Get started: Fundraising

Reach out to local businesses

Many businesses have been very supportive of both local and national CHARACTER COUNTS! activities. They have underwritten Character Development Seminars, Pursuing Victory With Honor – Sportsmanship Seminars, and countless activities in schools and youth organizations.

For resources beyond the local community, see this list of fundraising links.

Seek early and consistent involvement by local merchants (or statewide/nationwide businesses) in your planning and implementation. And be sure to clearly identify specific needs (money, publicity, materials, food, an activity site, etc.) and your likeliest fundraising targets, asking directly and giving public thanks when donations are made

See our list of funding strategies to get you started.

You could help familiarize the staff of a given company with your group’s activities and your need for community support by having the management place an informational sheet — about the Six Pillars of Character and something more specific to your activity plans — in each employee’s pay envelope. Or, when soliciting the support of a business for a given activity, you might provide tips from this website and suggest that they share these with employees who, in turn, can take them home or to youth organizations to which they belong.

Identify the person who could authorize the contribution you seek and speak to him/her if possible. Follow up with a compelling and clearly written letter spelling out the nature of your request and why your activity warrants their sponsorship. After a few days, give a friendly reminder call to check on the status of your request.

When you’ve got a firm commitment of support, make sure everyone in your organization knows about it. Also, it’s a good idea to have the young people who benefited from the donation write thank-you notes with a brief description of why they appreciate the sponsor’s support. (You could turn this into a character-building exercise in itself.) Of course, you also should write a thank-you note to them.

Give credit — publicly, if possible — to businesses for helping. To simultaneously acknowledge the donor’s generosity and boost public awareness, you might consider giving your supporters a CHARACTER COUNTS! poster, stickers, buttons or other display items available in the CC! store.

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