Recovery International’s Leadership Training Conference Fundraising Guide Overview This guide is designed to help you raise funds for your registration, travel, and accommodations to the upcoming Leadership Training Conference in October 2014. It includes information on the fundraising tools we have made available as well as how to prepare for and execute successful fundraising efforts. Each dollar raised goes directly toward the support of RI’s leaders’ and future leaders’ travel to the conference which will ultimately strengthen the lives and mental health of so many throughout the country. Fundraising is not only beneficial, but it can be exciting and fun as well! Please read through this guide to see how you can incorporate these tips and ideas into your fundraising goals. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Juanita Pauldon ([email protected]). Fundraising Resources We created fundraising packets for you to use and share with prospective supporters. They are available on the RI website at: http://recoveryinternational.org/about/conference2014.asp. Businesses and Organizations Share this packet with businesses and organizations you think might be interested in contributing to Recovery International’s Leadership Conference. You can print and mail the packet, or simply email it! Don’t forget to include a cover letter or message to the donor as an introduction. Program Information Sheet Provides those not familiar with RI an easy visual of the impact our organization has on our communities. Sponsorship Package Information Sheet Here businesses can see how far their level of contribution will go and the impact it will have in communities everywhere. Sponsorship Package Benefits Sheet Here businesses can see what benefits they will receive for choosing to sponsor at the various levels. Individual Supporters Share this packet with family, friends and coworkers you think might be interested in supporting you and your Area toward Recovery International’s Leadership Conference. You can print and mail the packet, or simply email it! Don’t forget to write them a personal note or message! Program Information Sheet Provides those not familiar with RI an easy visual for the impact our organization has on our communities. Sponsorship Information Sheet Demonstrates that a gift of any size can have a big impact. There is also a flyer version attached that you can print and cut for easy sharing! Cover Letter & Fundraising Preparation When you develop defined goals and a plan of action, fundraising can be easy and efficient! Know Your Goal — The estimated costs to cover all conference expenses (registration, travel, accommodations) of one leader is $2,000. Endorse yourself for any contributions (No matter how big or small) received through your fundraising efforts. Develop Your Target List of Contacts — It is important to know who you want to send your Sponsorship packet to before you begin to craft your cover letter. Create two lists of people you would like to send your sponsorship packet to: 1. Individuals (ex.. personal contacts, friends, family) 2. Organizations These lists may include businesses in your community, organizations that are active in the mental health field, or your personal contacts. Take time to do some research and find companies that have given money in the past to non-profits like Recovery, Many people are affected by mental health and may be willing to help, as well as people who will simply want to support you. Know Who To Contact — Know who the best contact is at the company you are sending your packet out to. Address the letter to the person in charge of making donation decisions rather than using generic salutations such as “To Whom It May Concern” “or “Sir”. Let them know “The Why” — Use strong talking points to let your reader why Recovery and attendance at the conference is important, feel free to add a few sentences on how Recovery has touched your life or how this conference can benefit your area. Reinforce the Importance of Their Help — Let Donors know the reason you think they would be a good fit to help Recovery and benefits they will receive from their donations. E-mail The Letter/Packet — Don’t limit yourself to only sending the letter via postal mail. Sending the letter via email is a great way to reach more people and it also increase the likelihood of a faster reply. Follow Up! — Following up shows the potential donors you commitment and dedication to your cause. Be sure to find a healthy balance in the number of times you follow up. Once every 1-2 weeks should be sufficient. Thank You Letters — Be sure to promptly send a thank you letter or card to all donors so that they know their contributions matters to you. Online Fundraising Social Media — Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and LinkedIn are great ways to familiarize your family, friends, and personal contacts with your fundraising efforts. You can develop status updates or tweets about the conference to ask for donations or you can visit site such as causes.com, www.crowdrise.com, and other individual giving site that allow you to create fundraising banners/buttons that you can link a custom donation page to your Facebook page. These sites also allow you to donate your birthday, wedding, or anniversary to your fundraiser in lieu of gifts! Fundraising in Your Community Neighborhood Newsletters—Find out if there are any local or community newsletters in your area that would be willing to write a story about you and your fundraising efforts. Ask Your Company for Support — Many workplaces offer matching gift programs, check with your HR Department to see if this exists in your workplace. Use this program to double the dollar amount for the donations you receive. You could also host a dress down party at work. Charge a Fee (Ex. $2, $5) to participate, with all proceeds going to your conference fundraiser. Local businesses/Community Organizations — Approach businesses that you frequent often and may have an interest in mental health or health. Feel free to make your requests in person. Personal Social Clubs/Churches/School Events—Ask organizations that you are personally involved in to allow you to make announcements about the conference and see if they are willing to help donate. Restaurant Fundraising Events — Many Restaurants, such as Fuddruckers, California Pizza Kitchen, Cold Stone Creamery allow “Fundraising Nights” where a percentage of the proceeds are donated to your cause. Traditional Fundraising — Fundraisers such as bake sales and car washes are always a simple, fun, and easy way to raise funds. Mental Health Awareness Month — May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Be sure to use this as one of your talking points, many organizations love to support awareness during nationally recognized months. Fundraising Q&A Processing and Tracking Donations o How should I handle donations? All donations given to an Area must be recorded as any other; any gifts over $250 must be sent to RI Headquarters for receipt and processing, and will be returned in full to the areas. o How do I keep track of all the donations? We suggest adding a column or section to your Treasury records specifically for Conference Donations. This will help you keep track and keep the funds separate from the Free-Will Offering. o How much of the donations will go toward sponsoring Leaders? 100%. Any donations given on behalf of conference sponsorship will go directly and in full to each Area. Is there a deadline for fundraising? To give you ample time to plan and make reservations for the conference, we recommend setting a deadline in July. How many people are coming to the conference? We hope that we will be able to have at least 2 individuals attend from each area, with a goal of around 100 in total. However, we welcome more! Who is coming to the conference? All leaders, assistant leaders, phone leaders, prospective leaders, Board and committee members, and RI members are encouraged to attend the conference! It will be a weekend where individuals can improve, hone and/or develop themselves as leaders. Is there anything on the RI website to help us? Yes! We have created a Conference Info Page (http://recoveryinternational.org/about/conference2014.asp), as well as a Conference Donation Page. These will both be launched in April 2014! Although donors can feel free to give via cash or check to Areas, they may also donate electronically via the website where they will be able to select the Area they are supporting. What is employer match? Many employers offer to match donations that their employees make. Encourage individuals that donate to check with the employers to find out how they can double their impact. When will I be able to register for the conference? Soon! The registration page will be up and running in April 2014. Will there be scholarships from Headquarters? The Staff and Board are working hard to fundraise as well. As soon as any scholarship opportunities are available, we will send out notification. This sounds like a lot of work! We encourage you to think small and choose 1 or more fundraising options that work best for you. Most importantly, have fun with it!
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