Allow me to introduce myself as I will be writing the occasional (and hopefully informative) Long Beach AIDS Walk blog entry. My name is Eljon and I am a first-year volunteer for this important event, which takes place June 4, 2011 at the Aquarium of the Pacific. If you haven’t registered yet, please do so now at http://www.aidswalklb.org/. The deadline to avoid late registration fees is May 31st.
Ok, I’ve always been told that if you want to be successful at something (in this case fundraising), then look to the winners. Well, the Serra Project walk team, which is usually comprised of about 15 people, raised $3,900 in 2009 -- and I think that certainly qualifies them as winners! In this challenged economy where money is tight and budget cuts are in the news daily, everyone needs to be creative and find innovative ways to raise funds. I asked team leader Sokha Sea of the Serra Project for fundraising tips to help other teams follow her successful lead.
Sokha is an LVN/Residential Manager at Casa Portiuncula, which is the eleven-bedroom house on Sunrise Blvd in Long Beach. Sokha explains, “Our mission here at Serra Project is to provide homes and hope for adults and children living with HIV/AIDS.”
So, their mission is a perfect match with ours: the Long Beach AIDS Foundation is a social change agent that believes in inspiring and collaborating with other community organizations to prevent the spread of HIV through education; and provides support for those impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Sokha continues, “I'm not sure how long Serra Project's been involved in the AIDS Walk LB but I've been involved for three years, and this will be my fourth year participating in the event.” Her team is mostly made up of friends, a few staff members, and a couple of the residents from the facility.
Her method is pretty simple and straightforward: ask everyone you know to make a donation or join your walk team. Then maintain constant contact with them, and provide lots and lots of encouragement. “I basically email and call them all the time, especially when the event date is approaching,” she says. “Email your family, friends, coworkers, your dentist (yes, my dentist donates) everyone into submission!”
So there you have it: talk to everyone about your participation in AIDS Walk Long Beach. Talk to folks at your place of worship. Talk to people at your gym or exercise class. Ask your boss for a company donation. Ask vendors your company does business with; and finally, ask the businesses you patronize to contribute. It never hurts to ask, huh?
Plus, as if contributing to such a worthy cause weren’t rewarding enough, we also award prizes! New for 2011: all participants who reach the first fundraising level of $50 receive a free admission ticket to the Aquarium of the Pacific, plus a half-off companion coupon. In addition, they will receive an official AIDS Walk tee shirt just for registering online!
Top Walker & Team Prizes
For individual walkers, the Grand Prize awarded to the top fundraiser is a Carnival Cruise gift certificate plus two one-day Disneyland Park-Hopper passes. The First Runner-Up will receive a wine-and-dine hotel getaway weekend. The Second Runner-Up prize is a hot air balloon getaway in Temecula.
All members of the Top Team of fundraisers will receive free admission for two to the Aquarium of the Pacific, along with a VIP tour and breakfast on June 4, the day of the walk.
Participants can also aspire to become members of the Hero’s Club by raising $2,500 or more and receive free VIP breakfast and free admission for themselves and two guests to the Aquarium of the Pacific, along with an official Hero’s Club tee shirt and pin.
So, just talk about AIDS Walk Long Beach to everyone and you’ll be among the winners on June 4th!