Help with fundraising

*Again, contents here are borrowed from Sarah and Carol Lee’s project for Asian Pacific Heritage month.

Fundraising can feel daunting, but it can be an incredible opportunity for your close friends and family to make an impact together. In our experience, people tend to be very willing to support us in our endeavors. Here are some tips.

1. Think of at least 20 people in your life you could ask to participate in this readathon experiment. These people can fall into one or more of these categories.

  • Care about you and want to support you (they don’t necessarily care about the cause but will give to support you anyway).
  • Care about the cause you’re supporting.
  • Want to see change in the world, and are happy to support your experiment.
  • Really like reading and are excited you’re picking up a book.

2. Write a short letter (email, Facebook message) and ask them to participate by sponsoring you.

*Be sure to emphasize that you’d like them to give directly to the organization, for the sake of integrity.

You can use the letter below as a guide. Give them examples of a range they could give. Examples:

  • 15 cents for every page you read (roughly $47 at 10 pages/day)
  • A flat amount, like $25, $50, $100.

Follow up about a week after you send your letter to answer any questions and ask about their commitment.

3. Share this on social media to invite people who may not have been on your list to sponsor you.

4. If you find people who also want to read and fundraise, tell them to sign up here! (Link coming)

Questions? Need help? Contact sandhya@oaklandpeacecenter.org

Sample Fundraising Letter

Hi Jen,

Hope you are well!

I’m writing to tell you about a Readathon I’ll be doing in the month of September. The current political climate has me feeling pretty cynical. But I know that me getting stuck in cynicism won’t make the world a better place. I need to tap into a more creative vision so I can participate in what is positive and hopeful, not get mired down in the ugliness I keep confronting every day in the news.

This is an experiment to change the conversation.

To be honest, finding time to read can be a challenge. That’s why I’m asking you to keep me accountable. If I know that reading will do good, I will be more likely to accomplish my goal.

I will be reading The Next American Revolution by Grace Lee Boggs as a response to the needs I see around me. Ms. Boggs talks about “sustainable activism,” and I want to learn how to build community in ways that avoid me burning out. She also believes in delving deep at the local level to effect change at the national and global level. I have a lot to learn from her, I think.

I am trying to raise $1000 for the Oakland Peace Center, which brings nonprofits together so they can afford to stay in and serve Oakland, but also so that they can cross-pollinate and build up a more expansive version of peace in our community. The Oakland Peace Center’s forty partners worked together to create a collection of shared values so they can practice being the community they are seeking to build. That’s not easy, but it’s pretty important to live the values we preach, especially these days.

Would you consider becoming a sponsor? You can sponsor me a certain amount per page I read (such as 20 cents per page), or a flat amount regardless of how much I read. I hope to read around 200 pages, although I might get excited about the task and also read Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown if I get on a roll, so be warned!

For now, could you tell me the rate or flat amount at which you’d be willing to sponsor me? This will help me know if I’m reaching my goal. I’d love for you to give your committed amount directly to Oakland Peace Center. You can do that through PayPal or Network for Good. I only ask that you send me a receipt to help me keep track of how much I’ve raised. If you want to indicate the gift is for my participation in the Reading is Resistance Readathon, I’d love that! You can even link to this website.

I will also commit to sharing with you a summary of what I learned as a gift for your generosity.

I will follow up in a week, but in the meantime, if you have any questions, please let me know!

Peace,

Sandhya