Tip of the Week Plan Bake Sale at Your Office or School

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					                              FUNDRAISING TOOLBOX

Everyone can have fun fundraising! Invite your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors to join you in
supporting this important cause. It can be as simple as taking five minutes to email a note and
fundraising page link to all of your online contacts, or as involved as hosting a wine and cheese hour at
a local bar—whatever works best for you. Whether you are shy or the life of the party, there are
strategies here for everyone to meet their fundraising goals, and have fun doing it. Thank you for your
enthusiasm and support of GRID Alternatives and the families we serve – don’t forget that the money
you raise has a tangible impacts on individuals, families and our communities.
The basics:
Fundraising today is not all that much different than it was 100 years ago, before Facebook and Twitter
gave us easy access to a broad range of contacts. The best way to get people’s support is still to ask
your contacts personally, through a face-to-face interaction, a phone call, or a personal letter, even if
you send that letter via email. Social media can support your effort, but is not a substitute for good old
fashioned pavement pounding.

So here’s how you get started:

    Set up a fundraising webpage with Firstgiving.com

    Write a personal solicitation email/letter. We’ve written a sample letter to help guide you, but
    your own words are always best. Your friends and colleagues will be inspired by your passion! If
    you’ve volunteered for GRID Alternatives before, include a photo for greater impact. Be sure to
    include the Solarthon video (link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bam_IUHjpXU) in your email to
    friends to get them excited! If you send it postal mail, don’t forget to include a self-addressed
    stamped envelope.

    Send your email/letter broadly, not just to people you think will be interested in your cause. You
    will be surprised at who will support your campaign. Your participation may be a way for them to
    give back when they just don’t have the time to
    participate in charitable work themselves.
                                                                  Success Story: Lee
    Call people you know well. Prepare a phone pitch              Lee wasn’t very confident about
    or just some talking points from your letter to help
                                                                  fundraising at the beginning, but he
    guide your conversations. People will have
    questions so make sure you are prepared.                      really wanted to be part of Solarthon
                                                                  so he went for it. Since he hadn’t
    Follow up. Send out a follow-up email or letter               sent out a lot of email solicitations
    about a month before the event, and a week before             over the years, he decided to send a
    and let people know how much you need to achieve              fundraising email with a link to his
    your fundraising goals. Help your contacts see how            Firstgiving page to every contact in
    they are a part of your success, e.g. “If 10 people           his address book. He posted a photo
    donate just $10, I can reach my goal! Will you be             of himself with his family on his
    one of my 10?” You can also use humor or casual               profile page. It worked. He received
    language like, “I know you really meant to donate             donations and supportive comments
    with my last request, so don’t worry! You still have
                                                                  from his current contacts as well as
    one last chance to help me reach my goal and
    support solar for a low-income family!”                       people he had not been in touch with
                                                                  for years. Lee raised $1900 from his
Post your fundraising effort and goal on your                     Firstgiving page alone!
personal blog, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc.
Post updates so that people can follow your progress
and help you reach your goal.


    Put your fundraising link in your email signature. Include a one-line pitch, such as: “Help me
    bring affordable, clean energy and jobs to California families in need.”

S
 Broadening your reach:
 Once you’ve spread the message to your immediate network, you can start branching out to increase
 your fundraising. Make lists of friends-of-friends; acquaintances from different areas of your life; local
 businesses you frequent; other places you go and meet people. Look for links among these people as
 well. The more points of contact you have with them the better. Once you have your list, start reaching
 out.

    Service providers: Ask your dentist, doctor, massage therapist, mechanic, veterinarian, insurance
    agent, exercise instructors, etc. for a donation or matching donation, or invite them to donate a set
    amount to your effort for every client they see over the course of a day or two.

