Raise Funds For CCL Nationally

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As a Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) volunteer, you’re already making a difference by building political will in your community. Many volunteers also support CCL financially. We appreciate your donations because they allow us to build the resources for you to work your magic! Thank you so much for your hard work and support! 

Sometimes our dedicated volunteers want to go above and beyond by organizing a fundraising campaign for CCL or its sister organization, Citizens’ Climate Education (CCE). It’s another great way to make a difference, and you can use the step-by-step guide provided here to do it easily. Raising money can be fun and satisfying—just ask our development team!

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What's the difference between CCL and CCE?

Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. 501(c)(4) organizations can engage in unlimited lobbying as long as it pertains to the organization’s mission. Donations made to 501(c)(4) organizations are not tax-deductible, though some businesses who make these contributions often write them off as advertising or business expenses. Financial information for CCL can be found on CCL’s website. If you and your prospective donors do not need a tax-deduction for their gift, we encourage you to fundraise for CCL.

Citizens Climate Education (CCE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 501(c)(3) organizations are not allowed to endorse or oppose political candidates, or donate money or time to political campaigns. Although 501(c)(3) organizations are allowed to allocate some time and expenses to lobbying, CCE chooses to leave all direct lobbying to CCL. Donations made to 501(c)(3) organizations are deductible to the full extent of the law as charitable contributions. Financial information for CCE can be found on CCE’s website.

The Citizens’ Climate Partnership

Citizens’ Climate Education (CCE) and Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) are sister organizations that complement each other in strategically building political will for impactful climate solutions. As a registered 501(c)(3) organization CCE provides key trainings, tools, and other educational resources to help volunteers become effective advocates for climate solutions. As a registered 501(c)(4) organization CCL supports volunteer-led and other direct lobbying efforts on specific climate legislation. Each organization has its own governing board, operating budget, and audited financials. As CCL has a more public-facing presence, most public accomplishments are attributed to it. Nevertheless, most program activities are related to climate education rather than direct lobbying efforts, and come from the CCE budget.

Step 1: Set a Goal

The first step in fundraising is determining how much money you intend to raise. Setting a goal provides motivation and focus for you and your prospective donors.

Your goal should be bold, but realistic. Some considerations that might impact your goal setting include the amount of money you intend to donate to start the campaign, the amount of time you can devote to fundraising, and the size of your personal and business networks. 

Step 2: Choose a Timeline

Now that you’ve set a goal, it’s important to choose a start and end date for your fundraiser. If you can take advantage of a timely event or special occasion, then consider beginning or ending on that date!

  • If you start in November, you can support our Year-End Fundraiser by running your own fundraiser for Citizens’ Climate from Giving Tuesday to December 31st. 
  • April is a great time to host a tax-return party or a fundraiser for Earth Day.
  • Have a birthday coming up? Rather than receiving gifts, ask for birthday donations to CCL.
Step 3: Create a Social Media Fundraiser, host a Donation Party or launch an Activity-a-thon Challenge

Facebook Fundraiser
Facebook makes it really easy to set up and execute a Facebook fundraiser for the charity of your choice. Here's how to do it:

  • Go to Facebook and click “Create” on the top right navigation bar. Select “Fundraiser.” After selecting “Fundraiser,” search and select “Citizens’ Climate Lobby.” Please note that all funds received through Facebook are tax-deductible and go to Citizens’ Climate Education.
  • Enter your fundraising goal and timeline and then select a title and share why you are raising funds for CCL. It’s helpful if you share your personal climate story or CCL narrative. If you need help, check out this forum post for guidance on how to write a fundraising appeal. 
  • Select a photo for the cover page like the one in our Fundraiser Toolkit. Facebook will default to CCL’s header image.
  • Publish your fundraiser. Then invite friends to the fundraiser, donate, and share to your timeline! Facebook will ensure that your fundraiser is seen by your family and friends, and will automatically send them reminder notifications to donate. 

If you’d like to see a detailed walkthrough of these steps, click the “Watch” tab to see a short video on creating a Facebook fundraiser!

Donation Party
Gather your friends and families together for an in-person celebration, like a house party or backyard barbeque. At the party, share a bit about your involvement with CCL and why it matters, and ask for donations. You can use our Fundraiser Toolkit to make graphics for advertising and promoting your donation party.

Activity-a-thon Challenge
Set a goal and collect pledges from your friends and family. Your challenge can be anything — number of miles run, games of chess won, mittens knitted, or conversations about climate change. Get creative! Here’s an example of how to use pledgeit.org to organize your challenge and here’s a summary of the steps:

  1. Go to pledgeit.org, click “Get Started”, click “For Individuals”, register and add in the details of your challenge. 
  2. Provide your goal, a title and upload a photo for your challenge. You might customize the Canva image below. 
  3. Connect your pledgeit account to your bank account via the Swipe app so that funds can be deposited.
  4. To promote your activity-a-thon, post your pledgeit link on your social media and email the link to all of your friends/family (in a bcc list) asking them to sponsor you.
  5. After your challenge, collect the pledged contributions from your sponsors and donate the funds to CCL/CCE.

