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Spring Birdathon: Maximize your Pledges

Beginners are always surprised at their success collecting pledges. It may seem overwhelming at first but it is easier than you think! Remember you are not collecting pledges for yourself. You are collecting tax-deductible donations to support our excellent conservation and youth education programs.

Make pledging fun, ask for creative pledges

  • Per Species. "I pledge 50¢ per each bird species you identify."
  • Per Species, Limited. "I pledge 50¢ per each species, up to a maximum of $100!"
  • Flat Rate. "I donate $25 right now." This makes pledging easy since you don't have to wait to see how many species you find!
  • Unique. Make up some wild and challenging pledges:
    • "I pledge 25¢ per each species, PLUS $1 for every owl species you count!"
    • "I pledge $100 for every species you see mating!"
    • "I pledge $5 for every hour you spend birding!"
    • "I pledge $10 for every mile you cover!"

Mention these benefits to increase pledges

  • It is Tax Deductible. Remind folks that all donations are tax deductible.
  • For a Noble Cause. All money raised funds youth environmental education and conservation in our community. Their child or grandchild may directly benefit!
  • You could win a valuable prize! Great prizes will be given away to those that raise the most money.

Ask about corporate matching

Many corporations match donations made by employees to a 503(c)(3) certified non-profit such as SCVAS. Ask your pledgers if their employer will match their donation! These corporate donations will count towards your total money raised!

Offer a reward to get more pledges

  • Throw a party. Is your birthday approaching? Throw your own party and ask for pledges instead of gifts! Pass around your pledge sheet at your party.
  • Home baked goods. Yum! Bake some cookies or cakes and give to anyone pledging over $50
  • Food reward. Give everyone who donates at least $20 a chocolate bar or other goodie, nobody can resist that!
  • Bird Walks. Offer to take your pledge sponsors on a personal bird or nature walk for pledges over $50 each.
  • Personal Bird ID. Offer to identify the birds in their yard or at their feeder.
  • Work for free. This is especially great for participating youths! Offer to cut their lawn, pick up trash, baby-sit, or wash their car for a pledge over $100.
  • Big Day Report. Promise to send them a report, of your big day where you describe the details of your crazy bird hunt.
  • Remember! You are NOT asking for money for yourself, it's for the youth education and conservation programs at SCVAS - a great cause!

How do you ask for pledges?

  • Via Letters in the US Mail. Use our sample ask and thank you letters as-is, or start with these and write your own. Enclosing a self-addressed or stamped self-addressed envelope may increase the number of timely responses.
  • Via Email. Email is an easy low-cost and far-reaching way to ask for pledges. Use the sample ask and thank you letters we provided as an example to compose your email.
  • Ask others to help you. Recruit your spouse, family, and friends to gather pledges. Don't forget your pet! Recruit your dog to ask (you may have to help a bit here), "Oh look, I think Spot is asking you to sponsor me".
  • Face-to-face. When you meet people or talk to them on the phone, don't forget to mention that you are participating in a little "friendly competition" to benefit kids and the environment and ask them if they would like to sponsor you.

More information

Refer folks to our website,, if they want more information about our organization.

Last modified on September 2011

Spring Birdathon Team
Spring Birdathon Team

Spring Birdathon benefits
kids and the environment

Thanks to you, the Birdathon fundraising record has been broken each year as more and more folks find out how fun and easy it is to participate. This growth has enabled SCVAS to increase the number of youngsters, many from low income families, that we reach with our science education programs. Your donation dollars also support our many conservation efforts that make us one of the most respected conservation organizations in the Bay Area. Don't forget - all donations are tax-deductible!

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22221 McClellan Rd., Cupertino, CA 95014
Tel: (408) 252-3747 / Fax: (408) 252-2850