Fundraising Tool Kit

Thank you for your interest in hosting an event to benefit the American Widow Project.

This planning guide is designed to help you have a successful and rewarding event. By hosting an event, you’re allowing us to broaden our outreach programs and ultimately fulfilling our ultimate goal of keeping our fallen spouse’s legacy alive.

Table of Contents:

  1. Recommended Planning Steps
  2. Available Resources
  3. Guidelines

If you have any questions that are not covered here, please contact us at info@americanwidowproject.org.

Recommended Planning Steps

  • Determine your fundraising and awareness goals. How much money would you like to raise, and what is your maximum expense? What are you asking each participant to contribute? Create a budget to help you stay on track. How many people would you like to have in attendance? Would you like to see your event mentioned in the local media?
  • Choose your venue. Where is the best place in the area to hold your event? Before publicizing the location of your event, be sure to find out about all your venue’s requirements (do they require a certificate of insurance or permits?)
  • Choose a date and time for your event. Be sure to try to plan around any holidays or major local events, so that your event doesn’t have to “compete” with any other activities. Create a schedule for the event (i.e. check- in times and start/end times)
  • Create a planning timeline for your event to keep yourself on track.
  • Ask friends and family if they’d like to help you plan the event. Form a committee and assign people specific roles.
  • Determine how you’re going to register people for the event, and how you’re going to collect their admission fees (if you choose them). Consider using our customizable event registration form (simply customize for your event, print copies and distribute). Do you need to set a deadline for registration or allow people to register the day of your event?
  • Complete our Contact Form to let us know about your event. This way, if you choose, we can send you materials to hand out at your event and list it in our online event calendar.
  • Spread the word. Remember that the events that raise the most funds usually do so by asking attendees to fundraise in addition to an admission fee. Determine how you’d like your attendees to raise funds. Use online resources (facebook, blogs, online fundraising pages) to reach more people. Of course, you could also ask everyone to raise funds offline and bring the cash and checks to the event. Ask local businesses if they’ll post your flyer – gyms and parks are great places to start. You can also do much of your promotion online. Send an email out to your contacts asking them to register for the event and forward the email to their friends. Post about the event on Facebook or Twitter. Submit your event to be listed in the calendar section of your local newspaper and local news stations websites. Be sure to include specific instructions on your promotional materials.
  • Have a day-of plan. Monitor your registration numbers and make sure you have what you need for the day of the event. Think about refreshments, signs, event volunteers, goodie bags, awards for the top fundraisers, etc. Bring a list of registered attendees to your event so you and your volunteers can check people off as they arrive. If you’re allowing people to register the day of, bring extra blank copies of the customizable registration form so people can fill them out there. Bring pens, highlighters, envelopes to collect forms and funds, paper clips and any other supplies you anticipate needing. Be sure to print out some of our Donate Forms in our online toolkit, so that attendees can make an additional donation if they choose.
  • Consider speaking to your attendees the day of about why you planned this event and thank them for coming.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy your event! You should feel proud of your efforts to raise awareness about the AWP!
  • Mail in any funds raised (attached to Donate form) Registration Forms, and Sign-in Forms (see below for templates) to AWP at: The American Widow Project P.O. Box 1573 Buda, TX 78610. Mail funds via a trackable mailing method like UPS or FedEx.

Available Resources

We very much appreciate any and all supporter efforts to raise funds and awareness. For policy and legal reasons, we do distinguish between third party events and American Widow Project events. A third-party event is defined as any event or activity that will benefit the AWP but is not sponsored by, insured by, or affiliated with The American Widow Project. Third party event hosts are responsible for the planning and execution of their event/activity, including all logistics, promotion, insurance, and costs.

The American Widow Project provides the following support for third party events:

  • Materials about the organization (brochures and DVD) in quantities appropriate for event size. Materials requests must be made at least two weeks prior to event date to assure fulfillment.
  • Inclusion of event in the AWP’s online third party event listing and AWP Fundraising Facebook page.
  • Electronic AWP logo files; event host must agree to the AWP Terms of Use.
  • Acknowledgement letters for tax records mailed to all donors.
  • Forms and flyers to help with your event:

Guidelines

As a third party event host, the responsibility for the event is in your hands. However, we do have a few requests that we’d appreciate your cooperation with.

  • Please keep all events and activities aligned with the mission of the American Widow Project.
  • Please be sure to research all rules, regulations and laws that apply to your event based city, state and venue. Confirm whether any approvals, permits, licenses, insurance, security personnel, or medical personnel are needed prior to hosting an event.
  • All checks should be made payable to The American Widow Project for prompt and proper processing. We will send a tax acknowledgment letter to every donor, mailed to the address on the check or email provided.