Write a great fundraising email

writing an effective fundraising email

Hi everyone! If you’re looking for an example of a great school fundraising email, here’s one from an actual FarmRaiser campaign last year that was very effective. Feel free to use this as a starting point for your own emails, and update  it with links to your online fundraising market, websites of the local farmers and artisans, and appropriate dates and personal information, etc. If you have any additions or tips, feel free to leave them in the comments section. Scroll down for our analysis and explanation of why this works — with a little practice, you’ll be writing effective fundraising emails in no time.

Subject line: Eat, drink and help ACDS fight hunger

Hi Steve

Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined — would you like to help me fight hunger by drinking a really good cup of coffee? I’m writing to you because I’m selling some awesome healthy, local products from Vigilante Coffee, Truly-Life Eco Gifts, Blue Ridge Produce, and Fruitcycle as part of a fundraiser my school is hosting to support Stop Hunger Now, a program that packs backpacks full of food and sends them to areas of need. Will you please help us by buying of a pound of coffee, or box of fruits and vegetables through our online fundraising market 

Our fundraising campaign is different this year because it’s not a fundraiser–it’s a FarmRaiserThat means that when you buy from our online market, 85%+ of the price will support the ACDS Campaign to Stop Hunger Now and our local food system. If you don’t live in the Alexandria area but still want to support this cause, you can make a donation or purchase a Community Basket, which benefits our cause and provides fresh food for local food bank. Click here to strengthen our local economy and fight hunger.

Thanks again for your support! I’ll talk to you again in a day or two to see if you have any questions.

Love,
Lauren

P.S.  You can buy products with a credit card in my market, but if you’d like to pay with cash or check, no problem–let me know and I’ll take care of that. Our sale ends on _______. If you purchase something, I’ll bring it to you on or just after _______(distribution date).

That’s it. If you’re ready to go, just copy this fundraising email example and paste the text into your email program, fill in the blanks and change all the links to the appropriate ones for your campaign, and start sending them out. Let’s break it down and see what makes this so effective:

Subject line: Eat, drink and help ACDS fight hunger <–the subject line is the most important line of your fundraising email, it should be both catchy and accurately descriptive

Hi Steve, <–make sure it’s addressed to their name, generic emails are less likely to be read

Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined — would you like to help me fight hunger by drinking a really good cup of coffee? I’m writing to you because I’m selling some awesome healthy, local products from Vigilante Coffee, Truly-Life Eco Gifts, Blue Ridge Produce, and Fruitcycle as part of a fundraiser my school is hosting to support Stop Hunger Now, a program that packs backpacks full of food and sends them to areas of need. Will you please help us by buying of a pound of coffee, or box of fruits and vegetables through our online fundraising market [link to your personal market].

[It’s really important to make your case for supporting your fundraiser in the first paragraph of your email. The first sentence gets attention, while highlighting the large problem you are addressing, while offering an easy thing that the recipient can do to help.  The second sentence provides clear detail about the fundraising campaign.  The final sentence in the first paragraph is a direct personal appeal with a clear CALL TO ACTION .] 

Our fundraising campaign is different this year because it’s not a fundraiser–it’s a FarmRaiser! [they might not know what a FarmRaiser is, so the link to the video can help explain it quickly] That means that when you buy from our online market, 85%+ of the price will support the ACDS Campaign to Stop Hunger Now and our local food system. If you don’t live in the Alexandria area but still want to support this cause, you can make a donation or purchase a Community Basket, which benefits our cause and provides fresh food for local food bank. Click here to strengthen our local economy and fight hunger.

[The second paragraph of your fundraising email provides additional arguments: it supports the local economy, there are many ways to participate, it’s easy, etc., and closes with the second CALL TO ACTION]

Thanks again for your support! I’ll talk to you again in a day or two to see if you have any questions.
[close, and offer to follow up — make sure you actually follow up, because it sometimes takes a few emails or phone calls to reach someone]
Love,
Lauren

P.S.  You can buy products with a credit card in my market, but if you’d like to pay with cash or check, no problem–let me know and I’ll take care of that. Our sale ends on _______. If you purchase something, I’ll bring it to you on or just after _______(distribution date).

[ The P.S. is a place for final details, additional appeals or arguments for the cause]

We’d love to hear your feedback on this, or other email techniques — please post them in the comments below, or send us an email. Please see other articles in this series if you’re looking for tips for selling on social media, or want help in merchandising your market

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Fundraising Tips for Champion and Community Engagement!

Thanks for being a current or future FarmRaiser organizer! While dreaming up healthy fundraising ideas and perfecting your online market by selecting the right mix of local products is fun, we know from experience that student and community engagement is the secret to a successful school product fundraiser. To help your FarmRaiser succeed, here are some tips from our top performing campaign organizers to help you mobilize students and supporters. Also, don’t forget to share our Champ Tips with your kiddos! 

