I’m really happy with how our fundraising went for the Hockey in the Himalayas campaign. It took the entire month to reach our goal, but thanks to O’hanlons Irish Pub in Regina and generous donations from Alexander Keith’s, Molson Coors Canada, Big Rock and a number of guests at the fundraiser, we were able to surpass it!
I never considered our goal or project as overwhelming until I was asked on the CTV Live Morning show “why did you take on such an ambitious target?” I still don’t know how to answer that question. In my head, it all made sense. The targets were attainable. It was that simple. In retrospect, I had little to base this on. I had no idea how much equipment or money we could raise. There was one more issue that made this goal more challenging. I don’t like fundraising.
I hate asking people for money. When I decided to undertake this project, I knew that I was going to have to find creative ways to access funds because I wasn’t going to directly ask anyone to support the project. I knew/know that this isn’t an ideal fundraising model, so I’m not exactly sure why I thought the goals were attainable.
Our fundraising approach was three pronged:
1. Corporate Sponsors
Finding corporate sponsorship is not the same as fundraising. To me, asking an individual for money to support a cause is different than asking a corporation to support a project. Maybe it is just me, but I find the latter much easier.
The corporate sponsorship was clearly the most successful part of our campaign. We were very fortunate to establish partnerships with Hostel Bookers, the City of Prince George, Command Base, Volunteer Forever, Extreme Hockey and the previously mentioned sponsors of our fundraiser at O’hanlons Irish Pub.
2. Online Fundraising
Our online fundraising was facilitated on the Volunteer Forever website. This site was specifically created to “launch a fundraising campaign to share your story & collect donations for your trip”. I thought that this would be a great way for us to put our project out there and allow people to donate if they were interested. We were able to promote our project on its own merit and did not have to approach people to ask for funds. Our only job was to let people know about the project, which I was comfortable doing.
I had no idea what to expect from this fundraising prong. In the end, we were able to raise $2065. An additional $2340 was raised through offline donations. So, a total of $4365 was raised through online fundraising and donations. I was very happy with this result and consider it to be successful.
3. Fundraising Event
As you can probably guess, our approach to the fundraiser at O’hanlons was never going to be “in your face we need your money”. We wanted the event to be more of a celebration of what we accomplished in the month. We also wanted it to be a good party.
A great local band called The Dead South volunteered to play. They even donated a portion of their merchandise sales from the evening to our project. They are great guys and put on a fantastic show. If you have the chance, check them out!
We did a couple of the typical fundraising things including a 50/50 draw and a few prize raffles. We had some great prizes. The Gateway Music Festival donated two weekend passes to their upcoming festival which was fantastic (both their festival and the fact that they donated the tickets). We also had a number of prizes donated including locally roasted coffee beans from Thirty Three and a Third Coffee Roasters.
Between the funds raised through the 50/50 draw and raffle tickets as well as individual donations we were able to reach our target at the fundraiser.
That’s it. That is how we were able to raise our target of $8000. I’m not claiming this is the most effective way to raise funds. But, if you are like me and don’t like directly asking for money, this method was effective and I was comfortable with the approach.
Thanks to everyone who donated and/or supported our campaign.
If you have any questions or comments please let me know in the comments below.