Asking people for money can seem daunting, but once you get started, it’s not all that hard. Here are tips on how to make YOUR Birdathon fundraising easy.
Start by creating your personal Birdathon fundraising page, which will allow people to make easy, secure online donations. Then:
1. Make a list of everyone you know: Neighbors, friends near and far, co-workers, old college roommates, acquaintances from the gym, other parents in your child’s preschool….
2. Cast a wide net. Not everyone will give. But the more people you ask, the more “yesses” you’ll get.
3. Think of people whose causes you’ve supported. Did you sponsor them in a breast cancer walk last year or buy their daughter’s Girl Scout cookies? They’ll be more likely to sponsor you in Birdathon.
4. Don’t feel embarrassed. Most people will respect you for caring enough about birds and wildlife conservation to put your time and effort into the Birdathon.
5. Approach people! Send them a personal email with a link to your Fundraising Page. Call them up. Write them a personal note. Talk to them over a glass of wine or cup of coffee. Individual calls, notes, emails and conversations are much more likely to get a response than a mass posting on Facebook. (Your friends are welcome to mail a check to GGAS if they prefer, rather than donate online.)
6. Develop talking points (see below) — one or two reasons why Golden Gate Audubon is important to you. Did you fall in love with the Burrowing Owls at the Berkeley Marina, thanks to a GGAS docent? Do you want your grandchildren to be able to see egrets and warblers when they grow up? Etc.
7. Follow up. If you don’t hear a response, email them a second and third time saying, “I want to make sure you got my note about Birdathon.” If you are worried about being too pushy, remember how crowded people’s inboxes are – the first time, they may not have seen your note, and the second time they may have intended to make a donation but forgotten. Third time’s a charm!
8. TALK ABOUT Birdathon. During your coffee break at work, or in the locker room at the health club, or on your Facebook page, or over lunch with a friend. Tell people how much you’re looking forward to the cool Birdathon Field Trip you’re going on. Or tell them how nervous you are about trying to raise $500!
9. Be open and serious. If you let people know you have this ambitious $ goal, and that you’re nervous about how to reach it, some of them will step up to help. Wouldn’t you do the same for a friend?
10. Thank your donors! Acknowledge their contribution as soon as you find out about it. Tell them you will let them know your success in the Birdathon and will send pictures from your field trip. If they don’t decide on the spot to support you, thank them for thinking about it.
Again, TALK ABOUT Birdathon. People will respond to your enthusiasm for birds, nature and Golden Gate Audubon. Tell the world. Who knows… you might inspire them not just to donate to Birdathon, but to try birding or come on a GGAS field trip themselves.
Prepare ahead. Develop a script. Here are some points you can include, but the most important thing is to make it your own:
- GGAS leads 200 free field trips each year and offers adult birding classes and monthly guest speakers on wildlife conservation and birds. GGAS also provides environmental education classes and field trips for over 400 students in low-income elementary schools in Oakland, Richmond, and San Francisco each year. GGAS takes on major conservation issues such as reducing bird kills by wind turbines at Altamont Pass, rebuilding wetlands at Pier 94 in San Francisco, and providing a safe nesting site for endangered Least Terns in Alameda. It does all this with a tiny staff but hundreds of volunteers!
- Golden Gate Audubon has been protecting birds, preserving natural habitats and open space, and educating people of all ages about birds and other wildlife for 103 years. It is one of the oldest and most respected conservation organizations in California.
- Climate change and ongoing loss of habitat are taking a toll on birds everywhere, including the Bay Area. A 2019 report by National Audubon predicted that 2/3 of North American bird species are at risk from climate change. We need Golden Gate Audubon to continue to be a strong voice for protecting birds and natural habitats and to have enough funds to carry out its mission for years to come.
- All funds raised by the Birdathon go directly to Golden Gate Audubon. The money stays right here in the Bay Area to help our native bird populations survive and thrive, and to inspire and educate current and future generations about the wonders of our natural world. GGAS is a 501c3 non-profit so your friends’ donations are tax-deductible.
For a PDF of these tips that you can print out, click here: Birdathon Fundraising Tips
Need more inspiration? Click here to read a profile of GGAS member Dan Harris, who got 106 (yes, 106!) of his friends and family to sponsor him in Birdathon 2015.
Click here to set up your personal Birdathon fundraising page.
Click here for a list of Birdathon 2020 fundraisers and their pages.
Click here to return to the main Birdathon 2020 page.