The Challenge is a great way to hit two birds with one stone: it enables you to engage local businesses, churches, and community organizations while also finding new teams and fundraisers.
Now, I don’t go around throwing rocks at birds, but I do love this “two birds” principle. My father mentored me with a similar principle in our family bakery, “Why take two steps to do a job, when you can do it in one?” His words continue to challenge me every day. How do I make the most of the time and energy I have?
Let’s apply this principle to team recruitment for your p2p fundraising event:
The Key to Success
Instead of hunting one bird at a time, go to where the birds hangout. Don’t misunderstand me, door-to-door, individual asks will always be effective, but, as you know, it is time consuming. A key recruitment strategy is to find places where many birds hangout together and spend time there. These are opportunities for you to connect with folks in a meaningful manner – en masse.
Opportunity-Rich Watering Holes? Local Networking Groups.
Professionals, business owners, and church leaders often join business networks, clubs, and community associations in order to develop relationships, gain referrals, and participate in shared efforts. You can join these same networks and clubs to achieve these same goals: build relationships, recruit captains and challengers, find sponsors and donors, and gain referrals for all of the above.
I’ve seen this strategy in action. In December 2022, Valerie Louter, from the Ontario-based charity Neighbour to Neighbour (N2N), invited me to a business networking breakfast. In that single meeting, I watched as N2N received multiple donations and a CNOY team commitment that far exceeded the cost of her annual membership and time. Moreover, it warmed up a number of leaders who will welcome her when she knocks on their door for greater engagement in the future. #tweettweet
Popular Networking Groups to Consider
What networks should you target? Think:
- Chambers of Commerce
- Business Improvement Associations
- Rotary Clubs
- Lions Clubs
- Kiwanis Clubs
- Community Associations
- Business Networking International (BNl)
- Mastermind Groups
- Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW)
If you are unfamiliar with, or new to, the area, read the weekly local newspaper where you will find them mentioned in pics and stories. Check websites like MeetUp.com or EventBrite.com and search for networking groups in your area. With a little looking around, you’ll likely find a group that’s perfect for you – whether you’re an early bird or a night owl!
Take Action Now
Now is the perfect time to start your bird hunt:
In the short term: Choose one or more groups in your area and reach out to the Chair or President (find their email address on their website or send a DM on LinkedIn). Ask to present your CNOY, RIDE, or TGP ask to their group leading up to this year’s campaign. Be sure to tell them why it’s important and, wherever possible, connect your charity’s mission with their group’s mission.
In the long term: Join a thriving networking group. Lean into the cause and invest in building relationships. An added benefit: once you bring value to one network, you will be introduced to new networks.
The Challenge is a unique offering from Blue Sea Foundation. It’s the perfect opportunity for your organization to build awareness, buzz, and help turn community-minded people into deeply committed advocates for your charity. Find the right groups, tell them what you’re doing, and they’ll be like a duck to water. The best part, with strategies like the one outlined above, you can get more people, more invested with less time and fewer costs, leaving you as happy as a lark!