Walk Paddle & Roll Quickstart Guide
QUICKSTART GUIDE TO CREATING AND USING YOUR FIRSTGIVING PAGE
Congratulations for joining Freshwater Future's Walk, Paddle & Roll Campaign! Your participation will do at least five great things:
- You'll raise money to protect water in your community so that future generations can enjoy it.
- You'll raise money to help Freshwater Future combine and multiply the impact of citizens and grassroots groups working to protect rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands throughout the Great Lakes basin.
- You'll introduce more people to Freshwater Future's work.
- You'll have fun doing an outdoor activity that yields donations-without being weighed down by logistics.
- You'll gain confidence and experience in fundraising.
This Quickstart Guide will zoom you through the process of planning your Walk, Paddle & Roll event, setting up a fundraising page at Firstgiving, recruiting people to join or pledge to your event, and thanking your donors.
The first section covers your essential steps. The advanced section tells you how to recruit even more event participants and donors by snagging media attention and lining up sponsors.
STEP ONE: REGISTER FOR WALK, PADDLE & ROLL
If you are forming a team on behalf of a local citizens group, such as Kingston Field Naturalists or Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, then print and sign two copies of the 2012 Partner Agreement. Return one copy to us by postal mail or by scanning and attaching to an email. You also may digitally sign the form and send by email.
Whether you are joining a team or raising funds on your own, you need to print and sign two copies of the Participant Registration, Waiver, and Release Form. Return one copy to us by postal mail or by scanning and attaching to an email. You also may digitally sign the form and send by email.
STEP TWO: CHOOSE AN ACTIVITY
Even if you're on a team, you and your team members will each do your own Walk, Paddle & Roll (WPR) activity. That means you can choose whatever is most fun for you-walking, kayaking, canoeing, ice sailing, biking, fishing, surfing, orienteering, geocaching, or whatever. Check other WPR participants' pages to see what they've done. Doing your own activity takes way less effort than trying to organize an event for every team member to do together on the same day.
Some participants have chosen not to do a physical activity. Instead they've simply created a Freshwater Future fundraising page on the FirstGiving site and have still raised significant funds.
STEP THREE: SET UP YOUR FIRSTGIVING WEBPAGE
Go to Freshwater Future's FirstGiving homepage. Click on either the green "Start Fundraising" box or click here to create your FirstGiving profile. Either way you'll end up at a page where you'll register to create a profile. Click on "Join Now" to create a First Giving Account.
On the FirstGiving Account page, fill in the required information. Your name will automatically be filled into your profile URL-unless someone with your same name has already registered. In that case, choose another ending for your profile URL. Now click on the blue "Create Account" box.
On the "Want to be part of a team?" page, you'll do one of three things:
- Join an existing team. In most cases the team name will be the same as the organization name.
- Add a new team. In most cases your team name will be the same as the organization name.
- Click the "skip this link".
The next page will be "Your fundraising page!"
On this page, fill in the page title and your fundraising goal. Then either stick with the text that's already pasted in to the "Story" box, or personalize it. For personalization ideas, look at other WPR participants' pages and these tips from FirstGiving.
STEP FOUR: EMAIL YOUR PAGE TO YOUR FRIENDS
Once you create a profile, FirstGiving will send you a reminder email with the URL (web address) for your page. The email will include links to easy tips on how to ask your friends to pledge and donate through your fundraising page. FirstGiving's extensive help section shows how add photos and videos to your page and promote it on Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, and more.
If you want to send a short email (255 characters or less) with the link to your page, simply click the envelope icon (upper left of your page) and use the email form. If you'd rather send a longer email, you can send from your email account and include your page link, as in the examples here.
Some WPR participants quantify their activity, such as biking or paddling 17 miles, and ask friends to choose an amount to pledge per mile. Others just ask for a donation.
Freshwater Future will report to you with addresses and emails of people who gave online. Freshwater Future will also send each donor a customized thank you letter with your name and team (if applicable). Donors can use this letter for tax purposes. Donors will also receive a free one-year membership to Freshwater Future. We also recommend that you personally thank each of your donors-especially if you plan to participate in WPR again.
ADVANCED PUBLICITY STRATEGIES
If your WPR campaign is on behalf of a local organization, then half the net proceeds* you raise will go directly to your organization and half to Freshwater Future. However, remember that each year, the top three teams get a bigger cut. The top team receives 75 percent of net proceeds for its organization. The second team receives 65 percent, and the third team receives 45 percent. You'll have a great chance for finishing among the top three if you get media coverage and sponsors.
Use this media release template to ask local newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations to publicize your WPR effort. You can fax or email your release. If you have lined up sponsors, be sure to include their names in every media release.
If you want to provide reporters or sponsors with more information about Freshwater Future's Walk, Paddle & Roll campaign, then check out this fact sheet. Consult this list of organizing tips for more ideas on getting the best results from your fundraising effort.
Finally, please accept our deep gratitude for all you are doing to protect special water resources in your community and to support Freshwater Future's work throughout the Great Lakes water basin.
* For every WPR donation made online, the first 7.5 percent (e.g. $1.88 of a $25 donation) goes to FirstGiving for sharing its software and hosting personal fundraising webpages. Many donors check the "I want to cover the fees for my donation" box.