The First Ask
So, you have your fundraising page looking amazing and have a winning game plan all drawn out? Great! Now it is time to start letting people know about your commitment to race in support of autism research.
For some people, the ‘first ask’ can be nerve racking but it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few reasons to calm your nerves:
- You are raising money for a great cause.
- There are 75 million people world wide on the autism spectrum, chances are high that most of your contacts have a connection to autism.
- Organization for Autism Research impacts countless families, educators, and self advocates by offering FREE resources geared toward making day to day life easier for individuals on the spectrum throughout their lives.
- You are accomplishing something amazing.
- Whether you are running your first marathon (or 8th!), conquering a Tough Mudder, pushing for a 5k PR, or peddling towards an IRONMAN finish line, you are making your miles meaningful by raising money for autism research. Really, who wouldn’t want to support you?!
- You have a game plan and are starting early.
- If this first ask isn’t as successful as you were hoping, that’s okay. That is why you have a game plan! Hosting an event or posting pictures from your training might lead to more donations from your friends and family but you won’t know this until after your first ask.
- You have the support of all the RUN FOR AUTISM team members and staff.
- Have any questions, pop over to Facebook and reach out to past and present RUN FOR AUTISM team members.
- Don’t forget to take advantage of the RUN staff! We are here to answer any questions you have or give advice. Shoot us an email!
Now that those nerves are out of your system lets talk about how to best make that first ask.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great tools to use during your fundraising journey. Announcing your fundraising efforts on social media is an easy and causal way to reach your broad network of friends, family, and contacts. Here are are a few examples of posts you could use to announce your fundraising:
“Oops, I did it again! I am running the Marine Corps Marathon this October on the #RUNFORAUTISM team in support of Organization for Autism Reseach. My goal is to raise $2000 for autism research! Please help me reach this goal and donate today: (insert fundraising link)”
“In two months I will be crossing the finish line of the @Chimarathon! I am making my miles meaningful by raising money for autism research. Click the link in my bio to me reach my goal of $3000!”
“Running the #BerlinMarathon with @RUN_for_AUTISM help me raise $3000 for #AutismResearch! Donate now: (insert fundraising link)” Use Google URL Shortener for a shorter fundraising link
“I just signed up to run my first half marathon with @RUN FOR AUTISM in honor of my son John, who is on the spectrum. Help me reach my goal of raising $1000 for autism research: (insert fundraising link)”
Emailing is a great way to reach out individually and announce your fundraising in a more direct and personal way. Make it easier on yourself by creating a basic draft of the email body with your personal story of why you decided to #RUNFORAUTISM. Include your fundraising link and only personalize the greeting and closing of each email. Here is an example of an email you might send out:
I am really excited to announce that I will be racing IRONMAN Wisconsin this September to raise money for Organization for Autism Research. This is my first full IRONMAN, which is why I wanted to RUN FOR AUTISM in honor of my sister, Mary, who is on the spectrum. My goal is to raise $1406 for autism research, that’s $10 per mile I’ll be racing over this September!
Organization for Autism Research is a 4 star nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by autism by supporting research that produces meaningful and practical results. They also provide free, evidence-based resources and information to families, educators, self-advocates, and professionals geared towards making day to day life easy for those affected by autism. My family took advantage of free resources like A Guide for Transition to Adulthood and Guidelines for College Success when my sister was graduating high school.
I would be extremely grateful if helped me reach my goal and donated to my fundraising efforts. All donations are tax deductible and go towards a great cause! Here is the link to my online fundraising campaign: (insert fundraising link)
Every bit makes a difference, no matter how big or small.
Thank you in advance for your support.
In person announcements are a great way to gauge the potential for donations with acquaintances that you might not feel comfortable sending an email to, such as business contacts, neighbors, or doctors. By bringing up your race training and fundraising in a casual conversation you can see how interested people are in donating to your fundraising campaign. You may be surprised by the number of people you might not have expected that are eager to help you reach your goal and donate to a worth while cause. Here are some examples of how you might bring up the fundraising in casual conversation:
“What are you doing this weekend?
I have a 14 mile training run scheduled this weekend. After that I’ll probable relax and re-hydrate.
14 miles? In this heat?!
Yeah. I’m training for the New York City Marathon this November. I’m running to raise money for autism research. My goal is to raise $5000 in honor of my nephew Ben.
Wow that’s amazing!
If you would like to donated I can email you the link to my fundraising campaign. “