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Paws in the Park 2024 - Pledge Tips 1

Tips to Help Increase Your Pledges

Start early: The earlier you start, the more time you have to reach your fundraising goal. Start by giving yourself a donation. It shows people you are serious about supporting the cause and gets that first donation out of the way.

Then get your friends and family to write their pledge amount on the pledge sheet - they tend to be the most generous and they set the standard for everyone who sees the form after them.

Ask: If you don't ask, you won't receive. Ask everyone you know for a pledge, whether you bump into a neighbour at the grocery store or you directly call your accountant. Keeping your pledge sheet on you at all times makes it easier to ask when you meet a potential donor. Another tip - be direct and ask for a specific dollar amount.

Do not discount anyone. While you may not have talked to that high school friend for awhile, it's never too late to resume a friendship by telling them about your involvement with Save A Dog.

Do not think of pledges as asking for money or a loan. Your are not asking for money for a new car or Hawaiian vacation, you are asking as an advocate for all the dogs in need.

Ask for pledges on payday or during tax return season. Timing is everything.

Cultivate contacts: Ask the same people every year. Then use those contacts to approach more potential sponsors. Your mother's hairdresser, your friend's co-worker or your roommate's cousin might want to support animals.

Involve everyone you know. Most people find that their daily contacts supply plenty of potential donors. You'd be surprised at how many people you know even casual acquaintances that will support your efforts. Remember, a high percentage of people are animal lovers.

Think corporate: Don't forget to ask your business contacts for a donation. The businesses you frequent might return the support. And check out your own employer. Many businesses offer sponsorship programs, paying the minimum fee to participate. Others have programs that match your donation.

Put it in perspective: Ask your contact to donate the amount of their afternoon coffee. Or, ask an ex-smoker to donate the amount they would have spent on a pack of cigarettes. Making people relate to the donation can make them realize how much they can contribute. And asking lots of people for small amounts of money can still add up.

Corporate Donations and Matching Gifts: When you are creating a list of people to ask for donations, do not forget corporate donations. Think about the different companies you deal with on a daily basis (including the one you work for) and consider them as possible contributors. People and companies that you do business with are great prospects to start with. As with any gift, do not be afraid to ask for high-level donations.

Many companies have a matching gift program for employees who make charitable contributions. Matching gift programs vary from company to company. There are often minimum and maximum donation levels, and the matching level also varies. Be sure to ask your contributors if they work for a company that has a matching gift program -- you can receive a match from their company, as well as yours.

To learn more information about matching gifts programs, contact your human resources department at work.

Do you have an idea on how to increase pledges? Something that has worked for you in the past? We would love to hear about it! Please send it in an email to paws@saveadog.org.

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