Fundraising Tip #1: Host a kickoff for your FarmRaiser. Talk with students about the importance of healthy products, make sure they know what the money will support, and share the incentives the school is offering. Ask your Cultivator about getting samples of products to share with students.

Fundraising Tip #2: Offer Incentives. Encourage competition among students by offering incentives to top performers. You can do this by grade, class, or individual. Some examples of great incentives (that are NOT pizza or ice cream parties) include:

1. 10 minutes extra recess for the class or grade who sells the most

2. Free homework pass, extra credit, etc. to the highest seller in each class or grade

3. Gift certificates to a local toy store, movie tickets, etc. to the top three sellers

4. Classroom dance party!

5. A beloved teacher or staff member dyes or shaves their hair

6. Let students throw water balloons, silly string, etc. at a staff member they choose

7. Show a movie to the class or grade that sells the most

Remember, an incentive doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, or take a lot of time, but needs to recognize and celebrate the students, staff, and parent volunteers for their energy and efforts. If you’ve got other ideas, add them in the comments section below.

Fundraising Tip #3. Make sure students use our mobile fundraising app! Make sure students download the (FREE) FarmRaiser app on their iPhone or Droid, and use it to make face-to-face sales. The app also includes fun facts about where products come from, and the local farmers or artisans who produce them.

Fundraising Tip #4. Kids aren’t the only ones who can sell! Encourage teachers, staff, and parents to register and sell with the app! They’ll already be sharing the link to your online market, and extra app sales can help blow your sale out of the water. This is also an easy way to encourage friendly competition and motivate students to sell more–after all, who wants their principal, history teacher, etc. to beat them in sales?!

Fundraising Tip #5. Share the link to your online market everywhere: email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, etc. See our social media suggestions  for ideas about what and when to to post.Download  and print this sheet to remind you. Encourage students and parents to share the link to the fundraising market on their social media as well, and don’t forget to encourage students (and parents) to write a personal email to potential supporters.

Fundraising Tip #6. Don’t forget about email. A personal email appeal that introduces the campaign, the goals, and the products can be a very fundraising tool. Use this example as a template, and customize it for your specific campaign, add personal notes to the recipients, and let them know how passionate you are about the cause.

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Start a Seed Fundraiser Today — Fast, Simple, Profitable

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If you’re looking for an idea for a high-profit, easy, and healthy winter fundraiser, we have some great news for you: FarmRaiser has just partnered with High Mowing Organic Seeds to bring their seed fundraising catalog to your school, band, team or cause. Reach your fundraising goals by offering the highest quality, 100% certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified seeds to your supporters and customers.

Reasons we love seeds:

  1. Seeds are in demand during the winter months when gardeners are planning for spring and deciding what to grow.
  2. High Mowing seeds can be shipped directly to your school, anywhere in the country, making delivery and distribution a snap.
  3. A great selection of carefully selected seeds allows home and school gardeners to pick exactly what they want to grow this year — dedicated gardeners are going to spend money on seeds anyway, and they might as well support your cause while doing it.
  4. You can add a seed sale to almost any of your existing fundraising plans, and boost your profits while providing countless opportunities for kids to learn and connect with food.
  5. If they grow it, they will eat it — when kids experience the magic of gardening firsthand, they are more likely to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of their efforts.
  6. You can set up your FarmRaiser campaign so fast it will make your head spin. With our real-time inventory system and the tried and true selection of seeds from High Mowing, you can start selling almost immediately.  Try it, and see just how easy seed fundraising can be.
  7. Planting a seed is an expression of hope for the future, and cultivating hope for the future is what we try to do every day.

If you want to get a jump on the spring fundraising season, login to your account, or contact your cultivator, and we can help you get started today. If you’re looking for other great winter or spring fundraising ideas or products to sell, browse our farmer and artisan lists, check out our blog, or just give us an old-fashioned call at 571-279-8873

 

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Get a piece of the $4 billion product fundraising pie!

The product fundraising business is $4 billion/year industry, and we’re here to help you make your mark in it. As a FarmRaiser partner, you’re getting your product into the hands (and mouths!) of your community, expanding your customer base, and increasing your brand recognition. Think of FarmRaiser as a friendly tool to substantially expand your business, increase revenue, and of course, support schools and causes in your community. There are three easy ways to boost your fundraising sales:

  1. Make sure your product catalog on FarmRaiser is up to date and has great pictures; second
  2. Create a web page on your site letting people know that you offer fundraising — your fans and customers love your products and would prefer selling them in a fundraiser than junk food and candy. With our new “iFrame” signup form, they can register for a FarmRaiser featuring your products without leaving your site.
  3. Send an email to your customer list — again, if they don’t know about your fundraising business, they can’t possibly sign up

Show off your fundraising products

The best way make sure your products are selected for campaigns is to make sure that your products are up to date in our system and looking great. Great descriptions + Beautiful pictures = more campaigns and increased sales.

