College Diabetes Week is always an exciting time for the Rowan University chapter. Along with goals of educating our campus population and celebrating our diabetes, we love to fundraise! Our chapter was so excited to find out that we were named the top fundraising team in The Diabetes Link’s CDW 2019 fundraiser – we were all so proud to be able to provide support to an organization that already gives so much to us.
However, fundraising isn’t always easy, it can be really hard, especially if you have a small chapter or your members are all caught up in midterm prep! Here are six tips that I used or discovered during CDW, when I was leader of Rowan University’s chapter:
Tip #1: My first tip would be to educate all your members about College Diabetes Week way ahead of time! I would make sure that it was on everyone’s radar as one of the main events that our chapter is involved in. Usually during the very first meeting of the year, I would explain why we are raising money in the first place! We raise money for The Link because we are The Link! We believe in their mission and want to support them in continuing to provide resources for young adults with diabetes like ourselves.
Tip #2: My second tip would be to have a meeting dedicated to setting up your Classy pages. The Diabetes Link uses the Classy platform to make it easy for chapters to raise money and personalize their pages. Every year Rowan’s Chapter has a meeting where we all bring our laptops or tablets, and the chapter leader guides everyone through how to make their own pages, how to join the team’s page, and how to share it on social media. If your campus is hosting clubs and organizations online this semester, you can easily host a virtual tutorial during one of your chapter’s remote meetings!
Tip #3: Another thing I’d ask all my members to do is to post their fundraising pages on social media! I personally post mine to Facebook as I know that is where the majority of my family, the people who support me the most, are likely to see it. Along those lines, we try to be extra active on Instagram and Facebook all throughout CDW to celebrate and raise awareness. Even if your friends or family can’t support you through donations, maybe they can support you by spreading the word and sharing your story.
Tip #4: I’d also suggest that chapter leaders encourage all members, those living with diabetes and those who are not, to participate! Rowan University also had the team with the most members in 2019, and that is because all of our members joined in the fundraising efforts. If your chapter has non-T1D members that attend meetings regularly, chances are that they stick around for a good reason and feel just as passionately about The Diabetes Link and its mission as your T1D members.
Tip #5: Another way to strengthen your team is to engage your alumni members! Reach out through email, social media, or whatever platform your chapter regularly uses to communicate. You can invite them to make a page for the team like they had when they were students, or ask for a donation to the team or a social media share. Speaking from experience, those that were involved with their chapter as students will likely love to be involved as alum.
Tip #6: Finally, I’d say to ask for small donations! People may feel intimidated if they see others donating large sums of money, so it’s helpful to remind them that any amount is appreciated! Our previous chapter leader would encourage us to use our diagnosis date as a fun way to do this! For example, I was diagnosed on August 4th, so when I would share my fundraising page with family and friends I’d ask for a donation of $8.04!
Asking for monetary donations is not always the easiest thing to do but we all believe in the mission of The Diabetes Link and want to watch it succeed! It is so meaningful to be able to support the very organization that supports us in so many ways. Whether you choose to show this support by spreading the message on social media, sharing the fundraising pages of your friends, family, and chapter members, or fundraising yourself- be proud of your energy and efforts!
Editor’s Note: Ready to start fundraising? Start a team, find your chapter’s team, or donate here.
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