One of the things I've been doing is reaching out to new Extra Lifers in our area, and seeing if they need help understanding how to be successful at fundraising. Over the past few years, we've gotten tons of sign ups at events, but many of them fall short of their goals. I've created an email that I send to them with tips. I'm hoping A. it can be helpful to any of you that want to use it and B. if you can think of anything I've missed let me know! Here it is -
I'm really happy to welcome you to the Extra Life family, it's such a great cause, and I've made so many wonderful friends by being part of it. The best part of Extra Life is that it's incredibly flexible. You can play any type of game for any amount of time. The national game day is November 5th this year, and most people center their activities around that. Many of them do a 24 hour marathon of gaming, but you are certainly not obligated to do it in one 24 hour period. If that doesn't fit into your schedule, I have friends that do 2 12 hour days or 4 six hour sessions or whatever.
The biggest part that contributes to the success of Extra Life is enlisting your friends and family to support you. Let them know what you plan on doing, and show them WHY you're doing it. The Extra Life site has some videos that explain what EL is all about. Share those stories, and the stories of the children and families it helps. A good way to do it, and put a personal spin on it is to customize your fundraising page. If you know a family or have had to make use of the hospital you're raising funds for, tell that story. It is so much more powerful putting a local face to it.
Once you've customized your page, EL has rolled out a new Facebook app that you can use to spread the word and take donations, schedule some posts through that, and start the ball rolling. You'll find that the closer to the event you get, the more people will donate (particularly if you are close to a goal), but don't wait too long to start as you may run out of time. I recommend at least a month out. Set a realistic goal. Your first year, you'll probably want to keep it fairly small (the minimum is $100) but it's not unreasonable to think you could easily double or triple that. One thing that helps motivate people to donate is if you can come up with some tiered stretch goals (i.e. at $200 I'll take a video of myself doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, at $300 I'll drink a shot of hot sauce). Think outside the box!
If you're a video gamer, think about streaming your marathon on Twitch. Extra Life has some great Twitch overlays that you can use, that will show your goals etc. Invite friends to join you, make an event of it. Create a team, and recruit people to help you. Or start a rivalry with a friend and amp up the competition for best fundraising (always on a positive note of course)
Your Extra Life event can start as a very small thing, and grow over the years. 3 years ago, my team raised a little bit over $1,100 (there were about 10 of us). This year my team is up to 25, and we've raised over $21,000 so far this year. You'll find out that once people find out what you're doing, and how excited you are to be doing it, they'll want to help you!