Fundraising Toolkit

To help you in reaching your fundraising goal, we've put together some tips and tools that we hope you'll find useful.



Getting Started

What is peer-to-peer fundraising?

Peer-to-peer fundraising (also known as “Friends asking Friends”) is a method of fundraising that motivates supporters to fundraise on behalf of a cause, as opposed to an organization asking for donations directly. In this case, you are asking your peers to contribute to a cause you care about.

How will you and your peers support the cause?

Covenant House can't solve youth homelessness alone. We need champions, messengers, and storytellers to help us move our mission forward. Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to reach new networks of people and gain new donors. You are now a part of our organization's narrative and your outreach on our behalf will bring new attention to Covenant House Vancouver.

How do I get started?

Stare down your fundraising goal - try raising $400 towards your goal in under one week!

  • Day 1: Sponsor yourself for $50
  • Day 2: Ask three family members for $25
  • Day 3: Ask three friends to donate $15
  • Day 4: Ask three co-workers to sponsor you for $10 (don't forget to also ask your company if they have a matching gifts program).
  • Day 5: E-mail 10 personal contacts and ask for a $20 donation.
  • Day 6: Ask 10 people in your social network for a $10 donation. If social media isn't your thing, try texting your contacts and asking them to contribute.

With these steps, in just one week you will be well on your way to achieving your fundraising goal!


Three steps to success

We know that fundraising can be challenging. If you break the work of fundraising into manageable tasks, it’s easier than you think. Every successful fundraiser we've worked with begins their campaign with the same three steps and you can too. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Set up your fundraising page and make it personal

Once you are registered, a fundraising page will automatically be created for you on our website. The default page is generic; your first step is to personalize your page so that it reflects who you are. Add a photo and explain why you are creating an event in support of Covenant House, and your connection to our cause.

Step 2: Divide your contacts into groups and customize your messages
  • Group 1: The circle of people closest to you in the world
  • Group 2: Friends, family, and colleagues whom you see often and with whom you share common values
  • Group 3: Everyone else on your contact list

Step 3: Ask each group directly for what you want

Making your “asks” is the most time consuming part of fundraising, so we recommend starting with your Group 1 contacts. You can practice on them since they are your most captive audience and they’ll give you some starting gifts to get you going. Then move to Group 2 (after some donations have come in from Group 1) and use the best material that generated a response from Group 1. Lastly, your messaging to Group 3 can build on what you sent to Group 2, and what seemed to resonate with most people.

You can call people, or ask them in person. You can write a letter by hand, send an email, or post on social media, or you can try all of these approaches depending on how you usually communicate with your contacts.

Fundraising FAQs

How do I make sure my contacts understand how my event supports the cause?

We have included information on our Community Giving website about Covenant House, and how we help homeless youth. You can also visit the general Covenant House Vancouver website for additional information. We encourage you to visit these websites and copy and paste any text that resonates with you. A personalized message from you, someone who is volunteering to advocate for these kids, will open people’s eyes. By holding an event in support of Covenant House, you are showing your friends that you care enough to do something out of your comfort zone for homeless youth.

How do I explain where their money goes?

The funds raised by your event help run the programs and services provided to homeless youth, allowing them to access three core programs that make up Covenant House's Continuum of Care. Covenant House is, on average, 95% privately funded so support from the community is crucial to helping the youth seeking their help.

When and how do I appropriately thank people for their gifts?

Always be sure to take time to thank people for their gifts and for their investment in homeless young people. We would suggest that a two-step thank you strategy is most effective: first, thank your donors immediately after you receive a gift, and then follow up after the event to reflect on the experience and share a photo or story to show how the event made an impact on you. You can also periodically send updates to your supporters throughout the fundraising campaign to keep them engaged in the event and share your success and progress.

What if someone ignores my requests for support?

Ask again! If someone doesn’t respond the first time, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not interested in helping. Life moves quickly and sometimes a reminder email is all it takes.