Not only is Serve-a-thon Chicago’s largest single day of community service, but it’s also Chicago Cares’ largest fundraiser. And we approach this event as we do all other things, by rolling up our sleeves and taking action. In addition to requesting your service on June 15, we also request your financial support so that Chicago Cares can continue to mobilize volunteers to address our city’s most pressing challenges year-round.

With the right tools, fundraising for a cause you are passionate about is simpler and less time-consuming than you think. Here are some tips to help you with the process!

  • Tell your story. Explain to people why you support Chicago Cares and what it means to you personally. People want to know that you are committed to the cause and will be happy to support you because of it!
  • Build the buzz. Talk up your participation in Serve-a-thon—in person, in email, and through social media! “Like” Chicago Cares on Facebook, connect with us on Twitter, or post a note on LinkedIn encouraging your network to donate in your name. And, if you want to give your contacts a feel for the event and all that you’ll be accomplishing, this video really captures it.
  • Lead by example. Sponsor yourself by making a donation to get your fundraising started. Don’t be afraid to tell people that you are a donor as well.

Now that you’ve got the tools, please consider participating in Chicago Cares’ 20th Anniversary Challenge. Fundraisers generating $250 or more will be entered into a prize raffle each week.

How to raise $250 easily:

  • Start by making a donation of $20 yourself20th anniversary challenge
  • Ask your spouse, significant other, or roommate for $20
  • Ask five friends for $20
  • Ask your parents for $10 each
  • Ask 10 people from your religious organization,
    social club, or professional group for $5
  • Ask four coworkers for $10

But don’t stop here… now that you know how easy it is to become a successful fundraiser, keep the momentum going and reach out to your entire network of friends, family, and colleagues. Don’t forget to identify matching-gift opportunities to double your impact. And know that the Sun-Times Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust will match donations to Chicago Cares through July 5 up to a total of $10,000. Up to $1,000 can be matched per individual donation!

Soon, you’ll be on your way to becoming a champion fundraiser!

Patty White is Vice President, Corporate Engagement Strategy and Development for Chicago Cares.