By fundraising for Epilepsy Durham Region, you have the opportunity to change the lives of people with epilepsy, helping them go to school, get access to local care, and feel safe and included in their community. Read through our step-by-step instructions on how to kick start your fundraising.
Choose your fundraising challenge
If the idea of fundraising is overwhelming to you – don’t let it be! Epilepsy Durham Region has a number of suggested fundraising challenges to get you started, from donations for your birthday or wedding to raising awareness at your local fitness fundraiser. Whatever your challenge is, you can create your own fundraising page through CanadaHelps, collect donations, track your progress, and have all of your proceeds directed to Epilepsy Durham Region!
If our suggestions aren’t right for you, then feel free to get creative and create your own fundraiser – like a bake sale or fitness bootcamp. It’s important to do what you enjoy. Are you an artist? Hold an art auction! Are you competitive and like to play sports? Plan a mini tournament! As long as you have fun, and are passionate about the cause, donations will follow.
Set a fundraising goal
When you choose your fundraising challenge and create your personal fundraising page on CanadaHelps, you can set a fundraising goal for yourself. A goal is an important tool to help your supporters rally around your cause, and it will help keep you focused as you begin putting your fundraising plan in action. You can always adjust your goal on your fundraising page down the road.
REMEMBER – it doesn’t matter how much money you raise. Your efforts will make a difference in the lives of families touched by epilepsy. Be ambitious – you’ll be surprised at how people are eager to support something important to you!
Identify your network of support
Think about all the people who can help you reach your fundraising goal. This doesn’t have to be just people who can donate – it may include volunteered time of friends that can help you to plan your event, or local businesses that can provide items for your fundraising activities.
Branch out and be creative when you make your list. Think beyond the family and friends. Consider people like your coach, doctor, and teachers. Many people want to give to a great cause...all you need to do is ask (and be sure to express your personal connection and why you chose this cause)!
Once you create your list, be sure to send your personal fundraising link from CanadaHelps to all of your contacts. To stay organized, create a contacts database to help keep track of messaging your network and send thank you emails after you receive a donation.
Start asking for donations
It’s time to start raising some money and asking for donations (cheques made payable to Epilepsy Durham Region). Here are some effective ways to make your fundraising ask and amplify your efforts:
- Craft a fundraising email. Emails are the fastest and most effective way of asking for donations. Don’t forget to add a compelling personal touch of why this cause is important to you.
- Write a fundraising letter. Yes, people do still send mail through the post and nothing makes you stand out and adds a personal touch quite like a letter. Make sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope to make it easier for your recipient to give right away and always be sure to collect donor information (full name, address, and telephone) for tax receipting purposes. Download our third party event pledge form here.
- Use social media. It’s the best way to reach the largest number of people and share the link to your personal fundraising page. Come up with fun posts that promote your fundraising campaign and keep your followers updated on your progress. It’ll serve as a friendly reminder for people to contribute to your cause!
- Tell the media. Your local paper, radio station or school newspaper may be interested in covering your fundraising campaign. Reach out and make a pitch! If you’re hosting an event, add it to your local calendar of events or blog like Snap’d.
Persistence is important! Not everyone you reach out to will donate – don’t be discouraged. Following up is the most important step in your fundraising. An effective fundraiser has to be able to ask again and again.
An easy way to follow up is to provide an update on your progress. Let people know how much you’ve raised so far or that you’re close to your deadline. In your follow up, be sure to share pictures of your training or event preparation. Your family and friends will be excited to follow your progress, so don’t be afraid to share with them. Each update will serve as a reminder that it’s not too late to donate to your cause.
DON’T FORGET! A thank you goes a long way. It’s essential to thank your donors and let them know when you have reached your fundraising goal. In your personal fundraising page with CanadaHelps, you will be notified when someone makes a donation online and send them a thank you message.
Just a few more things to remember when hosting a fundraiser for Epilepsy Durham Region
- If you are not using the online option for your personal fundraising page, please collect information of your donors in our third party event pledge form and have all cheques made payable to Epilepsy Durham Region.
- The Epilepsy Durham Region name and logos are registered trademarks - you need permission to use
- Epilepsy Durham Region is not responsible for any damages, accidents to person or property
- Funds raised from Community Partnership activities and events must be submitted to Epilepsy Durham
Region within 30 days of the event
- Event organizer will obtain all necessary permits, licenses, and insurance for their event
- Epilepsy Durham Region will not assume any legal or financial liability
- Event organizer agrees to adhere to all privacy policies as outlined in the Community Partnerships Event Agreement (please contact our office)
- Epilepsy Durham Region reserves the right to withdraw the use of its name at any time and will not assume any costs that may be involved in doing so