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FUNDRAISING

Fundraising Letter

Write a letter to friends and family explaing your Youthlinc experience

Provide a Good

Sell different products to raise funds for your trip

Provide a Service

Provide services for a donation to your Youthlinc trip

Holiday

Take advantage of Holiday specific products

FUNDRAISING TIPS

Fundraising is an effective way to help offset the costs of your international experience. It is also an important way to gain leadership experience by rallying support for a good cause. Over the years, 60% of our students and Mentors have been successful in raising all or most of their trips costs through family, friends, neighbors, teachers – people who are proud of your commitment to service. Here are some suggestions as you raise funds:

  1. Learn how to use the four most powerful words: CAN YOU HELP ME? You will be surprised how many people are willing to support youth as they do local & international service, and work towards being a lifetime humanitarian. But before you ask for help, you need to be able to answer a few key questions:
    1. What are you doing and why? (Research our website for what you’ll be doing, then be genuine in explaining why you want to do these things. How will this experience enhance your leadership skills, give you an opportunity to help others, or improve your life?)
    2. How will their support help you accomplish your goal? How will their support help them accomplish their goals? This is often the hardest, yet most important question to answer. If you can, be specific: “As a church leader, you hope to promote good-will in our local community. Youthlinc will give me the opportunity to serve locally…”
  2. Get out there. When looking for support, be outgoing. Ask friends & family, ask people at church, ask your teachers and classmates, ask a local politician, write an article for a local newspaper, ask friends on Facebook. JUST ASK. You will fail 100% of the times you don’t try.
  3. Be persistent. After asking someone for help, follow up and remind them that their support means a lot to you. This demonstrates your dedication, and oftentimes is just what is needed in gaining support.
  4. Do your research. There are dozens of websites that offer hundreds of ways to raise money. Here are just a few websites that we’ve looked at:
    1. www.fundraising-ideas.org
    2. www.fasttrackfundraising.com
    3. www.fundraiserhelp.com/fundraiser-ideas.htm
  5. Be enthusiastic and have fun. The more exciting and memorable your fundraising activity—the more people will acknowledge your dedication, and will want to support you.
  6. Show your gratitude! Regardless if you get donations or not, let folks know you appreciate their support. And for goodness sake, send donors thank you notes!
  7. Just do it! The only way to be successful at fundraising is to do it. Be persistent but very grateful. You are doing good things, locally and internationally. Be proud of yourself.

TIPS FROM AN ALUM

Gina Coleman—past Youthlinc Kenya Team Participant and Assistant Team Leader

  • There are really only two things to remember when it comes to fundraising for your humanitarian aid trip: Be prepared with what you are doing and why, and be confident. People want to help you! Before you go out fundraising, think carefully over your options. Be aware that face-to-face interactions are infinitely more productive than phone calls, except perhaps in the case of family and friends.
  • For many of us, our family and friends are the first place to start. Before I went to Kenya, I sent out a holiday “card”which was simply a one page synopsis of why I was going to Kenya, with photos of the previous year’s trip as border. 
  • Photos of the children helped immensely, as well as describing exactly what my tasks on the trip would be. I asked for donations, included a self-addressed stamped envelope for people to return, and with relatively little work collected over $800. I sent out around 35 letters, and included previous employers and friends’ parents. For those whom I did not hear back from, if I felt comfortable, I called to follow up and just asked if they had received the letter and if it was a bad time of year for a donation. I did not get one rejection when I followed up this way; in fact, people were embarrassed that they had forgotten to send a donation! I was sure to tell people they could use the donation as a tax write-off and that I could provide a receipt for tax purposes, but no one asked for one. Be prepared to get a receipt from Youthlinc if necessary.

SET UP YOUR GOALS

Please complete the following worksheet to have a better understanding of your personal fundraising.

Part I: How much do I need to raise before each monthly deadline? Use the information from you social fundraising page to complete this portion.

 

Dec 1 Goal: ________

 

Jan 1 Goal: (Jan 1 total – Dec 1 total) = _________

 

Feb 1 Goal: (Feb 1 total – Jan 1 total) = _________

 

Mar 1 Goal: (Mar 1 total – Feb 1 total) = _________

 

Apr 1 Goal: (Apr 1 total – Mar 1 total) = _________

 

Part II: My monthly fundraising plan.

January ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

February _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

March __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

FUNDRAISING IDEAS

Write a list of all your friends, family members, friends of your parents, coworkers, etc. Then draft a letter or email(see the example in this section). Divide your financial goal by the number of folks you have on your list. Then in your letter (photos of your site help!), ask folks to help you reach your goal by donating X amount. Say you have 100 folks on your list. Your letter would go something like this: “My goal is $2,300. If everyone donates just 23 dollars, I will be able to participate in this life-changing experience…” Be sure to include instructions on how to donate online, a link to your social fundraising page. Include your ‘ask’ in your first line. Otherwise, people may not read though your whole email to find out what you want. Be direct, advocate for the good you are doing. Set a price point: $30, $50, etc. Refer to a deadline (the first of every month is a payment deadline). Include a direct link to your social fundraising page. Follow up with a phone call and resend your email as a reminder. If you must write a hard copy letter, enclose this form.

  • Engage local elementary schools to do Penny Wars, Read-a-thons, etc. Many teachers are looking for ways to get their students involved in international causes. Be prepared to present about your Youthlinc experiences!
  • Spaghetti dinners, Pancake breakfasts, etc. – Put on a meal for parents, donors, and anyone else involved with Youthlinc. Have a suggested donation of like $10 a plate and go to town.
  • Put on a concert – Have local bands come to your school. Charge students an entrance fee.
  • Car Wash/Yard Work – Ask for donations or a set amount
  • Garage Sale – Hold a garage sale.
  • Auction off “stuff.” This can be in the form of old belongings, office equipment, or your own art, etc.
  • 5K – Put on a 5K run, baseball game, or anything else and attach an entry fee.
  • Put a large water jug in a convenient location and kindly ask people to put their loose change in it.
  • Movie Night – Play the movies in a large room with projector. Either charge to get into the event, offer the event for free but charge for concessions, or don’t charge anything but suggest a donation.

fundraising letter

Donation Letter Brainstorm Worksheet

This is my list of people I will send my letter to.

  • Take 10 minutes to create your list of people you plan to send your letter to. Utilize Mom or Dad. Make sure to save this list!

How much will I ask?

  • I still need to fundraise $_____________
  • I will send my letter to __________ people.
  • Amount I need to fundraise $___________  / number of people I am sending my letter to ___________ = I am going to ask people to donate $____________

I will include the following topics to personalize my letter: 

  1. My main service site is: ____________________________________________
  2. At my main service site I:___________________________________________
  1. I am on the __________________________________________ Youthlinc team.
  1. I am on the _____________________________________________ committee.
  1. On that committee I will be doing _____________________________________
  1. My team job is ___________________________________________________
  1. My donation link is ________________________________________________

* If you want to make a shorter URL, you can go to tinyurl.com. Copy and paste your donation link and it will generate a much shorter one for you. 

I will send out my letter by? 

  • Mailing a letter
  • Email
  • Social Media Post
  • Social Media Messages
  • Text
  • Other:______________

I will send out my letters by the following date:  ___________________ (keep in mind your next payment deadline)

Follow Up

After sending my letter, I will follow up with people by the following date: ____________

I will follow up via:

  • Phone call (If no one answers, make sure to leave a message)
  • Text Message
  • Social Media Message
  • Other: _____________

Follow Up Tips

  1. Make these personal messages, not a large blast.
  2. Remind them of the letter you sent them originally. (People often set it somewhere and forget)
  3. Talk to them about your local service so far and what you plan to do in country. 
  4. Remind them of how to make a payment.

Example Blurb

“Hi Aunt Suzie, this is Bekah. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’m going to 

Cambodia this summer on a humanitarian trip. I sent you a letter about my trip 

asking for a small donation. I know things get busy, so I just wanted to follow up to see if you received my letter and if you think you’ll be able to contribute anything? Thanks!”

Thank your contributors!!