    Local businesses:
        Ask your local bartender, gym, yoga studio, hair/nail               Success Story: Ric
           salon, or corner store to let you put a donation jar out
        Ask local venues to donate a portion of their proceeds              For Ric, a construction
           for a day or other time period, like happy hour. Publicize        worker who wanted to gain a
           it to your networks and in the community.                         foothold in solar, Solarthon
        Ask a local movie theatre, music venue, or restaurant to
                                                                             was a chance to learn skills
           donate gift certificates to you and then sell or auction
           them off.
                                                                             and network with industry
                                                                             professionals. He was
    Employers: Find out if your company can sponsor you with a               worried, though, about
    matching grant. Urge your donors to investigate matching grant           asking for money from
    programs at their companies as well. You can also ask your               friends and co-workers
    manager or human resources department if you can trade a                 during the economic
    vacation day or sick day for a day of pay.                               downturn. In the end he
                                                                             didn’t have to; he asked his
    Alumni associations: Contact your college fraternity or                  dentist to sponsor him, and
    sorority’s local or national association or your schools’ alumni         got a check for his entire
    associations as ask them to donate or place an ad in an alumni
                                                                             goal!
    newsletter asking for donations.



                                                Fundraising at your workplace:
                                                 Get creative at work, and make donating fun for your
                                                 coworkers.
Success Story: Dana
                                                 Ask your company to host a fundraising event to
 When Dana signed up to for                      benefit your efforts, such as a dress-down day in
Solarthon, she wrote on her                      which staff pay $5 to come to work in jeans on a specific
application, “I am not employed full-            day.
time, so I may not be able to raise all
                                                 Set up a spare change jar in the lunchroom that your
the money.” She was wrong. After an              coworkers can empty their pockets into. Include some
encouraging call from GRID                       information about Solarthon.
Alternatives staff, she posted a
pledge sheet at her workplace and                Host a brown bag lunch about GRID Alternatives,
found that co-workers she barely                 Solarthon and your fundraising efforts to inspire people
knew donated to her campaign                     to donate or to spread the word. Share the Solarthon
because they were proud of her                   2012 video.
efforts and inspired by the cause.
The largest single donation she                  Hold a fundraising competition. Offer a prize like
                                                 donated movie or museum passes or a home-cooked
   meal to the coworker who brings in the most donations.



Fundraising events:
Dinner parties, creative contests and other social events not only raise money for Solarthon, but also
help you share your passion for GRID Alternatives with your friends, and turn them into supporters too.

   Host a fundraising wine and cheese party or happy hour at a local bar or restaurant, and ask
   the venue to donate the food or drinks.

   Create a fun competition, like an art or talent contest (ie, sand castle building, recycled materials
   sculpture, apple pie baking, or balancing kitchen utensils on your nose) and charge an entry fee.
   Give half to the winner and half to the cause.

   Organize a sports competition, like neighborhood                 Success Story: Carl
   basketball, horseshoe, cards, bowling or other, and
   charge people to play. Again, give half the proceeds to          Carl raised $500 during his
   the winner and keep the rest for your cause.                     campaign with one simple
                                                                    strategy: ask a lot of people for a
   Host a holiday-themed party at your house and ask                little. He requested $8—no more
   for a $10-$20 donation. Get the food and drinks                  and no less—from as many people
   donated and keep it simple. Ask a local musician to              as he could find, and met his goal,
   provide entertainment. This is a fun way to bring                no problem!
   friends together to support you!

   Host a movie night. Charge an entry fee and sell
   homemade baked goods.

   Ask for donations instead of birthday, holiday or anniversary gifts.

Sell Yourself!
Turn your special talents or extra stuff into cash for the cause.

   Hold a bake sale: Sell your homemade goods in your work lunchroom or community space, or
   even in front of your house. Do a little advertising and see your fundraising dollars go up!

   Organize a neighborhood garage sale: Do some spring cleaning, and get your neighbors to do
   the same, offering them a portion of the sale proceeds. Sell more valuable items on Craigslist or
   eBay.

   Used book sale: Collect used books from your neighbors and coworkers and sell them to your
   local used book store.

   Car wash. Ask your local gas station to donate use of their space, and invite friends to help you.

   Neighborhood services. Offer yourself up for lawn-mowing, babysitting, designated driving, house
   or pet sitting, dog-walking, or whatever else you can do. Be sure to tell them it’s for a cause to
   increase your tip!

				
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