize your fundraising page to start with- you can always go back and make edits or share updates!)

SHARE!!! Asking for support (or for $$$) can sometimes feel uncomfortable. But while you might not get every donation you ask for, you won’t get anything without asking! Pro tip: the average donor needs to see your appeal 3 times before they’ll notice and support your effort. That’s why you should…

Get Social! Share your fundraising link- and a sentence about why you support for BBCH- on your social media platforms. It’s a pretty gentle way to ask for donations. And it works! With our one of our fundraising programs (Extra Life- more on them later), folks who used Facebook for fundraising saw an average of $150+ raised. You can also ask your followers to share your fundraising posts as well to reach a wider audience, and share updates and thank donors in the comments.

Emails, texts, and phone calls all work well, too! All you have to do is ask!

Make the First Donation: It sounds silly, but if your fundraising page is at $0, folks are more skeptical of donating. Kick start your campaign by making that first donation- even if it’s just $5. One of our fundraising programs has found that when organizers make the first donation to their own fundraising page, they raise an average of TEN TIMES more for BBCH!

Second, Put the FUN in Fundraising with Milestones, Incentives, and Challenges!

That’s me: breaking eggs and
breaking [fundraising] records!

I mentioned one of our fundraising programs- called Extra Life- above. Extra Life centers around gaming, and our Extra Lifers are known for “game-ifying” the fundraising process and coming up with creative and effective ways to “earn” donations through incentives, challenges, and milestones. I have used some of these ideas myself: for example, I offered to take a pie to the face if I raised $500, and I met that goal SO FAST on my social media that I offered to have an egg cracked over my head for another $100 in donations. You might consider offering up an incentive when you hit a fundraising milestone or goal, or offer to complete a challenge or give donors a “reward” for donations of a certain amount. I’ve been collecting ideas that I’ve seen our Extra Lifers share over the past few years, and have put together a compilation of some those ideas below, in case you find one you’d like to borrow, or make your own.

Please note: there is no pressure to attempt any of these, or to do anything that would make you uncomfortable. Straight up fundraising is just fine, and always appreciated! But, that said, even if you don’t want to use one of these challenges yourself, I’m sure you can appreciate the collective creativity of our Extra Lifers. 😊

Smorgasboard of Ideas:

