Ask a Professional Fundraiser: Fred Hutch fundraisers answer Obliteriders’ questions

Stephanie Henderson and Whitney Hazzard, members of the Fred Hutch Philanthropy team, sat down to answer ten fundraising questions on Obliteriders’ minds. Use these ideas as a launching pad for successful fundraising year!

  • 1. My husband and I are both riding this year and we share the same contacts. I don’t like asking the same people to donate double. Are there any additional ideas to meet my minimum where I don’t have to actually send emails, social media posts, etc. and give a direct ask?

My suggestion would be to have a non-related fundraiser that fuels your fundraising commitment.  A garage sale is a great way to clean out unwanted things from your home to benefit your fundraising goal.  To incentivize the garage sale, make signs or share your personal reasons for participating.  If you do reconsider emails to your family and friends, combine your contacts and ask as a couple.  You will be surprised at how many people are willing to support your efforts.

  • 2. How can I best communicate where their donation is going and how much of it will support wherever it will go?

Check out the Where the $ Goes’ Obliteride webpage. You’ll find four videos from 2017 funding recipients that you can share with your community.

  • 3. What’s the best way to raise money after the ride? I feel like once the ride is over no one will want to donate.

Post pictures from the weekend on social media or through personal emails.  Share stories of people you met on the ride or walk, why fellow Obliteriders participated, or what you heard or felt on ride day.  It’s NOT too late to donate after Obliteride if you keep the story compelling and heartfelt.

  • 4. What are some ideas for ‘on the ride’ fundraising?

Use Facebook live, snap chat or Instagram to document your ride or walk, just make certain that you don’t try and record while you are riding. The last thing we want is for you, or someone else, to get injured while riding. J  Take a moment at a rest stop, the kickoff party or the after party to make a meaningful video or post a reflection.

  • 5. What are some ‘out of the box’ ideas that you can share?

Out of the box ideas for fundraising are only limited by your creativity.  Skies the limit – anything goes.  Check out five ideas from 2017 & 2018 Obliteriders.

  • 6. I’m a younger rider, and it can be awkward to bring it up to amongst my friends due to our financial constraints as young adults, do you have any tactics for going about this?

Emphasize the message that all gifts make a difference no matter what the size!  You can even say $10 from 10 friends adds up quickly to $100 and goes a long way to reach my goal. Also consider expanding the group of people you are asking so they aren’t all your peers.  (See question #9)

  • 7. Do you have any ideas for how to fundraise and make it fun for the donors so they can enjoy themselves and help me make my goal?

Low key fundraising events can accomplish your fundraising goal and be fun!  For example you could host a spaghetti feed and charge people $20 for the meal with all profits going towards your ride. Gathering people together for a common purpose will be a fun and if you take a few minutes to address the crowd about why you are riding, it will be meaningful too. You could also offer to ride in honor or memory of someone and create a small poster with the names and photos of these folks to wear on the back of your jersey or walk shirt.  After Obliteride, take a picture of you with the poster and send it to all your donors as a thank you!

  • 8. I feel like everyone is asking for money for something right now – how do I make what I’m fundraising for stand out?

The best way to stand out is to make your fundraising ask personal. Share your personal story and why this motivates you to Obliteride and raise money to support cancer research. Use heartfelt words that tug at people’s heartstrings and post photos.

  • 9. My contact list is relatively small and/or I’m an introvert, who do I ask to support me?

Challenge yourself to think outside your contact list to expand your network.  Other constituents to ask can include church parishioners, work colleagues, neighbors, fellow gym members, former classmates, family friends, and sports team mates.

  • 10. There is a lot of information about Fred Hutch out there, it can be overwhelming to tell people what I am fundraising for. What’s a concise way for me to talk about it?

In August, I am riding/walking in Obliteride.  It is a bike ride/walk that raises money to accelerate lifesaving cancer research at Fred Hutch. Fred Hutch is a global leader, composed of interdisciplinary teams with a bold goal to find cures for most cancers by 2025.  Every day, Hutch researchers are discovering new ways to detect cancers earlier, when cure rates are highest; developing effective treatments with fewer side effects; and learning how to prevent cancers from growing in the first place.

One thought on “Ask a Professional Fundraiser: Fred Hutch fundraisers answer Obliteriders’ questions

  1. Is there any information or marketing data on what day of the week is most effective for a solicitation letter?


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