You have the passion, the idea, the organization…when you started your charity or began working for a favorite cause you imagined throngs of people all clamoring to help solve this huge problem.  Well, people probably didn’t start lining up to support you or your cause for quite some time right?  Are you still struggling to get people to support your cause?  Do you need more supporters?  Duh…of course you do.  If you don’t have a million dollar marketing budget a team of social media experts or a full-time person working on Google Adwords campaigns it is tough to get noticed through all the noise.

smiling heartDon’t fret…there are still plenty of ways to gain traction for your cause with a small budget and a small team.  Try one (or all) of the ideas below to get 1, 10, or thousands of new supporters for your cause.  You never know which supporter or group of supporters will help propel your cause to the next level.

  1. Use Events.  You don’t have to spend hours, days, or weeks planning an event or even thousands of dollars to use events to bring people to your cause.  One of the best ways to grow your support is to piggy back off of special occasions such as New Year’s Resolutions, the Super Bowl, or other popular events and holidays.  For example you can host a small viewing party, an online challenge, or tie your cause in directly to the event.  Use press releases and social media posts to share the information with your existing supporters and people interested in the core event or occasion.
  2. Use Technology. Free your staff to focus more on their mission and less on things like fundraising and event planning.   There are several great tools that allow NPOs to effectively manage their email, finances, and events.  Using the right technology the right way can allow staff to be more productive to reach out to the important supporters; the influencers in your industry.  Imagine staff spending less time in spreadsheets and more time connecting with the important stakeholders in your field.  Also, see the benefits of using technology to identify potential new supporters through real-time data.  Technology is a great friend that can be used to grow your organization.  Bonus Tip– When researching technology platforms always check to see if there is a discount or free version for NPOs.
  3. Use National Awareness Days to spread your message.  There are many awareness days that any organization can use to promote themselves.  Use this wisely and your supporter base will grow.  Every month has several days that just about any charity can use to promote their message.
  4. Find an Ambassador.  Whatever your cause, surely there is a celebrity or athlete that can relate to what you’re trying to do.  Pay attention to social media for keywords and hashtags that relate to your cause from celebrities and then connect with them when the time is right.
  5. Tell your story.  Newspapers, blogs, Facebook Pages, and radio stations are all looking for great news stories.  Every time you have a victory in your organization, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, let people know about it.  By celebrating our small victories we can let people know more about what we’re doing and share in the vision for a brighter future.  See our post on telling stories for more ideas.
  6. Find Partners.  Whether it is corporate supporters, small businesses, schools, or communities of faith partnering with other organizations not only expands your reach but creates opportunities to gain donors, volunteers, and necessary community support.
  7. Go where the people are.  If you can access platforms, blogs, or other communities (online or in person) where large numbers of people that may support you congregate, even if it costs a little bit of money for access you can benefit from the increased exposure.  For example, Fitbit already has millions of users…why not use a platform like fitRaise that can help you reach those millions of users and encourage them to support your cause?
  8. Host a community session.   People can’t support your cause or for that matter donate to it or volunteer to help with it if they do not know about it.  Whether you’re just getting started or already have a wide geographic reach, community sessions can provide your staff and volunteers with an opportunity to share the core message and how others can get involved.  It doesn’t have to be big and it can be tied in with other events.  For example, try to get in on month meetings with the Rotary Club, local political parties, or church groups.  Most of these organizations would be happy to let you have 5-10 minutes to share your cause and how they can help.

Growing your base of supporters is a great way to increase the reach of your organization and expand its impact.  It can also be a challenge.  Consider spending some time with the tactics mentioned above and celebrate every new supporter as your organization grows.  When you have several supporters that are ready to go the extra mile for your cause with their own fitness activities reach out and we’ll get you set up here on fitRaise to raise money and awareness with every step, stride, or stroke of the pedal.

Have other ideas to get supporters to your cause?  Let us know in the comments below so we can share your success with our network.

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We understand.  You have a lofty mission, lots of work, and a ton of things to do every day to keep the lights on…not to mention solving the huge problems that your organization tries to tackle to make the world a better place.  You and your staff have to respond to countless emails, donor requests, and endless amounts of compliance paperwork.  Plus you have your core mission to focus on too.  That’s a lot to ask of any small (or even large) team.

