Fundraising Tips from Runners

Fundraising, what worked in my case
How I raised $3500 in two months


Team Asha fundraising page has excellent tips on setting up your web-page. Here are fundraising tipsin addition to setting up your fundraising web-page. They're in random order, so read all the tips :).

1. Get started early. In general, several organizations have the same target marathon. Also, develop a healthy sense of competition among fellow Asha runners. 

2. Work on your fundraising email, too. People generally spend time on the web-page, but many times neglect working on the email. For example, for work email, folks should get what you're up to within 15-20 seconds or 5-6 lines without clicking on any link. Be succinct, but be passionate. Personal emails can be longer.

3. Use URL shorteners, like You can very likely get your custom URL for your webpage, like<name>2011. You get the idea. Have this as your status in facebook, gmail chat window, twitter, etc. 

4. Remember, you're fundraising for a damn good cause. You're making folks aware of the cause, and they're donating for a good cause. Have that attitude and it will show everywhere, in your emails, in your website, etc.

5. Not everyone you expect to donate may do so, have other plans in place. Be prepared for that, getting started early helps here too. Give your best shot, but don't be bogged down.  Keep reading...

6. Expect donations from the most unexpected of people too :). After mentioning the previous item, be prepared for pleasant surprises too. Keep tab of who you've sent an email to and who you haven't. That way, you won't spam people accidentally on multiple lists. 

7. Make Masala Chai, bake cookies/brownies, have them at work with suggested donation. Oh, store-bought cookies generally won't work here. People generally appreciate effort, and are willing to pay for it too :). These are generally very safe bets.

8. Organize parties, have a suggested donation. For the part animal kind. Remember, whatever you do in your wild parties are your own doing. Make sure you clarify it's not an official Asha party.

9. Send out periodic significant running updates in facebook/twitter, and via email to near and dear. Email signature should always point to your fundraising page. People, and many times, you yourself are impressed. These running updates are a good fund-raising tool too.

10. Contact people explicitly via email or other means.  If not, you don't know if they've received your message. Facebook statuses and twitter updates are fleeting. I'm not saying they're not useful, but you can't rely only on them.  

11. Network, ask fotips from fellow runners, mentors, repeat runners. You have folks running multiple times because they were also successful in fundraising before. It's very likely that different runners had vastly different tools and approaches for fundraising. Don't wait for mentors to ask you, be pro-active.
And oh, did I mention this, you're fund-raising for a damn good causeGet excited about this.

Fundraising, what worked in my case

Start early. -- I completed Version 1 of my fund-raising page in May and started right away.

Continue regularly and consistently. Keep your pace. It's just like a marathon. -- I wrote to several people every week.

Make it personal. -- For most of the time, I sent a brief e-mail to each individual (friends, colleagues, relatives, and neighbors in the States or overseas) with a link to my fund-raising page.  I also wrote some group mails to my colleagues at work. In either case, I wrote to only those who knew me to a certain degree at least. I didn't send out random mails.

Send a follow-up note or a reminder to those who looked favorable but never donated.

Emphasize that your training is NOT funded by any donations. You pay for registration which covers the expenses for training. All the experienced coaches are unpaid. The whole team is efficiently and smartly run by dedicated volunteers. Funded projects are carefully selected and closely monitored.

Donate yourself, too. Consider what you are given from the program. Give back for what you are given in and out of the Team.

How I raised 3500 USD in two months


I could raise so much money so fast because I believe in the cause. I run for Asha for Education first and my personal goals second.  I started my fundraising by self-donating 500$ to my page. All my donors saw this, and understand that Asha is a great cause. They also understand that I put money where my mouth is.  So every single donor gave 50$ or more towards by fundraising. 

When you ask for donations, be passionate. Do not say "please donate for my running". Say that "Donate to help a child" and mean it with every mile you run. 

One friend of mine has an annual budget for non-profits. He was thinking about donating 500$ to a school in India. Because I asked him early in May, he donated some of that money towards my fundraising at Asha. The moral is to ask all your friends and ask early. 

Thank you
Fellow Runner