When we started this running and fundraising adventure back in 2015, our hope was to raise $1,000. It really felt like a pipe dream, if I’m being honest. We really felt we could raise something but $1,000? No way. There was a whole lot of “None of Us” that was happening with that first Ragnar and fundraising campaign:
“None of Us” had ever run a Ragnar. We had no clue what we were getting into.
“None of Us” had ever operated a true fundraising operation. Outside of asking for money from immediate family, we really didn’t know how to drum up interest and market that effort.
And in the end, “None of Us” expected the response we received as we raised $2,250 that first year. It was such an odd feeling to be so successful in something when we literally were so green at it. We felt grateful, for certain, but also curious because it very much became something that captured our interest. “What could this become if we improved upon what we know?”
Six years later and we have a pretty good idea of what we have because it has worked and grown in every year, or at least the non-pandemic ones. That all said, 2021’s beginning to our campaign for NeighborLink has tossed back into “None of Us” territory once more.
After having our best fundraising month ever in March of ’20 and having Ragnar Trail be cancelled for the year and every subsequent event thereafter as well, “None of Us” knew what to expect as we tip toed back into the waters of our fundraising and running adventure. Would we do ok? Would we raise less? Is setting the goal for $5,000, something we’d eclipsed the two previous campaigns, too lofty? Are we crazy for still doing this?
Those questions were legit. I seriously contemplated putting a good effort out there and calling it quits. The pandemic broke a lot of momentum for us. I truly felt in ’19, heading into ’20 that we were a freight train running downhill. It nearly felt overwhelming, both in appreciation of all of the generosity we were getting and for how big it all was getting, especially the expectations.
We don’t have all of the answers to those questions yet but the response is something that “None of Us” would have expected but being that we’re just a week out from completing our first month of fundraising for our campaign, I thought I’d share where we’re at and I can’t repeat this enough, “None of Us” could have predicted this.
In ’20 before everything shut down, we raised approximately $1400, which was matched through a very generous donor. When you put that all together, we ended up raising $2900 in March of ’20 from private donors. That was, by a huge margin, the most we’d ever raised from individual donors in a month.
I had every plan to really push our efforts hard within this first month and received the commitment from our long-time donor to do a match and due to a hunch, I push him to commit to a cap. I just didn’t feel right leaving it open ended because I didn’t want him to feel like we were taking advantage of him or if it went really big that he’d be expected to make a donation that he wasn’t comfortable with. This person’s generosity is immense, amazing, and inspiring. We certainly don’t take that for granted and that’s why I pushed for the cap. I’m glad I did because we’ve surpassed that cap.
The match’s cap was set at $1500. It’s how quickly we passed it that still blows me away. Again, “None of Us” could have guessed that what used to take us a month, took us 3 days. Since that point we’ve raised a total of $1830 so it’s been an accumulation of $10 – $20 donations, from that point forward, which is very typical for us but those first 3 days were crazy! We’re looking at nearly $3400 of our $5,000 covered in the first month!
Additionally, it looks like we’ll be able to announce a new sponsor within the coming week or two that will allow us to finish off our expenses and give the fundraiser a nice boost.
Our goal is coming into focus and it’s hard to believe but maybe we should. Our supporters are absolutely the amazing and we’re to the point where “None of Us” are going to bet against you guys.
You all rock! Thank you all for your continued support and we’ll update you as we have more!