This challenge is one of the reasons that we created fitRaise.  We learned (through experience) that planning fundraising events was time consuming and difficult.  It resulted in hours upon hours of staff or volunteer time and the result was often marred by poor weather, low attendance, or ridiculous up-front costs.  I often questioned the sanity of these types of events.  Some organizations have found the magic combination to make these types of events successful. The magic combination of up-front costs and staff/volunteer commitment varies from organization to organization and event to event.   If you’ve found the magic great…If not….maybe it’s time for a change.

Here are some ways to earn extra time for you and your team so that you can reach your organization’s goals:

 1.  Eliminate the non-essential.  I love the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.  It spells out in great detail what we need to do so that we get on the path of a “relentless pursuit of less but better.”  To get us away from “majoring in minor activities.”  Spend a few hours reading this book and it will free up days every month that you are currently spending on “minor activities“.

2.  Find Partners.  It cannot be said enough that finding the right partners in any pursuit can make work so much more effective.  It is true the old addage “many hands make light work.”  Seek out and find complementary partners for your cause, community, or mission.  Spreading the workload across different groups allows each group to focus on their main strengths while working towards a common purpose.  Plus tapping into the social networks and PR connections of partner organizations is a great way to maximize exposure for everyone.

3.  Leverage technology.  It is almost overwhelming today to think about the amount of technological resources that are available to us…sometimes it is overwhelming to decide on this provider or that, which software, or CRM platform will be best suited to our needs.  My advice is to select based upon personal relationships.  Having a technology partner that you can call on the phone, speak with, and “feels your pain” can be an asset above any bits and bytes of code.

4.  Make the Right Hires.  Of course easier said than done, but the hire slow, fire fast principle helps to make sure that you have the right people supporting your mission.  One thing that can help in hiring is to know and understand your existing team’s strengths.  It may be helpful to have everyone on the team take the Gallop Strength’s Finder to see what strengths you and your team already have…then fill in the team gaps and search for people that either complement existing strengths or add new strengths to the team.   As a non-profit you also have the benefit of having a group of dedicated volunteers that already know your organization and more importantly….you know them.  When a position opens up or you have an unmet need in the office look to your volunteers first to see if a) someone could volunteer to do it without joining the paid staff or b) there is a volunteer that is ready, willing, and able to take on the full-time staff position.  

5.  Get Moving.  The research is compelling that people that exercise are more productive, have fewer sick days, and are less likely to be obese which improves their health and reduces costs for the organization by a huge margin.  Motivate your staff to go for walks, participate in group fitness activities, or visit the gym regularly.  Set up office challenges for weight-loss, steps, or consistent days exercising to get the competitive juices flowing.  The hour they spend exercising will pay for itself in more productivity, higher levels of creativity, and a healthier community.  Bonus tip- Schedule walking meetings…get out of the conference room and outside to share, discuss, and plan.  Plus if you do this during a fitRaise campaign you’ll also be earning donations.  Who can argue with that?

6. Build Momentum.  Whether it is work or exercise or diet or a football game…the big “MO” is a driver of success.  Find something each day, a small task, a simple win to start every day with to build the momentum for the rest of the day.  These momentum builders enable you to get more done in less time because the body and mind want to keep going to keep building on that momentum.  Success breeds more success and momentum is a key driver of that.

7.  Celebrate your wins.  As busy as you are take a few minutes to celebrate your victories…no matter how big or small.  Taking time to celebrate either by yourself or with your team allows you to reflect on what just happened and log the processes that got that win so that you can do it again in the future and create more victories worth celebrating.

It doesn’t matter if you’re building a company, curing a disease, or helping people in poverty there are daily struggles with having too much to do, being overwhelmed with the needs of the day, and not enough time to get through the entire to-do list.  It is possible to get the important things done and make the impact that needs to be made in the time that we have each week.  Good luck as you go through implementing some of these strategies to get more time in your week to focus on the things that matter.

Have any other ideas?  Let us know in the comments how you get through your week’s to-do list.

