Here’s a few ideas on how to fundraise:

  • Create a member-based organization, where members contribute on a regular basis.
  • Ask for donations – Personal Donation Letters – Send a letter to members explaining your needs, your goals, and offering different levels of donations. Be sure to leave a space for “ other.”
  • Ask for Money from the Climbing Industry.
  • Ask area businesses to donate raffle prizes, silent auction products, and small prizes for games, festivals.
  • Apply for Foundation and Conservation Grants.
  • Promote Fundraising Events: parties, slide shows, film festivals, etc.
  • Put together a fundraising trip.

When looking for partners, remember that good partnerships are more than the sum of their parts—they allow diverse groups to come together and create capacity that simply wouldn’t exist without that cooperation.

Many companies in the climbing industry offer grants, for example: Patagonia, Petzl Foundation, and Mountain Hardwear. Be certain you connect your project to the targeted corporation’s business objectives.

  • Schedule a meeting and be ready for it! Know what you want and don’t be afraid of asking for it. Present options and make a lasting impression.
  • Be clear about who you are and what your mission is.
  • Keep it light, and remember that yours is not the only proposition. Everyone is extremely busy.
  • Be ready to show them what their company will get from this partnership.

Don’t approach only the climbing industry. There are many foundations that offer grants for NGOs, especially conservation grants, e.g. WWF, CI, Nature Conservancy and others. Writing a winning pitch is time consuming, so study the targeted foundation’s grant-making criteria before diving into the process. Foundations are just like people — they deserve personalized attention. Do not broadcast a boilerplate, standardized proposal to multiple foundations. In this case, be sure to give them some Pro-climbing points.

In general, make sure to set your goals and always keep your purpose at the front of your campaign.

  1. Know how much money you need and when you need it. Be detailed in outlining your financial goals.
  2. If possible, start planning your fundraiser at least one month in advance. This way you can get letters and ads written, products lined up, and events scheduled.
  3. Set beginning and end dates for each project.
  4. Find out what types of fundraisers have been successful for your group in the past. Research every idea.
  5. Use a goal chart to check your progress.
  6. Double check your community calendar to ensure your fundraiser does not conflict with other community activities and to coordinate it with other community activities.
  7. Know the answer before the question is asked. The big question both donors and volunteers want answered is “ What’ s in it for me?” In addition to being able to give a more satisfying answer than “ the gratification of giving,” knowing the answer will help you target both enthusiastic volunteers and donors.

Remember: Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up! Regardless if your partner is from the climbing industry or not, these companies and foundations want to see where the money went. Present photos, and show how and where their dollars were spent. If you show what the community got out of it, you not only have a great example for other areas and land management, but if they don’t see results, the program might not continue.