  1. Thank every person that contributes to your trip. 
    1. Send a personalized text.
    2. Write a personalized card.
    3. Write a personalized email. 
    4. Call them to say thank you. 
  1. People love to see what you accomplished, send an update of what you did on your trip. 
    1. If you have people that contributed more than the amount you asked, go the extra step and send them pictures and a note when you get home from your trip. 

PROVIDE A GOOD

Brainstorm

WHAT will you be selling?

  1. Papa John’s Cards 
  2. Papa Murphy’s Cards
  3. Great Harvest Cards
  4. Tackle N Tail Beef Jerky
  5. Holiday Oil Car Wash Coupons
  6. Swig Cookies
  7. Entertainment Books
  8. Scentsy
  9. Fat Boys
  10. Other __________________________

Set a PRICE. There should be a minimum price, but allow for buyer to contribute more.

$  _____________________ per item

Who are your BUYERS? Think of communitunities you belong to: neighborhood, school, church, clubs, sports, parents’ work, etc.

  1. _______________________
  2. _______________________ (Optional)
  3. _______________________ (Optional)

WHEN and WHERE will you be selling? Select a date/location and stick to it!

Date _______________________ Location _______________________

Date _______________________ Location _______________________ (Optional)

Date _______________________ Location _______________________ (Optional)

Before You Sell

PURCHASE all necessary materials.

All items will be purchased by __________________________________

Create a FLYER. See next page.

Write a one minute SPIEL. A spiel is a short speech or story that can be used to persuade a potential buyer. Use the information from your flyer to encourage people to buy your product. Practice this before you go out to sell. The more practiced and genuine you are, the more successful you will be.

Fat Boys-box of 25 for $30. Student keeps $15. This would need to be done on a more wide spread level. The man who sells these delivers them from Logan. 

https://www.swignsweets.com/fundraising/

A short explanation on how our traditional fundraiser works is that a box of 30 swig sugar cookies and frosting is sold of $20, and depending on how many boxes are sold during the fundraiser, you would immediately earn 30-40% of sales ($6-8/per box)….meaning, with the lowest price break, for every 16/17 boxes sold, a total of $100 would be earned, and at the highest break, you could earn $8,000 or more, which would be incredible!! These cookies are pre-baked, come frozen, and stay freezer fresh for up to 6 months which always helps boost sales. 

 

The other fundraiser opportunity we have as an in-store spirit event, where you would earn 15% of all sales that came into a store. These events are very simple. They require zero volunteers. To get started on one, all you would need to do is pick a date and location, do a little advertising letting people know about your event and when it will take place and then from open to close to close, you would receive 15% of all sales that came into the store and mentioned your group, the fundraiser, or showed the flyer you choose to advertise with. The minimum sales for these events are $100.

Buy Great Harvest Savings Cards from your nearby Great Harvest for $8. You sell these cards for $20 (worth $65.00) to make a $12 profit. 

Buy a booklet of 40 washes for $100. Sell these washes for $10 each (a profit of $7.50 per wash)

Student keeps 25% of sales up to $1999 before taxes, and keep 30% of sales $2,000 and above (before taxes). Contact Jen Howick (jen@wicklessistheway.com) for more info

Does your family have a famous pie, brownies, or salsa recipe? Have a cooking party and sell your delicious concoction to family and friends. 

  • The Papa John’s Fundraiser is a discount card that you purchase from any Papa John’s store for $1. This low price helps assure that you really don’t have much to lose from this fundraiser. Especially when they have about $20 worth of discounts on the card. 
  • You can return any cards that you don’t sell – keep your receipt! 
  • Purchase these early to do throughout the year. Since this fundraiser is not a set schedule, the more time you have, the more you can sell! 
  • You can do this individually or you can do it as a committee or a team-wide effort.  
    • If you do it as a committee or a team-wide fundraiser make goals of how much money everyone needs to bring in.
  • For the sake of selling a higher quantity, people have found it is best to keep the price lower, $15-$20. If you wanted to sell them lower or higher, you can, but past individuals have found that $15 – $20 was the most successful price.
  • Some people have even posted about the cards on Facebook and had good success selling them that way. 

PROVIDE A Service

Brainstorm

WHAT will you be doing?

