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Pledge Tips

| Sample Ask Letter | Sample Thank You Letter | Pledge Tracking Sheet |

 

Asking for 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 conservation and youth education programs.

 

Make Pledging Fun and Be Creative!

  • • 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 helps fund youth environmental education and conservation programs in our community. Their child or grandchild may directly benefit!

  • • You could win a valuable prize! Great prizes will be given away to those who raise the most money. Click here to see our list of awesome prizes!

Ask About Corporate Matching

Many corporations match donations made by employees to a 501(c)(3) certified non-profit such as SCVAS. Ask your pledgers if their employer will match their donation! These corporate donations will then 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. 
  • • 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 your sponsor's yard or at their feeder.
  • • Work for free. This is especially great for participating youths! Offer to cut your sponsor's lawn, pick up trash, baby-sit, or wash their car for a pledge over $100.
  • • Big Day Report. Promise to send 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 To 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 would like more information about our organization.

And as always, email scvasbirdathon@gmail.com with questions or concerns.