My Fundraising Journey:
Name: Hannah Levin
School: Boston University
Major: Behavior and Health
With fundraising deadlines rapidly approaching we got in contact with one of our newest trekkers at Boston University, who in only half of a month has already raised $2,500 of her $4,000 total fundraising target for her Machu Picchu trek. Hannah has had a whopping 32 total donations to make up that amount so far and we chatted with her to find out the secret to her early success.
How did you first hear about Choose a Challenge?
I first heard about Choose a Challenge because I watch Gretchen Geraghty on YouTube, and she’s leading this trek.
Why did you decide to sign up?
When I watched her video about the Machu Picchu trek, I immediately felt it was something I just had to do, and because of this, my parents supported me 100%. I signed up a few days later.
What would you tell someone interested in signing up for one of our trips, but might be worried about their fundraising target?
The fundraising goal did seem a little ambitious and intimidating at first, but I wasn’t going to let that deter me from the experience of a lifetime. I told myself I would find a way to reach my goal.
What were some of the most effective fundraisers you did and how did you go about setting those up?
The first thing I did was make a Facebook post which got some (but honestly not a lot) of attention. I only got a few donations that way. Next, I personally reached out to every social network I am apart of, even if they were a weaker tie. I then emailed my extended family, friends, parents’ friends, past teachers, synagogue, and my dad’s colleagues. After doing so, people surpassed my wildest expectations, and have been extremely generous. To date, this is how I have raised all of my funds so far. I haven’t done anything but reach out to those who I care about, and who care about my family and I. I also have to give a shoutout to my dad, who has been nothing short of amazing throughout this process thus far. He has helped, supported, and encouraged me with everything I’ve done.
Choose a Challenge Pro Tip: Reaching out to your parents and asking them to see if their companies do "company matching."
This means if your mother/father's co-workers all chip in and contribute $2,000 to your cause, their company will often match/double that amount making it $4,000. While this isn't a policy at all companies it's definitely something worth looking into. For more on company matching, please make sure to reach out to your charity partners.
What do you intend to do going forward to hit your fundraising goal?
Moving forward to raise that last chunk, I plan on doing some more proactive fundraising, but quite honestly, I haven't set up anything specific just yet.
If you could give any advice to our current trekkers right now, who are fundraising as well, what would that be?
My advice to others would be to utilize any and all of your connections and social networks. It can be a little scary to reach out and ask, but as long as you take the time to craft an honest and kind email, while also making sure people do not feel pressured, they will respond positively. So far, people have given me nothing but positive feedback, and they genuinely want to help.
Anything else you'd like to add about your experience so far?
Need more fundraising ideas?
Always feel free to email your charity partners for advice/ideas, but in the meantime, check out these student's fundraising stories:
And of course, use the hashtag #HowWeRaise on social media to show us how you're fundraising!