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Fundraising and Selling Ads are Similar to Exercising

by Carrie Wintle
Miss South Dakota's Outstanding Teen 2008

Fundraising is very similar to exercising. First of all, they both take a lot of hard work. In order to reach your goal of either getting in shape or raising money you have to devote time and effort. If you really want to raise money for a cause that you find important than you would be willing to spend as much time as necessary. The same thing goes for exercising. 

There are many different key points that I learned through my fundraising experiences. It is very important to build strong contacts and relationships within your community. Involving your supporters in any fundraiser you have or writing a thank you for their donations are both simple ways to show that you appreciate their support. Experience is also crucial. Every time you get turned down; take it as a learning experience. Evaluate what you did right or wrong and try something different next time. Selling ads helped me tremendously when I was raising money for Children's Miracle Network. Being persistent is always very helpful. Even if you have to visit a business 100 times before you talk to the person in charge; that 100th visit could just be one of your biggest donations. In addition, be ready to take advantage of a situation. Just because someone doesn't want to take part in one thing doesn't mean they wouldn't be willing to support you in another way. I went to sell an ad to a business and they weren't willing but I had a backup plan and they ended up donating money to Children's Miracle Network. When asking for money; whether it's for a fundraiser or selling ads; always start from the largest dollar and work down. For example, start by saying you can buy a full page, half page, or quarter page. Starting low may cause the buyer to think that you don't consider them for a bigger donation. Don't forget to be specific. Make sure the entire community knows exactly what you are raising money for. Finally, JUST ASK! You never know who would be willing to support your cause. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started raising money. First of all, incorporate some of your own personality in your fundraising efforts. I like to cook so I came up with Pie of the Month to sell at a silent auction. Every month for 12 months I make a pie for someone. Not only is this fun for me but I also raised tons of money for Children's Miracle Network. Also, keep the community involved in every fundraiser. My very first fundraiser was a trunk show and not only did I have a blast but my entire community was able to see all of my dresses I was taking to Miss America's Outstanding Teen. I also think that all fundraisers should just be fun and relaxed. Sometimes the most enjoyable fundraisers are the ones that are just casual and relaxed. 

I have learned so much from my experiences raising money. Learning what fundraising is, is one of the most important things. Thinking that fundraising is similar to exercising is an easy way for me to keep going. All of my tips for fundraising are things that I have learned and they have been very helpful to me. Finally, there are so many different fun ideas for a fundraiser. I love experimenting with new ideas. All in all, fundraising is all about finding something you really care about and spending time and effort raising money and supporting that cause.

Check back monthly to hear Carrie’s advice and thoughts on raising funds. To learn more about Children’s Miracle Network, please visit If you have questions for Carrie, please email


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