Our friend James knit this $carf!
  • Do you have a special cookie recipe? Raise chickens? Have a pool in your yard? Draw funny sketches of your pets? Entice family and friends to donate with an option to win homemade cookies, a dozen eggs, a summer pool party invitation, or a “commissioned” sketch of their cat. You might offer the incentive to donors who give more than a certain amount, or put all your donor names in a hat and draw one winner for your unique, personalized prize. We’ve heard of fundraisers offering bike repair and hand-knit scarves as donation rewards- think about a way to put your unique skills to use!
  • Let your followers know that when you hit a certain fundraising milestone, you will invite your spouse/child/friend/top donor give you a “makeover” (silly or serious), or do a make-up “tutorial” on you. Doesn’t even have to be real make-up, washable markers work, too. 😉 Stream it, share videos, or post photos to social media.
  • When you reach your fundraising goal, celebrate by wearing a white t-shirt and let your kids/friends turn you into an art-project by decorating (paint? fabric markers? glitter glue?) the shirt. Maybe blindfold them, depending on skill level/desired challenge.
  • Write on a t-shirt that you will wear while fundraising. You could write donor’s names, or let donors choose what it says. Or, say you’re a Red Sox fan… for a larger donation or milestone you might write “I love the Yankees” on the shirt, or even wear a store-bought Yankees shirt while fundraising? Sometimes friends like to see you squirm a little. 😜
  • Along the lines of the shirt idea, you could also make a “Wall of Fame” poster or sign to list donors’ names and feature it in your fundraiser or social media videos/pics/stream/coverage. You could also offer personalized thank you notes or videos (bonus cute points if they involve your kids or pets) to donors.
  • Some of our Extra Lifers have even gone beyond- and will write donors names ON THEIR OWN FACE during a stream. You could also add stickers, temporary tattoos, or stick googly eyes all over your face, every time a donation is received.
  • It hurts just to share… but I’ve seen folks offer to walk across a floor covered in Legos once they reach a certain fundraising milestone.
  • More than just a thank you, some fundraisers compose short songs (or poems) for donors who give a certain amount on the spot, or take karaoke requests. One individual even offered to write short essays- on the topic of the donor’s choice- in return for a donation. Another had their kids send short videos and/or artwork and tokens of thanks.
  • Chance to throw a pie, plate of whipped cream, a generous plate of ranch dressing, a water balloon, shoot a squirt gun, spray silly string, crack an egg, or dump a bucket of ice water, etc. on/at the fundraiser for a certain donation amount or when a goal/milestone is met. You could raffle off chances, too.
  • One brave and brilliant mind filled black balloons with gross condiments (ex. mayo, relish, sardines, pancake syrup). Donors who gave a certain amount were invited to randomly choose a balloon, which the fundraiser then popped over their head. 🎈
  • Dance challenges or TikTok dances.
  • Get a tattoo when a BIG milestone is hit (usually an Extra Life-related tattoo… Yeah. Our gamers are THAT dedicated).
  • Donate to add a song of your choice to the fundraiser’s workout playlist. Or do some karaoke- good or bad depending on your talents- when you hit a certain donation milestone. You could even ask for donations in order to STOP singing, or let donors choose/vote on song choice.
20 challenges for a d20 dice!
  • Grab a dice and come up with a list of things you could do, one idea for each number on the dice (6 ideas for a regular dice, or 20 ideas for a d20). They might be physical challenges, like burpees, squats, push-ups, etc. Or they could just be random things: tell a joke, make up a haiku on the spot, tell us something we don’t know about you… ANYTHING! Then, when someone makes a donation, roll the dice, and whatever number you roll is what you do.
  • Have friends that are fundraising, too? Organize an informal game night or cooking contest, etc. Everyone can participate for a small donation, and once the winner is decided, everyone makes a small donation to the winner’s page. Bragging rights also included, of course! 🙂
  • Polar plunge. Yep. When those donations get hot, you get COLD. Run into the ocean in February, or DIY at home with a bathtub or kiddie pool of ice… but set your goal or milestone, and once you hit it- share the brrrrrr pics or videos with your donors.
  • T-shirt challenge. Every time you earn a donation of a certain amount, you put on another t-shirt and try to do a certain activity. Once those layers add up, it gets more difficult and more silly. You’ll need increasingly larger sizes of shirts… but we’ve seen it increase the donations!
  • COSTUMES! Can you do your run dressed as a hot dog? Stream in a banana costume? Wear the same ugly sweater to work for as many days as donations? You’ll capture the attention- and donations- of more people with your creative costume.
  • Run a mile, hike a mountain, read a book (donors choice?) for every gift made to your fundraiser… find a way to push or challenge yourself in exchange for a donation.
  • Or do you plan to run every day for a month? Hike a certain number of mountains? Bike a specific number of miles? Can you ask folks to pledge $1, $5, or $25 per day/mountain/mile or…?
  • Maybe you hate scary movies? Hallmark movies? Ask for donation pledges for every time you scream during a scary movie, or roll your eyes and groan during a Hallmark movie… then share some photos/video of your reaction, and collect those scary/sappy donations!
  • Double or nothing! Are you willing to donate to the cause too? Offer to match the first $100 in donations, or find a friend or family member (ahem, mom or dad?) willing to incentivize other donations by matching a certain amount… when folks learn their donation will essentially be DOUBLED, they will hit that “donate” button even faster. BONUS POINTS if your employer will offer matching donations or paid volunteer hours for your fundraising!

