Fundraising Tools


All Team Red Cross runners can create a personalized Crowdrise page to assist with your fundraising efforts. Crowdrise is extremely easy to use and allows your friends, family and coworkers to donate to your goal right online and track your progress.

To set-up your complementary online fundraising portal, go to the Team Red Cross Crowdrise page and follow the directions below:
  • Click the red “JOIN the team” link on the right
  • Select “Don’t Have an Account? Sign Up”
  • Enter your personal information and click the orange Sign-Up button to create your personal account
  • Continue to follow the instructions provided
  • Start fundraising by sharing your page link with friends, family and on social media
Crowdrise Tips:
  • Make your page personal! Add pictures and tell your marathon story and why you are running to support the American Red Cross.

  • Tell your donors where their money is going so they feel connected to your cause
  • For more information about the Red Cross, find links in the Fundraising Tool Kit

  • Thank your donors! Thank them quickly after they donate and thank them often. People are more likely to give again if you thank them right away.

  • Get creative. Have you reached out to everyone in your network via social media and email and are now stuck? This article shares 50 Creative Ways to Keep Your Fundraising Going. Don’t be afraid to try something new and get a little silly. Sometimes the more unique a fundraiser is, the more attention it will get from donors.

  • Ask a local restaurant or store that you frequent to donate a portion of their sales for the night to the Red Cross on your behalf.
Here are some additional creative ideas from one of our top fundraisers, Jacob O.
  • Baked goods. Offer people baked goods and let them know about your fundraiser while doing so. Note - I never sold baked goods to raise money, or told people they couldn't enjoy them unless they donated. It’s simply a kind gesture that will help them remember to donate. For example, I brought in cookies to my office and sent an email to everyone saying "I made some cookies, please enjoy! Also, I’m running the Chicago marathon for Team Red Cross. Here is the link if you would like to donate."
  • Create a Facebook event. I created a Facebook event and invited all the people I thought would be willing to donate. The good thing about a Facebook event is that you can send updates to everyone at once. Something simple like "Thanks everyone for your support. We already hit $500! I know with your help we can hit $750 by the end of the month." Lots of people intend to donate and then forget, so messages like that remind them.
  • Ask someone to match. This is something you can do with a family member or friend you know is willing to give a decent size donation. Instead of getting a set amount from them, ask if they are willing instead to match donations made by a certain date. The benefit of this is less about the matching donator's contribution, but more about the incentive for everyone else to donate. If you tell people "any donation you make by the end of this month with be matched", they will be a little bit more likely to donate.
If you are in a rut with your fundraising or just getting started, take a look at this article: 7 Tips on Asking for Donations

One of my favorite tips they recommend is be specific. Ask your donors for a specific amount. Don’t make them do the work of figuring out how much they should give.

Furthermore, research shows that donors are more likely to donate a larger amount if you ask for it. When presented with larger options, donors are more likely to select a larger amount than if they have to come up with an amount on their own.

Be creative!
  • Ask everyone in your family to donate $26.2.
  • Or ask them to donate a dollar for how many minutes they think it will take you to complete the marathon (3 hours and 45 minutes? = $225 OR 4 hours and 27 minutes = $267). The donor who donates an amount closest to your actual time wins a prize!
Use Red Cross dollar handles to ask for specific support and tie it to our Red Cross mission:
  • $10 will allow the Red Cross provide 10 measles vaccinations to children
  • $30 will help the Red Cross reduce home fire related deaths, by providing 2 smoke alarms to a family in an at-risk community
  • $100 will send a Red Cross comfort kit to a wounded soldier
  • $250 will help the Red Cross provide recovery assistance for two people following a tragic home fire in which their home is no longer livable
  • $1,000 provides 5 families with food and shelter for one day
  • $1,650 will deploy one volunteer to a national disaster such as flooding in Louisiana for 10 days

Fundraising Tool Kit & Offline Donations

If you need help creating content to send to your donors, you can utilize the Fundraising Tool Kit. The toolkit includes a sample customizable letter and email template you can send to potential donors as well as sample social media posts. Find the Fundraising Tool Kit here.

Furthermore, if you have family members hesitant about giving their information online, ask them to write a check to the American Red Cross or donate over the phone and we’ll count it towards your goal! Looking for another unique way to fundraise outside of Crowdrise?
Ask a local restaurant or store that you frequent to donate a portion of their sales for the night to the Red Cross on your behalf. As a runner, look into other athletic fundraisers you can do!
  • Organize a local walk, run, swim meet, sand volleyball tournament, flag football game or other sports tournament! Host the event at a free park and charge teams to enter the tournament.
  • Have a friend that’s a yoga/pilates/dance instructor? Ask them to donate their time and host a class for charity!
  • Look into other sports organizations that might be willing to donate proceeds from a class to your charity.
Organize a social event for your friends, family, neighbors or coworkers.
  • Host a wine and cheese night or a summer BBQ at your apartment and ask attendees for donations.
  • Invite the neighborhood kids for a playdate at your house. A small donation is cheaper than a babysitter!
  • Host a bingo or board game night! Participants need to donate to participate.
  • Conduct a split the pot at work (with approval from HR). Winner takes home half!
  • Organize a pub crawl for your friends. Everyone loves a good theme!
  • Check out this article for lots of other ideas.

Matching Gifts

One of the best ways to reach your fundraising goal quickly is to secure a matching gift from a corporate sponsor. You should definitely look in to your company’s policy on employee giving and to see if they will match a gift that you make. If you are a student, you can ask your parents or relatives if any of their companies will support you.