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Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Art of Fundraising

So far I've raised $70 for the Red Clay Alliance/Brandywine Valley Association polar plunge. I am thankful for everyone that has donated thus far and I always love participating in this event. I'm mostly an introvert, but I do like traveling and I do like fundraising from time to time. I never thought about it, but I'm relatively good with fundraising.

I started doing these plunges in 2011 when I saw an advertisement hanging up on the bulletin board of Sykes Student Union, the commuter lounge of my university (yes, I was a commuter and commuted all 5.5 years). The cute animals drew me in and I wanted to participate. Dad agreed to take me. I did the research and saw I needed to fund raise. I studied the cause - to raise money for the water sheds and for environmental education, I walked around campus and approached people. Don't worry, I wasn't creepy, no. I started a conversation as follows:

"Hey, how are you today?"
"I'm fine thank you, how are you?"
"I'm great. Getting ready for a polar plunge."
"Oh yeah?"
"Yep, I'm raising money for the cause of helping our local water sheds and to provide environmental education to the masses. Would you care to donate a dollar to the cause?"

I always kept it to a dollar for campus since I know college students are low on money. I even asked professors and asked them for a dollar too - I wanted to keep it affordable. I also brought my fundraiser to the library, wrote a letter explaining the cause, and raised at least $30 from the library. Between campus and the library, I raised $70 in 2011. I also walked around Nan's neighborhood and asked people I knew as well. It was a lot of fun and I felt accomplished.

In 2012, I had a second job through Software Application Training. That was the year I raised $120 for the BVA. Between my co-workers at SAT, the library, campus, and my professors. Again, I had so much fun. That year I also expanded my fundraising by e-mail by sending a letter of what the organization did, what the money would go towards, and a promise of sending pictures of my plunge. People were amazed by my willingness to jump into freezing waters and donated.

After I graduated college, I didn't have campus or professors to donate anymore. In 2014 I took the campaign to Go Fund Me and I also e-mailed people I knew.I raised $60 in 2014; I didn't find Go Fund Me too helpful. I'm not sure I like that platform because of how much they take. I still kept it affordable - $5. This year I expanded to PayPal and have found success.

I have found the key to fundraising it to keep things affordable and simple. People don't like to be forced into donating something. I think getting into a conversation and explaining what you're raising money for really helps. Also, promising them pictures of the event helps too. However, I think friendliness and trustworthiness are key in a successful fundraising campaign.


  1. Hi, dear Jessica Marie!

    You have a smart system worked out for your fundraising initiatives. Keep it simple and affordable. This year, according to the groundhog, you might not have an icy plunge at all. You might be eager to jump into the water to beat the heat! :)

    Have a wonderful week, dear friend Jessica!

    1. Hi, dear Shady,

      I guess I just don't like bombarding people, so I keep it simple and friendly. I also tend to think of my audiences too. I think my approach has worked well. I think this week I'm going to ask my full time job supervisor if I can fund raise at lunch and next Saturday I will bring it to my library job.

      Haha, that's true! I found my costume; I'm going to be a jelly fish! Simple and inexpensive:

      Have a wonderful week too, dear friend!