FarmRaiser product Fundraising can help you grow your businessAs soon as you get a chance, grab your favorite beverage, log into your FarmRaiser account, and get started. If you have a million passwords and can’t remember which one you used for FarmRaiser, no problem.

In under an hour, you can get your FarmRaiser profile looking sharp with a few simple tips.

Create a fundraising page

If you’ve got a web site, add a basic page letting people know that you’ve got a product fundraising business. We’ve created a template here that features our new instant sign up form. If you have any questions about building out your fundraising page, or how to promote it, get in touch with Japhet, our director of partnerships and marketing.  You can email him here, or book some time on his calendar here.  He will help you make the most of your FarmRaiser membership.

Tell the world about your fundraising business

You don’t need to be an expert in marketing to know that email is one of the most effective ways to reach people.  Your fans, customers and friends who love your product are your best source of new fundraising business and referrals. A quick email announcement at the right time of year (August/September, and January/February) can earn you a couple of new campaigns. Here’s a sample that you can use to get started, customize with your own information, and send out to your customer lists, or post on your Facebook page. We’ve got a new brochure that explains the benefits of healthy fundraising with FarmRaiser — you can download it and attach it to your email, or post it to your social media sites.

If all else fails, read our handy Guide — we sent it to you when you signed up, but if you’re like me, that’s probably buried 2,743 emails deep by now; you can download it here.

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The First FarmRaiser Video

December 21, 2015 / All / Comments: 0

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We are thrilled to announce the release of our first video, featuring the second annual Hemingway Elementary FarmRaiser in Ketchum, Idaho. This school turned their passion of healthy local food into yet another $10,000+ fundraiser. Please take a minute to watch the video, and share it with your friends and family. Thanks to the folks at Wide Eye productions who shot and edited this piece in record time.

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What do Moose, Overzealous Zucchini, and Alice Waters Have in Common?

November 23, 2015 / All / Comments: 0

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They are all featured in the Readers to Eaters catalog of books that teaches kids about food and healthy eating. Readers to Eaters was founded in 2009 by Philip and June Jo Lee with a mission to promote food literacy from the ground up. With backgrounds in children’s publishing, education, and food ethnography, Philip and June Jo recognized that that youth obesity, hunger, and lack of access to good foods are major obstacles for children learning in school.

Featuring titles such as Silvia’s Spinach and Zora’s Zucchini by Katherine Pryor and Anna Raff, Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Eric-Shabazz Larkin, and Feeding the Young Athlete by Cynthia Lair,  Readers to Eaters helps families and children of all ages connect more deeply with their food system, and understand what and how we eat. View their full catalog here, and contact your Cultivator to learn about  special pricing and opportunities to earn books for the school library or a visit from one of the Readers to Eaters authors.

If you’re looking for a gift for the growing foodie on your list this holiday, you can purchase directly from their catalog. . .  Food + Books + Kids = Winning the Holidays

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Partnership with Real Food for Kids

November 21, 2015 / All, Artisans and Farmers, Healthy Fundraising Ideas / Comments: 0

logo 4 colorFarmRaiser is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Real Food for Kids Montgomery. RFKM is a true grass-roots organization that has grown over the last three years from a small group of parents concerned about nutrition in schools to a coalition of over 3900 supporters, with parents representing 90% of the schools in Montgomery County with 60 official representatives taking leadership roles in improving school nutrition and health. Learn more about RFKM, and join their mailing list and help make a difference in your child’s health.

Our kids are our future. They can’t function well if they aren’t offered healthy choices for lunch. The current Standard American Diet offered is processed, leaves them lethargic, promotes weight gain, and diseases such as diabetes – no longer called “adult onset” because it’s so common in young people. Not only our health depends on these changes but so does our economic future. Let’s do the right thing by our kids.
– an RFKM Supporter

Real Food for Kids Montgomery is excited to promote FarmRaiser as a healthy fundraising option for teachers, coaches, students and staff at Montgomery County Public Schools — it’s a concrete step schools can take to promote healthy eating and move away from junk food fundraisers to support activities.

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Sugary Soda Will Kill You

November 16, 2015 / Family and Community Health / Comments: 0

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Warning: the following infographic may be dangerous to your soda consumption. After surviving the onslaught of halloween candy, you may think you are safe, but added sugar lurks everywhere (but mostly in soft drinks). As addictive as cocaine, and as pervasive as salt (a compound we actually need to survive), the average american child consumes 32 teaspoons of added sugar per day, over three times the American Heart Association’s recommended maximum. The consequences of overconsumption of sugar include obesity, hypertension, diabetes and more. One third of our excess sugar consumption comes from drinking sugary drinks like energy drinks and soda pop.