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A compelling story can lead to a myriad of amazing things for a non-profit organization.  By telling the right story at the right time in the right way an organization’s message can be amplified through multiple channels getting more donors, volunteers, and ambassadors involved in the mission.

keyboardEach story that you share about your organization needs to have a clear hero or main character.  Is there a special patient that your charity is helping?  Is one of your volunteers making a significant difference in the community?  Has your team reached a milestone related to your cause? A quick look around your office, community, and list of stakeholders may potentially provide you with several different stories to share.

When sharing your stories do as much as possible to connect with your readers.  Share with them the important details that only an insider would know and understand.  Make them feel like they are a part of the story, have been a part of the story, and most importantly…can be a part of the story in the future.

Here are some suggestions on how to create stories for your non-profit.

  1.  Celebrate small victories.  If you are a young non-profit or a small organization be sure to celebrate all of your victories.  Receive a grant?  Tell us the story.  Research breakthrough?  Let us know about it.  Did an important supporter come on board?  We want to hear about it.  Publishers all over the internet and social media are interested in what goes on in the non-profit world.  Everyone wants to hear a positive and uplifting story.  Be the story.
  2. Partner with others.  Do you have or know potential partners that complement what you do?  Work with them to put together joint stories to further amplify the message.
  3. Use celebrations and national awareness days to tell your story.  The website NP Tech For Good has compiled a great calendar that shows most all of the significant awareness days throughout 2016.  Many of these days can be tied in to your cause and mission.  Use this Awareness Days Calendar to schedule your stories through social media to encourage your supporters to take action.  Many of these days allow you to create your own story in relation to the celebration.
  4. Find Your Stakeholders.  Nothing tells a more compelling story than a personal profile of someone impacted by what you do.  Like the small victories above these success stories or human impact stories provide you with a great opportunity to share details about what your organization does, who they try to help, and how effective your programs can be.
  5. Talk about your supporters.  Do you have some interesting corporate or business supporters?  If you do, congratulations! That’s a great step in the right direction.  Consider sending out joint stories about your organization and your relationship with your business supporters.  Interview employees or customers of the business to find out how their support impacts them.  Highlight some of the great things the business is doing within their own organization to lead by example.
  6. Share event details.  Do you have a big event coming up?  In addition to sharing information about the event tell your audience how this event helps the organization, what people at the event will experience, and the impact the event will have on the community.  If you have a keynote speaker that has been influenced by your program or is a leader in the field make sure to tell quite a bit about them and make them a big part of the story.

Stories are everywhere within a charity organization….your job is to find it, tell it, and share it.  Let us know in the comments of some other stories that you’ve told about your organization or a favorite story you’ve heard or read.  Stay tuned for tips on sharing your stories and getting more supporters.

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We realize that the fitRaise mobile app for iPhone and Android is simple and easy to use.  We built it that way to allow us to focus on our core mission….gather miles for good.  By creating a simple app we were able to come to market more quickly and allow us to keep our fees very low.  We also realize and completely understand that many of our users prefer to use other apps to log their miles during a fitRaise event.  Apps like MapMyRun and MapMyRide provide a robust platform for people to track their distance, share their information, and see their results over time…not just during a fitRaise event.  We also love our Fitbits and think that people using these wearable devices should also be able to log their miles without having to use a separate application while they exercise.

new ways to fitraiseGOOD NEWS!!! We have now fully integrated Fitbit and the Under Armour suite of apps (MapMyRun, MapMyRide, and MapMyFitness) into the fitRaise platform.  You can now participate in a charity event on fitRaise and have your linked miles from one of these apps added to your fitRaise account…This means that you can continue using your favorite apps and earn money for causes you love during fitRaise events.

There is a simple four step process to link your accounts.  You can see how to link each account in these articles below:

Link your Fitbit to fitRaise

Link your MapMyRide account to fitRaise

Link your MapMyRun account to fitRaise

There are four steps to linking Fitbit to your fitRaise account.


  1. Login to your fitRaise account on the website
  2. Go to the My Account area (click the link in the top right corner)
  3. Click on the Fitbit Logo
  4. Login to your Fitbit Account and approve
  5. You’re all set…Go for a Run.

