For the GVN Foundation Youth Ambassador Program all your fundraising will go through your fundraising page. Keeping this in mind, it is extremely important to set up your fundraising page correctly and have a plan before you move forward.
I just created my fundraising page…now what?
Immediately after creating your fundraising page, start personalizing the template we put in place for you. This includes adding a picture of yourself and editing the text to reflect your own passions and dreams. Your donors will be interested to learn more about the program, but they are even more interested to learn about you. So sharing why you are passionate about positive social change and why you are pursuing the GVNF Youth Ambassador Program is important for connecting with your donors on an emotional level.
Another immediate step is to donate to your own page. Donating your own money demonstrates to other potential donors that you are invested in your own goal and are going to pursue it to the fullest. Another important reason to donate to your own page is that people will be more likely to donate once they see that someone else already has. This is sometimes explained as ‘success breeds success’ meaning that once someone sees that others are doing it, they are more likely to join in. This is also why we like to give you a partial scholarship and help you get your fundraising off on the right foot. :)
Who do I ask? The Onion Strategy
Asking people to donate can be very challenging for a lot of people. Asking for money is not something we are used to doing and we often feel uncomfortable doing it. So when you create your page, you want to start by contacting 5-10 of your closest friends or family members. These are people you think are most likely to donate (even if it’s small) and who will be supporters of you throughout your time as a Youth Ambassador. It’s important to be personal when you reach out to them. I recommend a phone call, but personalized emails also work.
Next, reach out to your wider group, as many as you feel comfortable contacting. This may include co-workers, teammates, distant relatives, and friends of friends. During this stage use your closest contacts to advocate for you. Allow them to send the message to others in their personal networks who may be excited to support a young leader.
Remember, use what you have. You have a network of people around you who are already your biggest fans. They want to see you succeed and once you take the leap and share your passions and goals with them, they will be ready to back you.
How to use social media:
When you are finished reaching out to your network via email, it’s time to start your social media campaign. Hopefully, by this point you will have some support already accumulating on your fundraising page and people will want to join the ‘movement’! You can also tag people in posts who have already donated to you and spread your message to their friends as well!
Use your social media account as a way to keep people posted about your progress. Let people know when you hit your goals. For example, once you’ve raised US$750 and can access your leadership training, or when you get to US$1,000 and you can officially sign up for your trip! You can ask people to help push you over each hurdle to reach your goals.
Make every update a positive message, not just a request for funds! Take the opportunity to share an inspirational story or quote, tell your networks about the amazing work our partners are doing on the ground and let them see where you will be going. Keep it positive and create a connection to the cause with people in your network.
Call to Action
Finally, remember to ask! You can tell people about all the awesome things you are doing, but if you don’t give them a call to action, they will have no idea how to support you. Ask them to give you donations (and make sure to include a link to your fundraising page!), ask them to spread your Facebook update or to invite friends to fundraising events. There are a lot of ways people can support you in your fundraising without giving you money. Take advantage and use what you already have.
Good luck and remember that we are always here if you need help!