Ideas for Participants – Asking for Pledges
Remember, most people enjoy contributing to arts organizations, especially nonprofits!
Don’t forget to make your plea personal; let people know how San Diego Writers, Ink has contributed to your growth as an artist, writer, reader, etc.
In addition to blanketing friends, family, and followers on your email list, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, don’t forget the people with whom you work; have they come to you asking you to buy Girl Scout cookies, sponsor a fundraiser, or pledge money for a charity walk? Remember, it’s okay to ask!
Try this: Provide a fun incentive that encourages folks to GIVE BIG! For example…
• Anyone who contributes $25 ($50? $100?) or more will receive a personalized poem or piece of flash fiction, signed by the writer (you); if it helps, you could ask your patron to give you a theme, subject, genre, etc. to get you started.
• A variation on the above is to create a personalized greeting card for a person of the patron’s choosing: just have the patron jot down 3-5 things he/she wants you to include in the greeting, and away you go!
• When you go around asking for pledges, carry a beautiful container and tell folks that contributing “x” dollars earns patrons one of the fortunes you have inside the box. You can write these on nice slips of paper ahead of time, predicting wonderful things for each person’s future.
• It’s amazing how far some people will go for chocolate! Carry around a batch of your special brownies, or some unique truffles, or some mini candy bars or kisses to reward your special patrons.
When you send out your request by email or chat with friends and co-workers, make connections to their lives. You are as passionate about your writing community as that person is about his/her community of friends who: attend Padre games or the Chargers; have a monthly book club, or wine tasting, or bridge game; or support other local artists by going to live music venues, buying pottery and crafts at local farmer’s markets, or going to the theatre.
People might not know San Diego Writers, Ink, but they are probably familiar with other local organizations that have partnered with SDW, Ink on a wide variety of activities: The San Diego Art Institute, San Diego LGBT Pride, The Grove, Warwick’s: an independent book store; Lestat’s Coffee House, Rebecca’s Coffee House, the San Diego Public Library, San Diego County Libraries, San Diego State University’s MFA Program, UCSD, Mesa College, City College, Grossmont College, Playwrights Project, Mo ‘olele Theater Company, NPR, Barnes and Noble, The Mingei Museum, The Swedenborgian Church, Hillcrest CityFest, Border Voices, African American Writers & Artists, City Heights Performance Annex and many more. Make a connection!
In your email solicitations, in addition to sending a link to your Write-a-thon pledge page, be sure to include an additional link to the San Diego Writers, Ink home page. Once they see all the wonderful program offerings, they are SURE to contribute to the cause!
Here’s a link to a couple Sample Sponsor Letters you can use as guides to create your own.
List of Participants (remember to share your own personal participant page when soliciting pledges!)