A Message to camp students from Bay Area Equine Vet Camp —
Raising your own funds is a great way to help pay for a portion of the cost of Bay Area Equine Vet Camp, while giving you a sense of ownership in making your BAE Vet Camp experience a reality. And there are many ways to raise those funds. One way is to earn the money by working for it; another way is to hold an event that brings in money; and a third way is to ask for donations from family, friends, and local businesses by promoting the educational and social benefits of attending camp. With this in mind, we are pleased to share a few tips on getting started and ideas for raising funds.
First, prepare a Mission Statement and write it down: People want to know why they should contribute to your fundraising effort—so let them know. In your own words, explain what BAE Vet Camp is [check www.baeclub.org for specific language] and why you would like to attend. Talk about your passion for horses and how camp is a great first step in your plans to work with animals and even possibly enroll in veterinary school in the future. Write your mission down so you can use the words in fundraising “Ask” letters and share your story aloud when someone asks you, “Why do you want to go to Vet Camp?” People are happy to donate funds if they feel the mission is well thought out and the benefits are measurable.
Start early and set a timeline: It may take more than one fundraising effort or activity to reach your goal, so allow yourself plenty of time to try different ideas and still make the program payment deadlines.
Establish monetary goals: Set a goal of how much you’d like to fundraise. This will include a conversation with your parent or primary funder to establish an appropriate personal goal.
Pick a fundraising method or activity: Choose the method or activity that is right for you. You can choose more than one, but the most important part is to develop a plan of action and get started! Need ideas?
- • Ask for contributions & gifts: Ask your friends and family to contribute to your fundraising, perhaps in lieu of birthday or graduation gifts. Prepare an engaging letter that describes BAE Vet Camp, why you want to attend, and the value of their financial support. You can find a sample “Ask” letter here—but be sure to personalize every letter you send out with your own story.
- • Earn $ by referring a student to BAE Vet Camp: Register as a BAE Vet Camp Promoter with Camp Director Shanna Gage Lai, email@example.com. Talk about BAE Vet Camp with friends; post the 2015 BAE Vet Camp flyer on Facebook; and post the smaller file 2015 Vet Camp graphic on Instagram. Ask the Camp Director for copies of the printed flyer, and tell her who you’re talking with and where you’ve posted flyers around town. If a student registers for 2015 BAE Vet Camp because she heard about Vet Camp or read about Vet Camp because of you (registrants are asked, “How did you hear about camp?”), you will earn $200 towards your Vet Camp costs.• Contact local businesses: Write letters to businesses and individuals in the community. Often when people are aware of an opportunity like BAE Vet Camp, they are willing to help.
• Ramp up your babysitting gigs:Tell friends and community members that you are interested in babysitting to help raise funds for BAE Vet Camp.
• Offer pet care: Offer to take care of your friends’ and neighbors’ pets while they are at work or on vacation. Charge based on different services, such as walking, feeding, or playing.
• Launch an Indiegogo or GoFundMe online fundraising campaign. Both sites are personal fundraising websites that use “crowdfunding” to raise money for an idea, project, or experience through social media. Crowdfunding is a fun and popular way to raise money. You create a page for your funding campaign, set up an account with PayPal, then publicize through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, e-mail, and other channels. If you are under the age of 18, you must have a parent’s consent to launch an online campaign. Check out www.indiegogo.com and www.gofundme.com.
These are just a few suggestions for raising funds, but there are many more options! Just remember, the planning and hard work will be worth it when you are attending 2015 Bay Area Equine Vet Camp.
How to use an “Ask” letter:
COPY, PASTE, AND CUSTOMIZE
You can copy and paste the entire text of this sample letter and create your own “Ask” letters by adding the date, the name of the person to whom you are sending the letter, the amount of money you wish to raise, your complete name and postal mailing address so donors know where to send the check, and your signature in the body of the letter, and your name in the bottom “tear off” section with sponsorship amounts.
Remember, do not just print out the letter as is and fill in the blanks. You want to copy and paste the text and complete the letter with your own information—your own touches. You may want to revise the letter so it reads more about you and your dreams and your goals. That’s fine too! People will be receptive to giving if they know the “Ask” has come from your heart.
INCLUDE AN SASE & VET CAMP BROCHURE
When you send the “Ask” letter through postal mail, you may want to consider including a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) as a courtesy to your donor. An SASE makes sending in a payment by postal mail easy. Also, when sending the letter through postal mail, you could include the BAE Club/BAE Vet Camp brochure, which fits nicely in a #10 envelope. The professionally produced brochure and BAE Club’s robust website give evidence of the legitimacy and value of BAE Club and BAE Vet Camp and their programs. You can obtain brochures from BAE Vet Camp Director Shanna Gage Lai, 925.922.2908, firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALWAYS SAY “THANK YOU!”
When you receive any amount of money, remember to send a personalized Thank You note to the funder. An acknowledgement of the funding and words of thanks are always appreciated by people who generously give of their time and resources to help others realize their dreams.