I'm running in the Avon 3-day 60-mile breast cancer walk and I'm supposed to raise at least $2,500. My personal goal however, is 5K. I've had a bake sale, e-mailed, called and stalked all my family members and yet I still only have a few hundred dollars. Do you have any inventive ideas? Doing Good Garren
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Dear Doing Good Garren
Fund raising is really somewhat of a finessed art in the business world. You don't want to step on people's toes and outright ask for unwarranted money, but in your personal life it's called networking. This is the time to call and/or send a letter to everyone and anyone. You haven't even tapped into your circle of friends yet. Get on it girl!
People don't have to give a lot as long as they give something. Send an e-mail around to your entire company asking them for $5. You would be surprised who shows up at your office or cube with a donation. People like to help people they know. And think about it...if everyone that you work with donates $5 that could very quickly turn into thousands depending on the size of your company.
Next, throw a party at a bar for all of your friends and neighbors (and anyone else that you haven't already hit up at work). Charge a $10 cover at the door. All of the proceeds will go toward your goal.
This is the time to reach out. People like giving to charities, but they don't always like to be strangely solicited because they don't have confidence about where their money will wind up. If they know you, I am sure they would be more inclined to donate.
Good luck raising money. This is a great cause. More people should follow your lead.