There are four steps to linking MapMyRrun to your fitRaise account.


  1. Login to your fitRaise account on the website
  2. Go to the My Account area (click the link in the top right corner)
  3. Click on the Under Armour Logo
  4. Login to your Under Armour Account and approve
  5. You’re all set…Go for a Run.

There are four steps to linking MapMyRide to your fitRaise account.


  1. Login to your fitRaise account on the website
  2. Go to the My Account area (click the link in the top right corner)
  3. Click on the Under Armour Logo
  4. Login to your Under Armour Account and approve
  5. You’re all set…Go for a Ride.

This is a guest post from Brian Saber, President of Asking Matters where you can learn your personal Asking Style and be trained on how to ask for money and why donors choose to contribute to your cause.

Crowdfunding is creating legions of excited new donors. It’s never been easier to reach out to a host of people at minimal cost and solicit gifts for your organization.

Now the challenge begins.

Just as with direct mail, phonathons, and other broad-based fundraising appeals, the key is figuring out which of these donors might become your long-term, major gift donors. How do you get them to continue giving and how do you get them to increase their giving over time?

In a word, cultivation is the key. Cultivation means treating each of your donors as an individual. It’s figuring out what motivated a donor’s initial gift, what type of communication and involvement would engage that donor further, and how your donor makes charitable decisions.

That’s not so easy when you have lots of new donors and don’t know much about them. Now you need to find out which donors are the best prospects for the future.  You’ve got to winnow down the list, because if you try to cultivate everyone, you’ll end up cultivating no one.

Here are five ways to identify and cultivate your best long-term prospects:

1. Start communicating with your new donors immediately and see which ones open your emails regularly.

2. Ask for input and feedback, engaging in a dialog with donors who offer their thoughts.

3. Personalize communication with donors as much as possible. Everyone wants to be recognized as an individual.

4. Offer opportunities to be directly involved in helping your organization.  Those who give their time are more likely to also give their money.

5. Ask them to give again for another project or on the anniversary of their last gift and track who responds. It’s much easier to renew a gift than find a new one, and those who give consistently are hand raisers.

As you learn about your donors and interact with them, begin to develop a major gift tracker. How many donors can you manage? Remember, you can’t cultivate everyone. Perhaps it’s 25 or 50?

Don’t overthink the tracker. What’s most important is the “next step” – what will you do next to engage a particular donor…and who is responsible for it? If you have a simple chart with that information alone it will take you far.

Need an example? Click here to download the Asking Matters Prospect Tracker. It works off an Excel spreadsheet similar to those I’ve used my entire career.

Are you ready to get started? Just take it one step at a time and keep it manageable.

The rest will flow from there.

Brian Saber


Asking Matters

Adding a profile picture to your fitRaise account is a great way to make sure that your supporters know that you are the one that they are supporting.  Your smiling face, an action shot, or event a picture of something that you care deeply about will signify to visitors of your page that know you that they are in the right place and supporting the right person.  If you didn’t upload a profile picture or what to change your profile picture it is easy to do either on the website or from within the fitRaise app.

On the website:

1) Login to your account and go to the My Account Page

2) Click on your image to change it.

3) Select the image you want from your pc files.  At this time you can crop and zoom the image to make it suit you.

4) Save the image and you’re all set.


On the app:

Simply go to the Account screen and select the picture, rcop it and save it.  It’s pretty easy!

The profile picture you select can be a big determining factor in your success on the fitRaise platform.  When choosing pictures make sure that the picture captures you face and your passion for the cause in which you’re supporting.  This will go a long way to encouraging donors to support your efforts.



We know there are thousands of charities out there that need our support and we just haven’t had a chance to contact all of them….(and quite frankly….some of them may need a little encouraging from you to get involved and active on fitRaise).  If you don’t see your favorite charity on our list please get in touch with us so we can reach out to them directly.  You may also send them a tweet or post on their Facebook page that you are interested in them being involved on fitRaise.

Use this sample tweet to get your favorite charity’s attention:

@[charityname] please check out @fitRaise and set up a virtual event.  I want my exercise to raise money for you.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Charity Name (required)

What is your relationship with this charity?

 Supporter Volunteer Employee