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Community Fundraising FAQs

February 2, 2010

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If you don’t see your question here or need additional help or information, please email fundraising@mercycorps.org or contact Carlene Deits at (800) 292-3355, ext. 5878 or (503) 896-5878.

Q. How can I prepare to hold a community fundraising event for Mercy Corps?

  • Visit our How to Host a Fundraising Event page for stories of how others have hosted successful fundraisers in schools, places of worship, businesses and their communities.
  • Consider creating an online fundraising page at mercycorps.org/fundraising.
  • Let us know what you are doing! We can be a resource to you as you plan your fundraising activities, helping you get ideas and guiding you through any pitfalls.
  • Download the Community Fundraising Kit for review. Although you are not required to fill out and send in the forms, they may be helpful to you as you plan your event.
  • Mercy Corps has materials available for distribution. Please contact us if you’re interested in using our materials.
  • When you gather donations, please collect the names and mailing addresses of your donors so we can send them receipts. Make sure you thank everyone involved!

Q. Can I use Mercy Corps’ name and logo at my event?

Q. How do I advertise my fundraising event to the community?

  • Download the Press and Outreach Kit. This document provides step-by-step instructions on getting the word out about your event.
  • If you are hosting a public event, we can post it on our Upcoming Events page. Send us details about your event if you would like us to post it.

Q. How do I successfully raise funds for Mercy Corps through this event?

  • Clearly communicate to your donors what percentage of their donations will go to Mercy Corps and what percentage will be used for event expenses. Events which allocate 100% of the funds raised to Mercy Corps are easiest to manage and allow Mercy Corps to send receipts to your donors.
  • Let us know about the event so we can send you donation forms. These forms make gathering donations easy. They also allow Mercy Corps to send receipts to your donors.
  • Getting rental space or catering donated alleviates costs. Make sure you publicize these contributions at your event.
  • Thank each donor and sponsor before, during and after the event.

Q. I’m holding an event and will be collecting donations in person. How do I turn these in to Mercy Corps?

  • Please download the Fundraising Tracking Form and send it to the address below along with the donations.
  • To safely gather, handle and submit donations, please take time to read over our Donation Handling Procedures carefully.
  • Please include the name and address of the organizer(s) and the name of your event and/or online fundraising page.
    Mercy Corps
    Attn: Carlene Deits
    45 SW Ankeny St.
    Portland, OR 97204

Q. Can I set up an online fundraising page to raise funds for an individual, an organization other than Mercy Corps, or one of Mercy Corps’ partners?

  • No. Any language you add to your personal fundraising page must accurately represent that all donations will go to Mercy Corps for the purposes reflected by the Mercy Corps fund name, and not to any other individual, organization, or partner organization.

Q. What information about individual donors gets released to the organizer of an online fundraising page?

  • The organizer of a personal fundraising page will receive a copy of the email receipt containing the individual donor's first name, email address, and donation amount. They will not receive the donor’s billing address, billing information, or last name.

Q. I made a donation to Mercy Corps before I set up my own online fundraising page. Can I include it in my online fundraising total?

  • Yes. To manually update your total, go to your fundraising page and click the "Edit" tab. Enter the amount you would like to add in the "Additional Amount" field, then click "Save.” The additional amount will be reflected in the total shown on your fundraising page.

Q. My friend made a gift through PayPal and it isn’t showing up on my online fundraising page. Why not?

  • We have not yet integrated PayPal, Google Checkout, or Amazon Payments into the fundraising pages. To manually update your total, go to your fundraising page and click the "Edit" tab. Enter the amount you would like to add in the "Additional Amount" field, then click "Save.” The additional amount will be reflected in the total shown on your fundraising page.

Q. Why isn’t my online fundraising total updating? A friend of mine told me she gave 20 minutes ago but I don’t see it reflected in the total.

  • At times, especially immediately following a disaster, we experience an overwhelming amount of traffic on our site. Please be patient. Even if you don’t see an immediate update to your fundraising total, the donations are being processed and your account will be credited.

Q. What are some ideas for community fundraising events?

  • Hold a benefit concert with professional or school musicians.
  • Put on a talent or fashion show, comedy night or play.
  • Get friends together for a walk-a-thon, fun run, bike-a-thon, dance-a-thon, or similar event, and ask family members and friends to contribute by the mile or by the hour.
  • Encourage friends and family to make a donation to Mercy Corps in lieu of gifts for an occasion such as a wedding, anniversary or birthday.
  • Hold a bake sale at school, at church or at the office.
  • Help your children get involved by sponsoring a lemonade stand or an event that features student artwork.
  • Buy or sell items on eBay to support Mercy Corps' efforts.
  • Raise money online by creating a fundraising page at fundraising@mercycorps.org.
  • Fast for a meal with friends, colleagues or classmates. Donate the cost of the food you would have eaten.
  • Sell items at a neighborhood garage sale and donate the proceeds.
  • Hold a recycling drive. Offer to collect and recycle newspapers, cans, bottles or other items for a donation.

NOTE: Currently, all fundraising for Darfur needs to be authorized in advance by Mercy Corps. If you are interested in hosting an event to benefit Mercy Corps programs in Darfur, please contact Carlene Deits at (800) 292-3355, ext. 5878 or (503) 896-5878.

Attachments

Press and Outreach Kit Donation Handling Procedures Fundraising Tracking Form