Did you know that the number one reason someone gives to a cause is because somebody asks them to? Below, we will give you some tips on the most effective ways to ask others to support you and your commitment to help those living with Parkinson's Disease. 

How to start your fundraising:
Fundraising success is not random! With a bit of planning, you will be sure to reach your goal.

  • Give First. Once you have made your personal donation (of the size that is right for you) you can then be credible when asking others to give.
  • Let everyone know. Click here for ideas of who you can ask and what you can do to support your fundraising efforts. 
  • Ways to ask: you are able to email people directly from your personalized page and online donating is the fastest and easiest way to secure donations. Don't forget to use your online social networks. Facebook, Twitter, etc. are great ways to tell your PD story and ask for support. You can also plan a couple of days to call and mail potential supporters asking for donations. Don't forget the power of asking someone for support in person as well.
  • How to ask: people need to know why it is important to support the work of the Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania. Click here to see tips for what is important when asking for a donation below. These tips will also help you personalize your donation page. 
  • Make it as easy as possible to donate; be prepared to offer several options -- cash, check, credit card, money order, in-kind, etc. Please make sure people check here to see if their company matches donations to charitable organizations. 
  • Follow up. Don't forget to follow up your original appeal.  Follow up a note with a phone call or a visit.  A gentle reminder is always in order.
  • Thank your donors. Don’t forget the personal “thank you” note or call. This will help you get donations and support for next year!

Make it personal:
Explain your personal connection to Parkinson's Disease. Was your mother just diagnosed and benefits from PFWPA services? Do you have PD? Does your company support PFWPA because of its resources? Whatever your reason for joining in the fight against PD is, telling people why makes them more likely to give to your fundraising efforts. Your PD story is important. The more personal the donation ask, the more likely it is to be successful. 

Know the facts:
Even if you do not have a personal connection to PD, you can always speak of the need for resources for people with PD and their loved ones. Below are some facts you can share with the people you are approaching for donations:

  • Western PA has one of the highest rates of PD per capita in the country. This is due to population, genetic and environmental factors. 
  • One million people in the U.S.. have been diagnosed with PD which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. The estimated number of people with PD including those who have been undiagnosed is three million in the U.S.
  • 10 million people in the world live PD. 
  • PFWPA provides support groups, exercise classes, and other programming to around 3,000 monthly in order to enhance the lives of people with PD.

Tell people what their donation can do:

  • $50 could support an exercise class. Exercise is essential in minimizing the physical and mental impact of PD.
  • $100 could defer costs of a Lunch and Learn seminar. PFWPA has several of these during the year in which expert speakers talk about a topic related to PD. 
  • $250 could support a one-on-one consultation.
  • $500 could assist us to launch a new and innovative program.

A few more tips:

  • You’ve heard the expression, “The devil is in the details.”  It’s true!  Increase the possibility of fundraising success by keeping track of your fundraising activities.
  • Aim high! If the donor agreed without thinking, you might have been able to get a larger donation.
  • Be sure to give a deadline for a donation.
  • If you are asking someone in person, leave some materials -- a brochure, a donor form -- something to remind them they want to support you.
  • Be sure to keep a master list (excel works well) of all your contacts, the date you contacted them and the result. Having one list will help you immensely to organize your campaign and be efficient.
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