Joel Landau‘s coverage of one Texas school’s honest alternative fundraiser letter that went viral and left mother’s cheering nationwide is a great example of how organizations and schools can use humor to ask for donations. Landau reports on stories that go viral for for the New York Daily News website, a source for breaking local and national news.
‘Alternative’ honest fundraiser letter from Texas school leaves mother cheering
By Joel Landau | New York Daily News | 8/27/15
As a mother of three, Dallas resident Dee Wise Heinz is often asked to help out for a local cause or organization involving her children.
But a refreshingly honest take on the frequent feeling of obligation in this instance made her feel so much better.
“We were cheering,”she said. “We thought it was hilarious and a breath of fresh air.”
Heinz was referring to an “Alternative Fundraiser” notice from her seventh grader brought home from school last week. She posted it on her Facebook page and it had received more than 230,000 shares as of Sunday afternoon.
Alternative Fundraising Form Gives Donors Options
Would you like to…
…buy chocolates? (a whole case-worth)
…subscribe to magazines? (you don’t actually read)
… purchase some [insert the novelty of your choice]? (all overpriced)
…run [insert number] of miles to raise awareness? (when you proudly admit you only run if you’re being chased)
Donation appeals are everywhere. They come in so many forms that it’s impossible to participate and give to every single organization, project or event that asks.
One school in Texas gets it. They’re giving supporters an alternative fundraising method without the commitment. Instead of promoting something their supporters would’t like, but feel obligated to support, this school took the time to understand thier donors to come up with a much more engaging approach to raising funds.
The hilariously honest form features candid giving options that resonate with parents everywhere. For example, parents can give $15 instead of buying cupcakes for the school bake sale. For the parents that want to avoid the bake sale altogether, participation in the annual walk-a-thon and future fundraising dinner requests, they can donate $100 at the beginning of the year for the school to “forget their name.”
Let’s Get Down to Business
Give your own supporters (students, parents, clubs, those who cannot make an event, that donor from your bake sale lost to yet another “diet”, etc.) a way to support your cause without being forced to dedicate their time (which they don’t have alot of) and waistlines (which many don’t want to lose) to a fundraising event. Just think about all the additional costs that go along with a bake sale (good ingredients aren’t cheap you know…but, neither aren’t prepackaged, store-bought treats that you must buy then repackage in your own tupperware containers in an attempt to pass as off as your own gourmet creation.
For some, the effort and expense required for a run/walk/job/bike/swim/dance/hula hoop-a-thon pledge, silent auction or fancy gala, may prevent them from supporting your cause.
Don’t limit your alternatives to cash donations. Ask people to commit to in-kind gifts or volunteer hours in lieu of money. It’s perfectly fine to switch things up!
Humor and honesty will always set your organization and donation appeals apart in a sea of traditional fundraising asks. People are more likely to share your candid form and your org’s funny posts, too.
We’ve brainstormed a few more examples to inspire your custom new “no excuses” donation form. Feel free to steal them all!
- “I love cookies, but my personal trainer says they don’t love me. Here’s the $25 I would’ve spent on an extra session at the gym.”
- “Your gala dinners are always so delicious, but I can’t make it. Please use my donation to feed 10 people through FOOD Share instead.”
- “Babysitters are expensive! I’m opting to stay home with my kiddos, but here’s the money we would’ve spent on a sitter.”
- “I only run if I’m being chased (which is never). I’ll gladly give $50 to avoid leaving my comfy bed/couch/house.”
- “I’m making a donation of $5 for every paper I procrastinated writing this semester…all 10 of them!”
- “My New Year’s Resolution was to save 100 trees. Here’s $20 for that magazine subscription & the pride I’ll feel in finally keeping a resolution.”
MobileCause customers can customize any of their mobile-responsive donation, registration, ticketing, sign-up, survey and pledge/petition forms to show off your org’s sense of humor and giving options. Custom fields can be added or removed to create the optimal experience for your supporters.