Support starts here: your ultimate fundraising guide

Fundraising for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge can be simple, ambitious…or both! This guide will help you make your plan, provide information on tools you may use and tips on how to use them. 

Each dollar you raise makes a big difference! This past year charities have had more challenges than ever and we can be there with resources and community spirit to support them as we strive for the wellbeing of ourselves and our communities. Every dollar raised through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge goes directly to the charities—the fundraising platform is free and there are no processing fees for donations thanks to Scotiabank.

Your fundraising plan is up to you
Your plan can be as easy as sending messages to friends and networks with a link to your personal page and a request for support, or your fundraising can be a bit more complex, like small events or a raffle for some great prizes (please respecting social distancing).

A mix of these two methods can be a really fun way to rally your communities/networks behind a common cause and raise some vital funds for the work of your favourite charities. 

Here are 9 tips to help you achieve the most of your fundraising efforts:

1. Set an aspirational goal

Set clear goals you feel you can reach. You can always increase your target later if you are pleasantly surprised by the support you are receiving. Set yourself a goal that you feel is achievable and yet a bit ambitious, then set a target for each fundraising effort, $400 from emails, $200 from family, $300 from virtual event, $100 office mates, for example.

2. You don’t have to do it alone: create a team
Can you rally your friends and family around the same cause? Are you looking for a great team-building opportunity for your workplace? Fundraising for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend as a team can be fun and can help keep you accountable to your training and fundraising. Teams can also reach more people by pooling resources or sharing in the workload of pulling off a virtual event, like a trivia night or a wine and cheese social. 

3. Create a network map
Who is your network? Your network is bigger than you think. A simple exercise can help you think through who you can involve and how they can support you. A network map is a great way to reach out to everyone in a planned way and think through all the people you could involve. Don’t forget the groups you are part of, and then the people you know who may ask groups they are part of on your behalf. Check out our sample network map and start reaching out.

4. Make giving easy for your supporters
Thanks to Scotiabank, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend’s registration platform, Race Roster, offers free personalized fundraising pages for teams and individuals. You can personalize the message, the photo, set your fundraising goal and receive comments from donors, and these pages can easily be shared with your network. 

Pro tip: Add your goal and the link to your fundraising page in your email signature, so everyone will know who you are fundraising for.

5. Make it personal

People are usually willing to make charitable gifts and enjoy supporting someone’s goal, especially when they feel the cause is important to you. The reason people generally support a charity is through a personal connection. Talk to your network about why supporting the charity is important to you, why you think their work is important, or why you want to raise as much money for this cause as possible. 

6. The answer will always be no unless you ask

Many donors say they feel good about giving, especially to support a cause through someone they know but they won’t give unless they are asked. Send an email to everyone in your network (see #4), and follow-up regularly to share your training, fundraising updates and stories about the charity.

Pro tip: Check with your employer to see if they will match your donations. Many companies have corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs that employees can utilize for this very purpose. 

7. Get social

Use online fundraising tools and your social platforms to reach a broader audience, and make sure to tag the charity, @ottawamarathon and use #scotiacharitychallenge in your posts. Consider tagging and challenging your favourite media personalities or friends, so they can share your message. And don’t be afraid to ask people to share your post or tweet.

Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to share your message frequently. The more you share on social media the more people you reach, and you increase your chances of reaching your fundraising goal.

8. Set up a small event

Think of what you do already and make an event around that, respecting social distancing guidelines: 

9. Say ‘Thank you’

Keep track of the people who support your efforts and send them a thank you email or note after their gift and once you have completed the event. It is great to include a photo of you at your personal finish line and report back on how much you raised in total. 

The list of fundraising ideas is endless and is only limited by your imagination. Start by registering for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and selecting the charity you wish to fundraise for.  OR if you are already registered and are interested in fundraising please follow these instructions to get started. #istarthere