What I’ve Learned in Four Years of Superhero Fundraising

Jun 26 2015

What I’ve Learned in Four Years of Superhero Fundraising

By Steven Olender (Formerly known as Underdog, Super Grover, Darkwing Duck and Bowser)

I'm a creature of habit. My fundraising tactics have remained the same since I wrote my fundraising advice after my first CASA Superhero Run: virulent enthusiasm, dogged persistence and knowing my audience.

But I'm also a lazy creature of habit. Over the last four years I've learned to work smarter at my fundraising instead of working harder (and then sometimes working harder) and I've raised $13,122.50 doing it.

Here's what I've learned:

1. Rip off the band-aid.

Every year, I dawdle and put off starting my fundraising until I'm "ready." Then, every year, I wait too long and scramble frantically to meet my fundraising goals. There is something about getting those first donations that makes you finally feel ready to fundraise. It's like I need a donation to remember that I'm overly enthusiastic and obnoxiously persistent.  Starting is the hardest part, so just rip off the band-aid. You're ready now. Be relentless.

Fundraising Facebook Post

2. Don't be like your boring friends. 

Let's face it. You ignore most of the things your friends post on Facebook because they are boring. Think about what things people post that catch your eye and then create that. People probably won't read an article you wrote unless they're already invested, but they'll read a few sentences and they'll look at that picture of you pretending to fight crime in your costume (and you should absolutely put together a costume). Keep it interesting and always post a link directly to your fundraising page to make donating as easy as possible.

3. Make your mother proud.

Your mother would be deeply disappointed in you if you didn't at least send a thank you email to your donors, but we can strive to do better than not disappointing mom. Be smart about how you recognize your donors. Every year, I send thank you cards with pictures from my race and it helps my donors to see that their gifts are important and when people realize their gifts are important, they give again next year.

4. Bully your friends.

As much as we all like to pretend that middle school was a long time ago and we're grownups who don't care about fitting in, we all know that's a lie. Don't be afraid to harness the power of peer pressure to increase your donations. If you thank your donors on Facebook and tag them in the post, it not only shows up on their timelines but also in the newsfeeds of your mutual friends. People are far more likely to give if they see their friends giving. Remember, it's not really bullying if it's for a good cause. 

There is my wisdom. Be a proactive, interesting, grateful fundraising bully.  Getting people to donate for the CASA Superhero Run is easy. So build yourself a costume and let loose your unbridled enthusiasm, but don't work too hard. Work smart instead. 

I look forward to celebrating your awesome fundraising prowess with you at the race.  

Register for the CASA Superhero Run on September 13th and you will get your very own fundraising page to personalize. If you’re not into the whole running thing, you can also sign up just as a fundraiser and use your superpowers to support kids! For more advice on effective fundraising, check out The Superhero's Guide to Fundraising