SAA is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Our Tax ID Number is 22-3248256.
Swim Across America participants
continue to be amazing fundraisers year after year and it is our
challenge to come up with new and interesting ways to help. Check out
some of our fundraising tips and remember that the best tool you have is
online fundraising. When you register for an event you will be given a
personal fundraising page so be sure to utilize all of the tools at your
disposal. You can use the page to explain why you are swimming, to send
emails asking for support (and to track their success), post
pictures, and send thank you notes.
The Right Attitude
The key to being a successful fundraiser is thinking big, remembering
why you have made this commitment and reminding donors how important
your swim is – as Dr. Jedd Wolchuck of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer
Center once said, “I see the mark that Swim Across America makes on the
lives of my patients every day.”
Start Fundraising Early. Try
to start fundraising 2-3 months before your swim. The deadline for
reaching your fundraising minimum differs depending on your event, but
it is usually event day. If you start a little late, don’t worry…Just be
sure to utilize online fundraising as much as possible.
Don't be Afraid. Don’t be afraid to suggest an amount to a potential donor or tell
people what your goal is. In addition, don’t be afraid to remind
friends, family, and coworkers about your swim more than once. People
get busy and, usually, a reminder is just the push they needed.
Make it Personal. This is about YOU! When your donors contribute, they consider
themselves to be supporting YOU more than Swim Across America generally.
Everyone has been affected by cancer so expressing your personal
reasons for swimming may help people understand how important the cause
Knowledge is power. Know a bit about the beneficiaries your event supports so that you can
answer questions and explain where the money is going. Check out our beneficiaries page here.
Every little bit counts. In 2009, over 90% of the donations Swim Across America received were in
increments of $100 or less. We continued to grow despite the fledgling
economy because our swimmers understand that every dollar is valuable.
If your donors can’t be quite as generous this year, explain that it is
ok. To make up for it, expand your outreach and ask them to pass your
information along to friends and family.
Online Fundraising. When
you register for your event, you will be given a personal fundraising
page (if you are creating a team you will be given a team page as well).
Personalize it, give it a URL, and start sending emails.
Adjust Your Goal. Don’t be afraid to set a high goal and increase it as you reach it.
Make a Video. Film yourself swimming or telling people why you're swimming. The more they know about your story, the more likely they are to be touched and donate.
Make a List.
Make a list of everyone you know and put friends and family at the top.
Remember to include coworkers, customers, clients, suppliers, or people
you go to school with, etc. Think about every avenue of your life:
Where do you eat, work out, go to church/temple/mosque, and hang out?
You know more people than you may realize. Don’t forget to encourage
people to tap into their resources as well.
Social Networking Online.
Do you have a facebook / Myspace account? Most people accumulate
hundreds of friends and barely call on them for anything. Send messages
or create groups and ask for support. Include the personalized URL for
your SAA fundraising page and drive people to it.
Answering Machine Message. Instead
of a normal message letting people know you'll call them back, let them
know you're swimming and give out your web-site info so they can
consider a donation; this also acts as a reminder to those you’ve
Ask Large Donors First. If
you are planning on asking large corporate sponsor for funds, ask them
first. Having a larger total on your page might help later donors to
Dress Down Day. Dress down Friday – Ask your boss if you can host a dress down day, where employees pay to dress down on an assigned day.
Dinner Party. Host
a dinner party/fundraising party /Block party, backyard BBQ: Host a
fundraising party for friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Share
your SAA experience and your reasons for swimming; ask them to support
you. Even ask for a specific suggested donation amount to join in.
Your Parents Can Help.Your
parents know a lot of people outside of your network. Ask them to help
by sending out emails and including the URL of your personal page or
calling their friends and coworkers.
Have a Dough Raiser. Uno Chicago Bar and Grill will give 20% of the proceeds from your meal at Unos towards your Swim Across America swim. Have a team dinner, eat some deep dish pizza, and raise money!
Bake Sale. Have one at work, school, church/temple/mosque and use a sign saying that all donations will go towards cancer research, prevention and treatment. Include a straight donation jar as well.
Matching Gifts. Remind your donors that they can double their donations by submitting Matching Gift forms to their companies.
The Change Jar. Leave
a change jar on your desk at work and ask people to contribute loose
change that is left over from lunch. A little bit adds up to a lot.
Ask for help. Do
you know a person or business that may be interested in giving a large
sum? Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us to help
you close the deal.
Poker Night/Game Night. Host a poker night with a certain buy in. Proceeds go to your swim.