If you’re training for an event, whether it be Key to Keys, the Honolulu marathon, 4k for Cancer, or one of Ulman’s many other support through sport programs, meeting your fundraising goal can be just as intimidating as preparing for the race or ride. Fundraising while training not only helps keep you motivated throughout your training journey but provides a few unique opportunities to get creative and meet your goal. Here are ten ways to fundraise during training:
1. Engage Your Social Media Following
- Make it personal. Post videos that document your progress, this helps your audience feel connected to your training journey. (If you do this through your Instagram stories, be sure to save your updates as a Highlight that appears at the top of your feed.)
- Share information about the Ulman Foundation on your feed. By educating your audience about the cause you are supporting, they’ll be able to understand what the funds are going to support and why it’s so important that they do.
- Pro tip: Add your fundraiser link to your Instagram bio and Facebook intro.
2. Offer Playlist Customizations
Invite your community to decide what tunes you’re listening to during training or on race day in return for a per-song donation. Yes, you might end up listening to “Achy Breaky Heart” for 34 minutes straight, but you’re that much closer to reaching your fundraising goal and making a difference in the cancer community.
3. Dedication Miles
Give your supporters the chance to honor someone impacted by cancer by offering them the opportunity to designate a mile or stretch of your race to their loved ones. You can recognize these individuals during your training videos and share their stories, with the family or friends’ permission, of course.
4. Create a QR code
Use a free generator to create a QR Code that links to your donation page and put that thing everywhere. Print out a copy to keep in your wallet and have on hand, attach it to your dog’s favorite bandana or sweater when out for walks, or put it on a flashy flyer and ask your favorite local businesses to keep it by their stores. There are so many useful ways to reach new audiences using QR codes!
5. Take Advantage of Corporate Gift Matching
Corporate gift matching is a program in which a company matches the charitable donations made by their employees to eligible nonprofit organizations. Under this program, the company pledges to donate an amount equal to or a percentage of the amount donated by the employee. Not all organizations offer this program, but you will be surprised to learn how many do! Get more out of your donations by asking your supporters if their employer offers a gift-matching program.
6. Host Your Own Fundraiser
- Invite friends or family over for a high-stakes game night, a backyard corn hole tournament, or a neighborhood pickle-ball championship. Charge an entry fee or set up donation incentive challenges.
- Organize a March Madness bracket! Set a set fee for entry (i.e., $20) to submit a bracket with their picks for each of the March Madness games. Offer cash alternative prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners such as donated items, DIY trophies, or recognize them in a special way on race day. Basketball isn’t your thing? Try a different kind of bracket – you can turn almost any season of reality tv into a bracket-style tournament.
7. Organize a Partner Event with a Local Business
Approach local businesses and ask them to sponsor you or donate a percentage of their sales to your cause. In exchange, offer to promote their business on your social media channels.
- Connect with your favorite bar to host a Happy Hour fundraiser in exchange for a percent of the drink sales or ask if they will offer a signature drink during the event. Alternatively, if Happy Hour isn’t your vibe, get in touch with your regular coffee shop, juice bar, boutique, or ice cream shop – local business owners love to support meaningful causes like Ulman’s!
- Ask a gym or fitness studio to host an Ulman Foundation class where a portion of the profits will be donated to your fundraiser. If you’re a fitness instructor, host your own class and charge a small fee.
8. Hold a Raffle
Reach out to local businesses to donate merchandise, gift certificates, or unique experiences to be raffled off. Sell raffle tickets for a few dollars each via your social media channels and at your fundraiser events, and hold the drawing at the end of your race!
9. Create and Sell Your Own Merchandise
Create something people can wear or use – your supporters will be so excited to be able to promote your endeavor and support of the Ulman Foundation. Your supporters will be so excited to be able to wear their support of your endeavor and the Ulman Foundation on their sleeve – literally! Websites like Bonfire make this easier to do than ever. Get creative and have fun with it!
10. Offer a Service
Put your skills to work and provide a service or product to your audience, directing all of the profits toward your fundraiser. Anything from photography sessions to personal training sessions, custom paintings to event planning. People are more likely to hire you for this service knowing they’re supporting a great cause, and will likely refer you to their network in the future!
That’s it! Remember, the key to successful fundraising is to spread the word and be passionate about your cause. Don’t forget to thank your donors for their support and keep them updated on your training progress. By channeling your love of fitness to support the Ulman Foundation, you are making a positive impact in the lives of adolescents and young adults with cancer. We’re glad to have you on our team!