  1. Snow Shoveling 
  2. Baby sitting
  3. Window Washing
  4. Leaf Raking
  5. Christmas Present Wrapping
  6. Sports Camp
  7. Dance Camp
  8. Power Wash Garbage Cans
  9. Other __________________________

Set a PRICE. There should be a minimum price, but allow for buyer to contribute more.

$  _____________________ per item

Who are you working for? Think of communitunities you belong to: neighborhood, school, church, clubs, sports, parents’ work, etc.

  1. _______________________
  2. _______________________ (Optional)
  3. _______________________ (Optional)

WHEN and WHERE? Select a date/location and stick to it!

Date _______________________ Location _______________________

Date _______________________ Location _______________________ (Optional)

Date _______________________ Location _______________________ (Optional)

Before You Work

PURCHASE all necessary materials.

All items will be purchased by __________________________________

Create a FLYER. 

Write a one minute SPIEL. A spiel is a short speech or story that can be used to persuade someone. Use the information from your flyer to encourage people to help support you. Practice this before you go to talk to people. The more practiced and genuine you are, the more successful you will be.

Services to offer

Offer to wrap Christmas presents for a fixed price or donation.

Organize a Friday night babysitting camp with fun activities for kids so mom and dad can catch a movie, go out for dinner, or enjoy a date night together. Doing this around the holidays can be nice for parents. Do it in February around Valentines so parents can have a fun special night. Same for around Christmans

Offer to rake leaves, shovel snow, pull weeds, mow lawns, or any type of yard service for a fixed price or donation. Make sure to think about all seasons. The people that need their leaves raked will also need their snow removed and lawn mowed. You will be fundraising for many months.

Offer to power-wash people’s garbage cans. No one likes doing this job, but it is something that everyone needs done! This is typically best as a spring fundraiser when it is warmer. You can charge $15-$20 per can. (Maybe a deal like 1 for $20 or 2 for $30) You will need to find access to a power washer. Partner up with other team members and hit multiple neighborhoods to maximize time. Can be very profitable if planned and executed well. 

Do you play an instrument? Give lessons to anyone who wants to learn what you play.

HOLIDAY OPTIONS

Brainstorm

WHAT will you be selling/providing?

  •  Wrapping Christmas presents 
  • Cookie decorating kits 
  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Homemade cards
  • Fresh or frozen cookies/baked goods 
  • Babysitting night
  • Other __________________________

WHAT will I need to purchase? Don’t forget about materials needed to wrap any gifts. 

Here is a list of all the items I will need: 

  1. _______________________
  2. _______________________ 
  3. _______________________ 
  4. _______________________
  5. _______________________
  6. _______________________ 

Set a PRICE. There should be a minimum price, but allow for buyer to contribute more. 

$  _____________________ per item

Who are your BUYERS? Think of communitunities you belong to: neighborhood, school, church, clubs, sports, parents’ work, etc.

  1. _______________________
  2. _______________________ (Optional)
  3. _______________________ (Optional)

WHEN and WHERE will you be selling? Select a date/location and stick to it!

Date _______________________ Location _______________________

Date _______________________ Location _______________________ (Optional)

Date _______________________ Location _______________________ (Optional)

*Calculate profit by subtracting any upfront costs from the amount you are selling the item for.

Before You Sell

PURCHASE all necessary materials.

All items will be purchased by __________________________________

Pick a delivery date.

I will deliver all items on ______________________________________

Create a FLYER. See next page.

Write a one minute SPIEL. A spiel is a short speech or story that can be used to persuade a potential buyer. Use the information from your flyer to encourage people to buy your product. Practice this before you go out to sell. The more practiced and genuine you are, the more successful you will be.

Wrap Christmas Presents

Cookie decorating kits 

Sell Wrapping Paper

Make and Sell Christmas Cookies

Holiday Wreaths

Caroling

Holiday Cards

Cookbooks

Babysitting night (so parents can wrap presents or shop for presents) 

Sell Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Sell Chocolate Bars

Candy Grams

Flowers 

Chocolate covered pretzels 

Homemade cards 

Babysitting night

Sell Flower Bouquets

Bake Sale

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On the youthlinc Service Year!