Last fall I committed to raising (or donating) $750 for the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham during the month leading up to the organization’s big annual fundraiser, Smart Party. Those of us who sign up for this challenge are called Smarty Pants and how can you not want to be given that distinction?! My very frugal husband, however, was very nervous about this endeavor, worried that I’d only raise about 20 bucks and that we’d have to shell out the rest. But because of the generosity of the community I’ve built around the See Jane Write blog and brand, I raised over $1,000!

And now I’m at again. I’m working to raise $750 for the Women’s Fund by October 12, the day of this year’s Smart Party. If you’d like to help, simply click here to make your donation. Even a contribution of $10 would help and would be much appreciated.

If you’d like to use your platform for good, here’s a look into how I raised $1,000 last year and what I plan to do to pull off this feat once again.

Engage your email list.

Your email list isn’t just good for getting folks to read your blog posts or purchase your books and e-courses. If you’ve been sending your email list plenty of informational and inspirational content FOR FREE, they will be happy to contribute to your cause. In addition to sending a mass message to your entire list asking for donations, I also recommend identifying a few people who care about this cause as much as you do and emailing them individually.

Build from your blog.

Write a blog post explaining why you’re raising money for this particular organization. Explain what the organization does and how they do it. The mission of the Women’s Fund is to move women and their children beyond poverty. But the Women’s Fund recognizes that a single organization can’t do this alone. So the Women’s Fund grants money to various non-profit organizations in Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, and Walker counties that help women with the things necessary to escape poverty, such as postsecondary education, quality childcare, and safe housing.

If you have a personal story about the organization share that, too. The Smart Party is not just a fundraiser, but also an event that honors women in Birmingham doing innovative and remarkable things in business, the arts, and philanthropy. In 2012 I was an honoree at the first Smart Party and this remains one of my proudest achievements, as I shared in a blog post last year.

Serve through social media.

Social media promotion proved to be just as effective as email in helping me raise funds, especially posts to my Facebook group. I also scheduled several tweets a day and posted to my Facebook page and profile often. I plan to do all this again this year and I’m going to promote on Instagram as well.

Go above and beyond.

Do something to show just how committed you are to this cause and something that will give people an extra incentive to donate. Last year I bought an extra ticket to the Smart Party and held a drawing for it. Anyone who donated $20 or more was entered into the contest. I plan to host this giveaway again this year for members of my Facebook group. (But if you want to go on and buy a ticket to the party now, you can do so here. The Smart Party is set for Thursday, Oct. 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Iron City.)

To make your donation to the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham simply visit my fundraising page at https://womensfund.smartparty.org/javacia.harrisbowser.

 

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