Make your fundraising more effective and enjoyable by following these ideas.
Personalise your fundraising page
Your story is unique and so is the reason you're fundraising. Your fundraising page is the perfect place to let people know why you are supporting the hospital. If you are supporting a specific department or research project, explain why. Upload a photo to make your page more personal—it connects your purpose to a face, and can bring your story alive.
Set your target
Our data shows that setting higher targets results in larger donations, so choose a target that challenges you while remaining achievable. If you reach your target early, then set another that’s higher again. People want you to achieve your goals and everyone will feel a sense of satisfaction when you reach your target, especially if it's been a challenge.
The first donation
It's a cultural norm for people to match the donation amount received previously. Use this fact to your advantage by donating first yourself and setting the bar high. People who donate after you will feel obligated to match your level of support. If it's not within your means, ask the person you feel will make the largest donation to donate first, which will have the same effect as donating yourself.
Don’t be afraid to ask for donations
There is a well-known saying in fundraising: “If you don’t ask then the answer will always be no”. People close to you will be expecting you to ask them, so don’t feel shy about it. It may feel awkward at first but, soon it will become second nature. Some people will inevitably decline to donate, and there are many reasons for this that are outside your control. Be friendly, respect their decision and continue to ask others.
Contact people close to you first
The people who know you best should be the first people you contact. They will probably already know why you are fundraising for the Hospital and will be familiar with your story, which will make them more likely to donate. Many may be just waiting to be asked.
Share your page
The best way to share your page is to copy and paste the URL when you are promoting it. If people can’t find your page they can’t donate, no matter how well your story resonates with them. Social media platforms such as Facebook make it easy to share your page with lots of people quickly.
Sometimes people can miss Facebook posts so success relies on using more than one way of sharing your page. Consider emailing people you know directly and asking them to pass it email along. To maximise the number of people who see it, remember that different age groups use different types of communication tools, so try to accommodate as many groups as possible.
When you do share, remember to include a brief story about why you are supporting the hospital. And remember, be succinct: if your story is too long people will lose interest and move on.
Remember to thank people
When people feel valued and appreciated they are more likely to donate a second time, so always be timely in thanking people and in letting them know the success of your fundraising. This is important in annual fundraising events as people who have been thanked and informed about your past campaigns will likely donate the following year. It also builds personal relationships and people won't feel as though you only want them for money.
Don't forget your workplace
Many companies encourage their staff to be involved in charity events and will support you to do this. Ask to include a link to your fundraising page in your company newsletter and share your story through it. Some companies also have a dollar-matching scheme and will match the amount that you raise, or make a corporate donation themselves. Your colleagues may also want to participate or help out with your event.
Best time to ask for donations
People tend to be more generous at the end of financial year, Christmas time and other holidays. Donations above $2 to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead are 100% tax deductible, so don't forget to mention this especially for events towards the end of financial year. Asking for donations before dates that are significant to you, such as remission from cancer, loss of a loved one or the beginning of a health journey will create more impact—a shared reason for fundraising connects people.