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It's not often that you are able to reach out to extended family, friends and teachers to give them an update on you and ask them to support the great work you're doing. Creating your personal fundraising page for Trick or Eat is an opportunity to share your passions with your network and give them an opportunity to join your work.  

Though it might seem intimidating, a recent study found that 81% of donors don't mind being asked by a friend to donate to a cause they care about. That means that it's worth a shot! Here are a five tips to help reach your fundraising goals. 

Here are 5 tips to help you reach your fundraising goals, and build a strong community in the process! 

Be personal: fundraising gives you a reason to connect with your friends and family and tell them about what you care about. If you're reaching out to people you don't see that often (grandparents, old friends), it's a chance to update them about how you're doing and what you're thinking about. You can go as deep and be as real as you want, and write personalized messages to individuals or groups you've been wanting to reconnect with. Even if people don't donate, they'll appreciate having heard from you, and you'll have showed them you're thinking about them! 

Be confident: often we think that people donate to our fundraising because they are doing us a favour-- we feel shy reaching out because we don't know if they'll respond to our request. However, You'll find that most people actually enjoy donating, it makes them feel good and useful, and they may thank you for it! Think of fundraising as an *opportunity* that you're giving your friends and family, a chance to invest in something they care about-- you, and the causes you care about! 

Be ambitious: a bigger goal is more likely to inspire than a small one, and people are really influenced by the target you put out. 

If you say you're trying to raise $25 and suggest a donation amount of $5, people will likely respond with donations of $10 and under until they've gotten you a little over your $25 goal. 

 If you say your goal is to raise $500 and suggest a donation amount of $50, responses will be more likely to fall between $20-100. Even if you don't reach this big goal, you'll get a whole lot more than $25! Don't worry about asking for too much, trust that people will give what's comfortable for them. 

Be generous: consider offering something back in return for donations. For example, a visit in the next year, or an offer of support on the projects your friends and family are working on themselves. Just be careful not to promise more than feels realistic for you to give-- when you're generous people respond generously too, but they'll still be giving because they care about you not because they want that reward, and they wouldn't want you to be stressed out about following through on your offer. 

Be you: Each of the recommendations above are important skills for lots of situations in life, but don't worry about being perfect at any of them. What's most valuable is trying and learning, and fundraising is a great opportunity for you to practice and stretch yourself out of your comfort zone just enough to grow. Also, fundraising is an asset that a lot of employers look for, so however it goes, you'll have good experience to talk about! 

Have a look at the email and letter that Dana used last year for an example of what putting these tips into action can look like, and what a difference they can make.