FOOD CHALLENGES:

  • Eat a mayo (or some other condiment/food you are known for despising) sandwich. Or perhaps brush your teeth with mayo?
  • BUGS. You can find edible bugs, with flavoring or without, online and at specialty stores. How much would it cost (via donation) for you to eat a cricket?
  • Durian fruit candy/snacks (Google it. The smell/taste descriptions are… less than pleasant).
  • Weird tasting sodas (ex. “Lester’s Fixens”). We’ve seen barf-tastic soda flavors such as corn, ranch, bacon, peanut butter + jelly… Or odd/gross-sounding foods, such as pickle cotton candy.
  • BeanBoozled Challenge: buy some Jelly Belly BeanBoozled beans… they have different versions of “fiery” beans, or gross flavors like “rotten milk” and “dirty dishwater,” mixed in with good-tasting flavors. For a certain donation amount you might eat a bean… or when you hit a fundraising milestone you might eat five… and of course share videos/pics so that folks can enjoy the suspense along with you.
  • Or, create a “prize wheel” that lists a number of undesirable foods (bugs, durian candy, spoonful of hot sauce, BeanBoozled bean, etc.) and let donors “spin” the wheel for a donation.
  • If you can handle spicy foods, create your own version of a spicy food challenges (on a scale you are comfortable with)- hot wings, hot sauces, hot peppers, Death Nuts, 1 Chip Challenge, “nitro” gummies…
  • Twisted Pizza/Nachos/Smoothie (etc.): Choose a food item that has lots of toppings or ingredients, like nachos, pizza or a smoothie. Then allow folks who make a donation to choose a topping/ingredient for your food item. Nachos might be topped with cheese and salsa if you have nice donors, or tuna and chocolate sauce if you have donors who want to challenge you. You might also offer the opportunity to remove an ingredient that has been selected for a donation, too.
THE. WHEEL. OF. BABY. FOOD.
  • “Wheel of baby food!” The fundraisers (in this case, a team) took a small lazy susan and filled it with jars of different baby foods. For a certain donation amount, the lazy-susan-wheel was spun… and you can guess where this is going, right? Whatever jar the wheel landed on- the fundraiser had to eat it.
  • What’s a food you love? Chocolate? Meat? Cheese? Offer to go chocolate-free, meat-free, or cheese-free for a certain amount of time (week? month?) if you hit your goal or a fundraising milestone. Dare you live without caffeine for a month? Your donors might like to see you try. 😜

HAIR-RAISING FUNDRAISING:
When a fundraising goal or milestone is met…

Zeke is generous with his facial hair
  • Shave/cut your… head, facial hair, eyebrow, legs. Or shave a strip for every donation received.
  • Wax your… facial hair, legs, back, BODY.
  • Dye your hair/facial hair (and perhaps let donors vote on the color?).
  • Rock a glitter beard
  • One of our Extra Lifers shaved an “Abe Lincoln-“style beard when he hit a fundraising milestone, and then took it up a notch by offering to keep the “Abe” beard one day for every additional $25 donation received. His wife was not a fan, and soon there was a “Team Wife” group making $25 donations to cancel out each donation that attempted to keep the “Abe” beard.
  • Don’t forget- pics or it didn’t happen! 📸

Donation Incentives that Impact Gameplay: If you are actually fundraising via gaming, like our Extra Lifers, here are some ways that donations can impact- for better or for worse- your gameplay. If you’re not gaming, do these ideas help you brainstorm a challenge you could offer as an incentive to your fundraising?

  • Inverted screen or controller
  • “Tunnel vision” (cover screen with paper/cardboard, with only a small hole to see through). Or wear an eye patch, blurry goggles, etc. for a set time.
  • Power/weapon/ability bans
  • Movement delays- you can’t move for 10 second after a donation, or a donation earns you a head start (teammates have to wait to move for 10 seconds after you)
  • Playing with oven mitts on, or using a pair of tiny hands
  • Voice/speaking- you have to speak in a baby voice, singing voice, robot voice, etc. during stream or for a certain amount of time. Or maybe you can only speak single-syllable words, or can’t use words with a certain letter?
  • Donations can earn a player (or their opponent) a “boost”
  • Donate to re-roll, or for an extra turn
  • Stand for 5 minutes of play (can be harder than it sounds if you’re well into a marathon gaming session), stand on one leg, or jump nonstop for a minute while playing

Whew! Thanks for reading and brainstorming with us all the way through this blog! 😉 We can’t wait to see what idea you come up with for your own unique fundraiser for BBCH!