fundraising lessons learned

It’s been a long time since I have participated in any formal event, or fundraiser, but we had the opportunity to go along to the Sydney “walk to d’feet MND”; my sister and I decided to frame our fundraising as a competition, rather than a collaborative effort, and that seemed to resonate with some of my friends and family, even if their response wasn’t to support the person I was hoping.

Having said that, we raised quite a bit of money, and so I was surprised to hear the CEO of the MND association say that the event was raising $70k for the cause. Perhaps that was funds raised after the cost of the event was factored in, but it still seemed low for the number of people in attendance.

They were using gofundraise.com as their platform. which would have had a level of percentage overhead, but would keep staffing costs down. The event was well organised on the day, even as a few opportunities to raise more money from the people in attendance were missed – there were quite a few people over at the kiosk, when the event started before 9am, and while there were food trucks, it wasn’t clear that people could further support the charity while they were there.

Perhaps it was available somewhere, but I still didn’t have a clear sense of what the charity did, nor did I see an opportunity to sign up as a one-off or regular donor for people who were walking past and looking at the event, nor to learn more about MND.

Finally, it would have been good to have had some mechanism to be able to connect with people who were in a similar situation, and wanted to stay in contact, but it’s not clear if that’s something the charity facilitates.

I regret the missed opportunity that the CEO was there at the start of the race, but I didn’t take the opportunity to chat to him as I was there for a family day out, and so it didn’t seem appropriate to miss the walk to have that conversation.

Oh, and it’s quite difficult to ask people for money, even when it’s not for you, but people are incredibly generous.

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