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Duck Fever Tips: Donors

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Duck Fever Tips: Show Me the Money

Great ways to relate to your potential donors and convince them to contribute to Ducks Unlimited on your behalf through your Duck Fever campaign.

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  • Offer to match their donations

When you're asking for money to support a cause, one of the most effective strategies for convincing donors to open their wallets is showing them you're ready to open yours as well. Offer to match their donations up to a certain dollar amount and/or within a certain time period. Consider explaining it this way: "I'm asking you to help me raise $500. So this effort should be on both our parts. I'm willing to put up $250 if you will fill in the other $250." Spreading that $250 among 5 friends or more will seem like a much less daunting task for them and for you.

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  • Say "please" and "thank you"

Once you've asked (nicely) and received a donation, saying "thank you" shouldn't be difficult. We've made sure it's the easiest thing you can do using Duck Fever. We want your donors to know how much their contributions are appreciated by you and by Ducks Unlimited. There is a thank-you option on your Duck Fever Dashboard—just click "Send Thank You" under a donor's name and customize the thank-you message however you like. We'll send it off in an e-mail to them using the address they provided when making their donation.

If your Duck Fever badge is posted on Facebook, change your Facebook status whenever you receive a donation. This is a great tool for promoting your campaign at the same time you're expressing appreciation for your generous friends. Example: "[your name] thanks Sheila for helping save a wetland today! Want to be as generous as Sheila? Help today! [link to your donation page]" Change it up a bit with each donation so the message doesn't get stale, and make sure you remember to thank everyone who donates—a little recognition goes a long way!

Other creative ways of saying thank you include dedicating a blog entry to any readers who donate to your campaign, taking whoever donates the most out to dinner or doing the same for the donor who gets you to your goal amount. Come up with new ways to thank your friends and family for supporting you and DU. (And, hey, you may even get a second donation if you make your donors feel appreciated enough!)

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  • Know the mission

When talking to a potential donor, it's important to know DU's mission and be able to share it without hesitation. This becomes essential when you're dealing with donors who know little or nothing about Ducks Unlimited and our conservation history. For more information to share with donors, visit our About Us page.

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  • Ask for more ducks for your birthday

If you're not really looking to collect more knick-knacks, socks or oversized sweaters from friends and relatives near and far for your birthday this year, consider asking them to donate to your Duck Fever campaign in lieu of the usual gifts. Or ask them to give $5 along with the socks. No shipping or handling, and any donation of $25 or more will score them a Ducks Unlimited membership at the same time!

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  • Remind them about the $5 option

Start small. It may be difficult to get $100 out of every one of your friends, so make sure your potential donors are aware that $5 is a highly appreciated donation amount. It will be easier for them to look at the $5 bill in their wallet and be willing to give that than to whip out a $20 or $50, in most cases. And the more people you convince to give, the quicker those $5 donations add up. In the future, if you raise your goal amount, $5 donors may return for a second round of giving or be willing to give more because of better circumstances than when you asked initially.

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  • Wash a dog, mow a lawn or fix something

If you normally do things such as mowing a neighbor's lawn, wash cars or babysit, consider asking for a Duck Fever donation instead of seeking payment. Or commit to putting the payment into your Duck Fever pot yourself. Remind your taskmaster that any donation of $25 or more will result in a Ducks Unlimited membership for them, as well as a notch on your Duck Fever thermometer and a step closer to your fund-raising goal!

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  • Take a picture or make a video

Because Duck Fever is tied in with social sites like Facebook and MySpace, you have the opportunity to make your campaign even bigger than just a single badge or a link to your donation page. It can extend beyond sending messages or using the DU Facebook app to share your goal. Take a photo of yourself, your dog, your kids, you and your buddy in the blind. Use that photo on your donation page or make it part of something bigger - a blog entry, a Facebook photo album, a block on your MySpace page. Go even farther and make a video about your Duck Fever campaign and about what you're doing for DU. You put your face all over your campaign, making it an even more personalized experience, and you create something that your friends can smile about, pass along, do themselves for their own campaign. Duck Fever is meant to be spread, so get creative and think of some new ways to pass it on!

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  • Know your audience - make a specific appeal

If you're really looking convince potential donors to give to your Duck Fever campaign, make your appeals specific. Casting a wide net to all your Facebook and MySpace friends will get you donations, to be sure, but writing individual e-mails will show your friends you care enough to take a few extra minutes to drop them a line and address them personally when asking for donations.

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  • Tell them about the wall

If you're excited about the prospect of having your name displayed on the Duck Fever Recognition Wall, let your potential donors know. Tell them you want to see your name up on the DU Web site and ask if they'll help you get there.

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  • Sometimes it's OK to ask Granny

It's not always easy to ask your friends and family members for money. But if you're passionate about DU's conservation mission, stand behind the cause, be brave and ask. There's a big difference between a single heartfelt request and persistent, irritating begging. And while you may know some people who will respond to the latter, sticking to the former will serve you best. So write up a nice e-mail to your Granny, make sure she knows what Duck Fever is all about and send away - the ducks will thank you.

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  • Convince a current donor to use you as a gateway

If your friends are current Ducks Unlimited members or donors, ask them if they'd be willing to make their annual donation through your Duck Fever campaign. These donations register the same as any donation made to DU, but making it through your campaign means you're one step closer to your goal and having your name on the Recognition Wall. It's an easy way to combine a friend's donation history with your Duck Fever goal - and every dollar goes to the ducks!

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  • Give a friend $5

If you're willing to give, others will be more willing too. So throw $5 in someone else's Duck Fever pot. You can ask that person to return the favor, or just do it to encourage them to get their campaign up and running. Generosity is viral, so spread it around and watch your thermometer rise!

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  • Donate to yourself

It may seem a little strange, but donating to your own Duck Fever campaign makes a lot of sense. It's not a sell-out move. It says to your potential donors, "I really care about this cause – you should too!" Donating to yourself can take many forms: offering to match your donors' contributions dollar for dollar, renewing your membership via your Duck Fever campaign or simply showing support for your own efforts. You don't really need an excuse, but these are all great ones for giving yourself a little boost toward your goal.

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  • Set a goal-by date

What better way to get people motivated than by giving them a cutoff date? It works with sweepstakes and term papers, so why not with your Duck Fever campaign? Three reasons why this strategy works: (1) Providing a deadline motivates potential donors to act fast before the opportunity escapes; (2) People will see a deadline as a personal addendum to your goal - it's like saying, "I really need to help DU by the 31st," which will encourage donors to give within that particular time frame; and (3) The cutoff will motivate you to send messages, post your badge and follow some of these other great tips.

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