One of FarmRaiser’s goals is to raise awareness among our student champions about the value of healthy food choices. While it’s too early to know for sure, we believe that selling healthy, local products will give kids the information they need to make better choices in their own diets. If you, or your children have a good FarmRaiser story, drop us a line, and we’ll feature it in a blog post or in our newsletter.

Nursing your sweet tooth

 

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Community Gardens Can Improve Your Mental Health, Study Shows

November 4, 2015 / All / Comments: 0

People who garden for at least 30 minutes a week experience better moods.

Source: Community Gardens Can Improve Your Mental Health, Study Shows

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October Newsletter

October 22, 2015 / All / Comments: 0

F2S Action Day share graphicOctober is national Farm-to-School Month, a cause that is near and dear to FarmRaiser. We believe in a future where kids and schools get healthy fresh food from local farms, so please take a few minutes today, and learn how you can help bring that vision to reality. The short version is that Farm-to-School makes a difference, and we need your help to continue this progress during today’s Big Day of Action.


1. Farm to School Works.
 After a few years of experience with farm-to-school programs across the country, there is enough data for academic researchers to demonstrate with replicable studies what you already know in your heart: kids eat more healthy food in schools with farm-to-school programs. Read more on the USDA site.

2. We need your help to carry this forward.  Earlier this year, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Reps Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) introduced the Farm to School Act of 2015. With additional support from your Members of Congress, this bill can become part of the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization (CNR) package.  The bill would be a major win for kids, farmers and communities around the country, but it won’t pass Congress without your support, so please join us and thousands of others this Thursday, Oct. 22, for a Big Day of Action as we urge Congress to pass a CNR that strengthens farm to school programming across the country.

3.  Learn More. Stay Involved. 

Let’s face it, kids won’t eat healthy foods simply because they are good for them, or because you tell them the should. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent marketing junk food to children, and to break through that advertising noise, we need an authentic experience, like a Pure Food Kids workshop, or Growing a School Garden. We hope that with great partnerships with educators, programs, and extracurricular experiences, FarmRaiser will be part of the movement that connects kids with real food, and helps shape a lifetime of healthy eating choices.

Locally yours,
Mark

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.” –Paul Prudhomme July 13, 1940 – October 8, 2015

 

stampWOW!  This past month has been incredible for our Producer Partners and FarmRaiser Organizers. With over 30 Campaigns in 10 States, we are starting to see what FarmRaiser will look like at scale. We’re averaging over $1000/day in sales, and the school year is just getting started. Our Cultivators have been working their tails off, solving problems, ironing out the kinks in our system and helping make each campaign a success.  So, don’t be shy about sending them some love, (or constructive criticism, we like that too).

Tips for Selling with Social Media. Sure, it’s great to have great products, an online market, and the ability to sell from your Facebook account, but unless your friends and supporters know about it, they won’t buy anything. Read our blog post on using social media to boost your sales, and get your network working for you.

If you’d like to become a FarmRaiser vendor, and have your products sold in school fundraisers, support great local causes, grow your business, sign up here. We’ve got dozens of new campaigns coming online each month and each one is looking for a great set of products to sell. Already a vendor, and want to learn how to get a campaign going in your area? Login to your account and get your products into the marketplace. No login? Having trouble with the platform? email your Cultivator.

Is there a resource or piece of news you’d like to share with FarmRaiser? We want to hear about it! Tweet to @FarmRaiser or email us at info@farmraiser.com.

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Featured Partner: Goodness Greeness in Chicago

We just partnered with, Goodness Greeness Chicago’s premier organic home delivery service to make healthy fundraising a snap. Their popular Box FundraisingProgram, Greens4Green$ is now backed by FarmRaiser’sonline marketplaces and mobile apps to help you raise money for your school by selling the best produce in the Midwest.  With a customized portal and discount codes, Goodness Greeness customers can easily transition to healthy fundraising with FarmRaiser. Contact your Goodness Greeness Representative for a coupon code to boost your first FarmRaiser campaign. Get Started Today

 

FarmRaiser shows off in San Francisco
Last week, we got nominated for a prestigious spot in the “Demo Pit” at Launch Scale, a tech conference in San Francisco, attended by over 5,000 companies in the process of growing. While we have never considered ourselves to be the next Uber or AirBnB, it was great to hear such positive feedback about our model, our technology, and our products, from experienced and savvy entrepreneurs and investors. We used the opportunity to showcase the amazing kids from Kennedy Robotics Team and help them raise money for their next competition.

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