In our quest to raise 10 million dollars in this, our 10 year Anniversary of NAMIWalks, we are encouraging our walkers to be more vigilant than ever in their fundraising efforts. Fundraising can be a scary and uncomfortable undertaking. When many people consider it, they can feel inadequate, uncomfortable asking, or less than connected to people with money.
After all, don’t we all wish we had generous wealthy benefactors in our networks to turn to for support with our causes?
The truth is that wealth has never been a prerequisite for giving. Even during the roughest of economic times, everyday people have a desire to be philanthropic and to give to make a difference. In fact, the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans only account for 25 percent of all charitable giving. While large donations are coveted and most appreciated; you may ask, what about smaller donations? Can a $5 donation repeated, affect as much change as a $1000 donation from one person? Does donation size really matter?
NAMIWalks has grown consistently over the past nine years due to our grassroots approach and nature. Just like we don’t look to have a few people raise the bulk of the money, we also have never expected to have an arsenal of walkers who are directly connected with major donors or wealthy philanthropists. Instead, we rely on our grassroots process and our walkers’ willingness to leverage the power of their personal stories, concern for community mental health, and appreciation for NAMI. By reaching into your everyday networks and engaging people to support YOU by walking and/or donating to your NAMIWalks efforts, we can (even $1 at a time) spread awareness and raise the necessary funds to continue making a difference.
The reason the WALK process works is because it is extremely effective for one person to give a gift and then to ask a peer to make a similar commitment. The personal contact between fundraiser and donor is very effective. Be sure to set the stage by giving your own first donation and establishing a reasonable “gift range”. From there, encourage your potential supporters that every dollar makes a difference. If people don’t feel that they are capable of making an impact, they may not give at all. A small donation repeated, in a campaign where awareness-building is a significant component, will go a long long way.
Remember that small donations add up. Regardless of the size of the donation, most giving requires some level of sacrifice for the donor. Even a small donation means that our community mental health effort has yet another member of the brigade.
So, in summary, does a donation have to be large and impressive to be important? I can hear the over 800,000 NAMIWalks participants (since 2003) combine their voices with a resounding, “No!”HOW TO RAISE $100
• $10 – your personal donation $10
• $15 from spouse/parent $15
• $10 from a work colleague $10
• $10 from 2 friends at church $20
• $5 from 4 neighbors $20
• $10 from 2 family members $20
• $5 from teacher/school friends $ 5
Check out our online NAMIWalks Fundraising Manual for more tips and tools to help with your individual and team fundraising efforts.