Fundraising to get to the AMC
Questions to ask...
- Who needs to be at AMC2013 and what do they need to get there?
- Who has done this kind of fundraising before? What did they learn?
- What do we want to do? Who can help? What is our capacity?
- What’s our dream fundraising goal? What is our scaled-down, realistic goal?
- What is our budget? Who will be responsible for receiving payments from donors and then distributing the resources raised?
- What online payment method will we use?
- How is this going? What's working for other AMC coordinating teams and delegations?
- Do we need to readjust our plan? What can we change to make this work better?
- Are we tracking our income and expenses?
- Are our fundraising efforts also raising people’s level of excitement for the AMC and for our track/practice space/network gathering?
- What went well about or fundraising plan? What could have gone better? What did we learn?
- How much did we make? Did we grow our community?
- Was our projected budget accurate?
- Why are we so awesome?
- How will we follow-up with and thank the people who donated or supported?
A Basic Recipe for Successful Grassroots Fundraising
by Moya Bailey and Zachari Curtis of Shawty Got Skillz
"People are buying into a community or an idea that they support and they should understand how their money furthers that goal as well as see some evidence of their gift beyond getting you and your crew to AMC."
- Seed money
- Motivated Money Makers
- Easy online payment options
- Something fun to do or buy!
The first step is to gather a little bit of seed money. Even $100 to help you with your fundraising projects. Put a little in and you'll get a lot out. Buy your party supplies, or materials you'll need for food or other products you will be selling.
Next, stir in some Motivated Money Makers! It's super important to find people who don't mind asking for money to do it. This is not the time to be coy or passive. Get your friends who have no shame, who really feel comfortable making the hard sell, even if they may only be tangentially connected to the project, to do the asking. It makes a big difference to have a strong bold voice doing a pitch at an event or in a video.
Finally give folks a little something! It can be an experience that they enjoy (a house party), food ( a bake sale), or even a zine! We are not in a world of something for nothing and people are more likely to give if they feel an exchange is taking place. People are buying into a community or an idea that they support and they should understand how their money furthers that goal as well as see some evidence of their gift beyond getting you and your crew to AMC.
Tip: Be careful not to overspend! You don't need a full bar at a house party! Give people 2-4 options and you are all set!
- Reimburse Shawties for travel to AMC
- Pay friends who offered their skillz for our parties
- Buy food, alcohol and other party supplies
- support our fundraising for 2013!
It's important to thank people for their contributions in whatever way is appropriate. We post thank yous on our tumblr and send out emails to folks who gave their time. Some folks who give prizes or hand-write thank you notes and updates. It usually ends up generating more generosity.
More Awesome Fundraising Plans that have Worked!
THE PHILADELPHIA EPIC EVENT (2011)
Philly Stands Up! threw "The Hunger," a fundraising effort to bring folks from all over North America to participate in the Allied Media Conference's Growing Safer Communities track.
- A $500 mini-grant from the AMC paid for the space rental and DJs, and members of PSU fronted another $500 to cover drinks, promotional materials, and supplies.
- In a month of outreach, we had solicited donations from more than 30 contributors. Their art, gift cards, and offers of skills peppered the walls of our "gallery."
- By 9PM, the space had filled up because no one wanted to miss Life's a Drag, the Attic Youth Center's notorious Drag Troupe. When the performance ended at 10PM, we closed the art auction and kicked off the dance party with local DJ Precolumbian and New York friend Shomi Noise.
- Bar favorites included both local brews and cheap beer, liquors that had been infused for weeks with local herbs and a whole table of snacks and nonalcoholic beverages.
- It was important to us that this space was youth friendly and large enough that guests had more social options than just drinking or dancing. A guest photographer and fly costume selection made the photobooth particularly popular.
- We made sure to have printed and posted statements declaring, “this a Safe(r) Space” and had clearly marked Mediators on hand [looking good in neon arm bands] who stayed sober and were around to help navigate conflict and keep an eye on the vibe, safety and intention of the space.
- Over 200 attendees came out to party and support Transformative Justice and the AMC. The $2,700 we raised helped bring magnificent people to Detroit, and made the Growing Safer Communities track one of brilliance and robust action.
IMMUNE POWER PACKS FOR THE HEALING JUSTICE PRACTICE SPACE (2011 & 2012)
- The HJPS spent their $500 AMC mini-grant fronting the supplies for the Power Packs. They advertised by writing an article for the AMC blog and advertising to their networks as well as potential attendees to the AMC.
- They sold the Immune Power Packs and collected donations on the AMPStore, which AMC attendees were already using to register for the conference–like candy in the check-out line, but way better.
- As a result of the fundraising, all HJPS coordinators and volunteers who required travel stipends were able to receive support, and a leftover balance was carried forward for 2013 fundraising efforts.
INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN FOR DETROIT FUTURE YOUTH (2012)
Five people coordinated this effort, with dozens more promoting, canvassing and over 109 people ultimately donating on IndieGogo.com. Organizers spent part of their $500 AMC mini-grant to create promotional media (video, posters, icons, etc) for their campaign. Detroit Future Youth offered “perks” for donors ranging from participation in a skate party ($5), to a DFY Curriculum Mixtape ($500). Through donations, they surpassed their $5000 goal.
PHILADELPHIA SPELLING BEE (2009, 2010, and 2011)
- Three coordinators planned the event. They charged a $5 entry fee to the spelling bee. Prizes were donated.
- They spent $100 on food and liquor, and got an addition $100 in food and drink donated. Approximately 150 people attended
- From entry fees and refreshment sales they grossed $1,000, leaving about $900 in funds raised after costs.
- Special touches: Hand-engraved plaque prizes for the winners!