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To Raise Money: Event Fundraising Tips for Teens

Coloring in his $200 donation in red (at left), Ryan feels great about helping save a bear’s life.

To raise money, you have to ask for it. The following event fundraising tips for teens are critical to help teens improve their confidence and effectiveness when fundraising at events.

How we raised $837.00 in 6 1/2 hours
When you are volunteering at an event, you need to maximize your ROI (return on investment). Once a year I use the proceeds from my books to sponsor booth space at an event called VegFest, from 10:30am – 5:00pm on a  Sunday to raise money for the nonprofit, Animals Asia.

Our annual objective is to raise $675 for life-saving surgery for one badly abused bear. Our overall goal is to raise more than $800. We donate the extra money to cover additional care needed for the bear. This past year we raised a total of $837 in one day.

During the event one of our volunteers, Michael, who is in sales, commented, “I know why we are raising so much money. We are the only exhibitor that does not have our table set up as a barrier. We are one of the few booths where people are standing up and not sitting down and eating. We greet people with a smile, engage them and ask for the donation.”

The good news is that teens can do this too when fundraising at an event. Here are some critical fundraising tips teens can use at events to raise more money:

  • Set a monetary goal. Perhaps you want your goal to be: Raise $500 in one day.
  • No sitting. Stand up. People will feel much more at ease approaching you if you are standing. And it’s more professional.
  • Train. Before your event, you and your fellow volunteers should have participated in training or trained yourselves in order to engage and delight your prospect. You need to be welcoming, knowledgeable, and confident. As covered in my book, greet people professionally and with a smile, engage the prospect, listen, and ask for the donation.
  • Keep your cell phones off and out of sight. Better yet, leave your cell phone at home.
  • Never eat at your table.
  • Don't chat with your co-volunteers when prospects are present, unless you are involving the prospect in your conversation.
  • Set up your table properly. Position your display table 90 degrees to the front of your exhibit. Visitors will feel more welcome and will have a much easier time walking into your booth where you can engage them.
  • Smile. Smile, say hello, engage and listen to your prospect.
  • Tell a story. Have a quick 30-second compelling story to share with your prospects. Pointing to the poster of Jasper (image below) we said: ”Jasper is the bear in this poster. He was pinned to the bottom of his crush cage for 15 years unable to move and milked for his bile on a horrific bear bile farm. The good news is that Animals Asia, the group we volunteer and raise funds for, cut him out of that cage, rescued him, and this is Jasper today, happily living at Animals Asia’s sanctuary. Your investment will help us rescue more bears like Jasper.”
  • Ask for the donation. If you want to receive a donation, you must ask for it. If you don’t ask, you will miss out on a LOT of money. In our case we asked, “Would you like to make a donation to help save the life of one badly abused bear? No amount is too small.” We then stayed silent and let the donor respond.


Banner with photo of Jasper.

Learn more about how to raise money and be a superstar fundraiser in my book Smile & Succeed for Teens.

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