October 22, 2018
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  • You could be a champion too — just like this guy! All it takes is raising $75 for Special Olympics Maryland and you earn the privilege of plunging.
    You could be a champion too — just like this guy! All it takes is raising $75 for Special Olympics Maryland and you earn the privilege of plunging.

Fundraising Tips And Tricks

Maya Pottiger
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January 8, 2018

The 2018 Polar Bear Plunge is right around the corner. In order to participate, every individual has to raise a minimum of $75, according to Special Olympics Maryland Digital Media Coordinator Adam Hays.

“We always encourage people to raise as much as they can for our organization,” Hays said.

Here are a few tips to ensure you successfully raise funds for this year’s Polar Bear Plunge:

1.  Communication is key. Communicate your goal, and help people understand the impact by connecting your donation requests to the cause.

2.  Know your goal. Figure out if you can collect whatever donations individuals are willing to give or if you need a certain amount from each person. Decide early if you can rely on emails or if you need to look to creative fundraising activities.

3.  Be realistic. When asking people for donations, don’t make the number too high. Make sure people understand that any level of contribution is appreciated.

4.  Post your link online. Register for your own fundraising portal at www.plungemd.com and post the link to it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social media profiles you have. Ask your followers to donate to a good cause in your name. Make it easy by linking directly to your page instead of making people search.

5.  Share your story. Introduce yourself to local business owners and members of your community. Tell them why Special Olympics Maryland is important to you and how you got involved with the organization. Tell them how to donate in your name. If you’ve done it before, show pictures.

6.  Partner with a local business. If you have kids, it can be hard to find interactive fundraising activities to do with them. Reach out to local businesses about hosting an event where a portion of the proceeds goes to your cause, whether it’s a bowling party or restaurant sponsor.

7.  Work for donations. Another way to involve your younger team members is to have them help neighbors with household chores in exchange for a donation. The kids can offer to shovel driveways, rake leaves, wash dishes, etc.

8.  Fundraise when it’s cold. When the weather is cold and snowy, take a screenshot of the temperature and send out emails asking for donations. This will help people realize they could never do what you’re doing — especially if you’re a Super Plunger.

9.  Say “thank you.” Follow up with your donors individually to thank them for their contributions. Take the time to tell them about the overall impact of the fundraiser and share pictures from the event.

With the DOs are always some DON’Ts. Edward T. Chiolo, board member of Special Olympics Maryland, said the top things to avoid are being impersonal with your outreach, making it about you instead of the cause and being unclear about what you’re asking.

“I hope that people come out and jump in the cold water for my fellow athletes and me,” Hays said. “Even though it’s cold out, it’s only for a few seconds, and what they do helps over 7,549 of my fellow athletes all year long.”

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