Fundraising is an immediate, powerful way to ensure that young people facing homelessness continue to receive the care they deserve.
We know that these are very tough days for all of us, and it might feel uncomfortable to ask people for money right now. This toolkit will arm you with the facts, stories, and instructions you need to proceed.
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Sleep Out Fundraising coaches are always available to help you however we can:
(212) 727-4990 | [email protected]
Customize your fundraising page.
Adding a photo and personal note to your fundraising page is always important, because it lets people know immediately that they're in the right place. Now more than ever, though, it is important to explain why you joined the Sleep Out, what that means, and how they can help.
- Click “Your Page” from the black menu at the top of the screen.
- To add a photo, click the pencil icon over the photo avatar and follow the instructions to upload an image.
- To add a personal note, click the “My Story” tab under your name and photo, then click the pencil icon in the right corner.
- To customize your page URL, click the “Settings” tab (next to the “My Story” tab). Click the “Customize” link and add your name or initials in the field provided. Be sure to click the blue “Save Changes” button.
If you’re a team captain, click the “Team Page” icon from the top menu and follow the same steps to customize your team’s page.
Make a list of people you want to ask for support.
Start with a few basic categories and fill in a list for each. For example: immediate family, cousins, childhood friends, college friends, current and former colleagues, neighbors, etc. Include people whom you see less regularly, like a LinkedIn connection, but still may want to hear from you.
Consider the following questions when making your list: would this person open an email from me? Would I want to hear from them about something they’re passionate about? Is this a cause that they could connect with? Has this person been especially affected by coronavirus? (e.g. have they or their family fallen ill, are they facing any uncertainty with their job?)
Try to identify between 20-50 people. Now may not be the right time to ask some people to support your Sleep Out, and that's ok. By reviewing your list carefully and sorting it into categories, you can feel more confident about sending a message that each group will find meaningful. Remember, many people are looking for ways to give back during this difficult time.
Finding the right words to talk about your Sleep Out can be tough, especially now. Copy and paste our pre-written sample messages as a starting point, draft a personal note, and use our shareable content on social media.
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Once you're ready, use email, text, and social media to share your message. Always include your personal URL! Email is usually the most effective (we recommend sending at least 2 as most people need a reminder). Your page is mobile-responsive so when you text your page link in a group chat or to people directly, they can donate directly on their phones.
Pro tip: connect a Facebook Fundraiser to your Sleep Out when you register (or through your Participant Dashboard later) and automatically send a notification to all your friends. On Instagram, add your personal URL to your bio (in the "website" field). Always use the hashtag #chsleepout to be part of the national conversation.
By joining the Sleep Out, you are becoming an advocate for youth overcoming homelessness at Covenant House. Lately, it feels like every day brings new developments, new challenges, and new stories. Here are a few ways to learn more and stay up to date:
Read about Covenant House’s service model and the relentless support we offer young people at every step of their journey from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
Find the most up-to-date stories about youth and work being done at Covenant House sites across North America.
On Twitter, follow @CovenantHouse for news from across our federation and Covenant House President Kevin Ryan @CovHousePrez for more stories and reflections. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram. Follow and use the hashtag #chsleepout for photos from across the movement.