You can use our Fundraiser Toolkit to make graphics for advertising and promoting your Activity-a-thon. 

Other ways to raise funds
There are plenty of other ways to fundraise and keep the momentum going.  Here's a CCL Blog post featuring just some of the ideas volunteers have shared!

Step 4: Make the First Donation

It helps if you can tell others that you are a donor yourself. Below are some examples of powerful messaging that demonstrates how you can inspire others to join you in making a gift:

  • “I started off my fundraising campaign by contributing $50. Will you join me in supporting CCL?” 
  • “Every year for 6 years, I’ve donated $100 to CCL. This year, I hope to amplify the impact of this gift by raising $600. I’ve donated the first $100. Will you help me make it to the end goal?” 
  • “I’m giving $1,000 to CCE and I believe that my community can help me double this impact. Will you give to help me raise an additional $1,000?”
  • If you cannot donate money yourself, but you can quantify the volunteer efforts you’ve contributed towards CCL’s success, you should touch on this. For example, you might say, “Over my year volunteering with CCL, I have met with my Congressperson twice, published five letters to the editor in support of climate change solutions, and contacted my Senators every single month. I’ve been inspired by my fellow volunteers as we meet every month and spread the message about bipartisan climate solutions throughout the district! I know that, while the climate is important to all of us, not everyone has the extra time to engage in democracy this way. But if you can engage by supporting my work and the work of volunteers across the country, that’s meaningful too. Please consider a gift to CCL (or CCE) to support our work.”
Step 5: Ask Others to Join you in Giving!

Now that you’ve got a goal, a timeline, and your story on your fundraising page, it’s time to start asking for donations! 

There are several ways to ask:

  • In-person or over the phone is the best way to ask someone to consider donating to CCL/CCE, especially for those in your inner circle. It helps to share your experience with CCL and the reasons that you feel CCL/CCE is worthy of a donation. Be authentic, be positive, and include emotional reasons in your ask. If they say yes, thank them immediately and direct them to your fundraising page! If they say no, don’t take it hard — some people won’t be able to give, and it isn’t a reflection of your friendship or passion. 
  • Emails or Direct Messages on Facebook can be a really effective and time-efficient way to ask your prospective donors to give to CCL. It helps to write up a general pitch by pulling from your “Why are you raising money” and modifying it to your audience. Then, include a link to your fundraising page so you know who to thank for their donation! Whether you write individual messages, or write batches for your different social groups, it helps to include personal touches so that people know they’re not receiving a bulk email. 
  • Your social media is an easy way to share your fundraising goals and progress with your wider networks. While posting your fundraising goal on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram isn’t as effective as direct solicitation, it can help to bring in donations from those long-lost connections and to remind those that you have asked.

Remember, it is vital to ask as many people as you can—people can only make a donation if you give them the opportunity. You should not assume that someone cannot afford to donate or will not be interested in supporting your cause. The top reason people in the U.S. don’t donate to a charity is because they haven’t been asked. If you ask, they may just surprise you!

Step 6: Keep the Campaign Rolling with Thank yous and Updates

When a friend or family member becomes a donor, thank them! Whether on the phone or via email, it’s important to recognize that any dollar for your cause is a generous gift! 

Scheduling a meeting with a member of Congress can require persistence, and so can getting friends and family members to donate during a fundraising campaign. It can be helpful to follow up in some of these ways:

  • During face-to-face interactions or phone calls with friends, family, neighbors, or other prospective donors, mention your progress and your goal. Don’t be shy about asking more than once. People need to be reminded!
  • If you’ve sent an email or direct message, follow up with those you don’t hear from 1-2 weeks later with another request (sometimes via another method than the first request is helpful). 
  • Research shows that as you get closer to your goal, people are more likely to donate. So if you asked someone early on and they haven’t yet donated, you should approach them again after you’ve had some successes.

You can also post updates for your campaign on social media to generate increased attention and engagement with your fundraiser. Here are some of the most effective ways:

  • Using the “Tag & Thank,” you can publicly thank your donors on social media, tagging them to the post and celebrating the progress toward your goals that they’ve helped you reach.
  • Share inspiring climate change news stories or other positive anecdotes about CCL’s work or successes on your social media. This will get your volunteer work into their newsfeeds and makes sure that not every post is an ask for funds.
Step 7: Wrap up your Campaign

Once your fundraising campaign has reached its last days, pat yourself on the back! You’ve done an incredible thing for CCL/CCE!

Then, we recommend putting up a final post or message for all of your donors. Tell them how much you raised in total and what their participation in this challenge meant to you. 

It can also be helpful to review all the donors and make sure that you have thanked each one individually. 

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Skip ahead to the following section(s):

  • (0:00) Intro & Goal Setting
  • (3:38) Facebook
  • (4:56) Donation Party
  • (18:36) Activity-a-thon
  • (21:35) Fundraising Toolkit
  • Elli Sparks
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Audio Outline

Skip ahead to the following section(s):

  • (0:00) Intro & Goal Setting
  • (3:38) Facebook
  • (4:56) Donation Party
  • (18:36) Activity-a-thon
  • (21:35) Fundraising Toolkit
  • Elli Sparks
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