Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles Sit-a-thon

Setting Up a Profile

Welcome! We are so happy that you have chosen to participate in Sitting For Society. 
 
These instructions will help you set up your profile and gather donations. 
 
As a participant, you receive a personalzed fundraising page. Here you can to upload images and videos, express why you are raising money for the Los Angeles Shambhala Center, and let sponsors know your goals. 
 
LOG INTO THE ACCOUNT PROFILE
Upon registration you will be asked to create a unique username and password.  With this information, you will be able to log into your Participant Control Panel (PCP). The PCP is accessed from the event registration website where you registered.
 
CREATE YOUR PERSONAL FUNDRAISING PAGE
Your personal fundraising page can be customized under the My Page section. The My Page tab includes a sub-menu for Settings, Statement, Pictures, Videos, and Donations.
 
Settings
Enter or edit your Personal Web Link. This is a combination of numbers and letters only and becomes part of your unique web address. Friends and family will click on your unique web address to see your personal fundraising page and donate to your cause.
 
Enter the dollar amount you wish to set as your personal Fundraising Goal. Your personal thermometer will rise as you reach this goal.
 
Statement
Enter the text for your fundraising page statement here. This is the most important part of your page! Be personal, share a story; what makes Shambhala special to YOU? This space provides an opportunity for you to share important information in a way that creates excitement about your cause and goals.
 
Pictures
You may upload any combination of four pictures and videos which will appear on your website. Images will be resized to fit within 415 x 300 (landscape format). All standard image formats are supported. After saving changes, click on View your personal webpage to review.
 
Videos 
You may upload any combination of four pictures and videos which will appear on your website. All video uploads must first be posted to YouTube. Then provide the YouTube Video ID for the video here. The video ID is the 11 character unique identifier for the video. If your video URL is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jebJ9itYTJE, then the video ID is jebJ9itYTJE. After saving changes, click on View your personal webpage to review.
 
Donations
The Donation Report is designed for you to review your donations and enter donations or pledges that you receive off-line. Entering pledges on this page causes your personal fundraising thermometer to rise and reflect how close you are in meeting your overall fundraising goal. Click on Enter personal donations and you will be taken to your fundraising website where you can enter donations in administrative mode.
 
Select a donation from the Donation Report and you can send an email thank you to the donor. While the system will send an auto-generated thank you to each donor, it is always nice to receive a more personalized reply. To send a personalized thank you note to a donor or group of donors, check the donor and click on the ‘Email Thanks’ button. 
 
Thank You Message
This is the area where you can customize the system’s thank you message to your donors. Enter the content you want to include in your donors' receipts and hit Save.
 

Personalize Your Fundraising Website

 
Why create a personalized pledge page?
Most potential donors will be people you know: friends, relative, co-workers, and others within your personal network. Often their decision to donate is because they are supporting you, rather than the cause. For this reason, directing them to a personal page is key. You want to explain why you have chosen to participate, what the Los Angeles  Shambhala Center means to you,and how their contribution can help you to achieve your goals. 
 
Customize your page to make it personal. 
  • Who are you? How did you find Shambhala? What does the community mean to you? What does the practice mean to you? Would your life be different without Shambhala? 
  • Provide more explanation about the Sit-A-Thon and Los Angeles Shambhala, and let people know who will benefit from the funds you raise. 
  • Upload your photo
  • Include a mission statement.
  • The fundraising thermometer give a clear picture of your progress, so potential donors can see how close you are to reaching your goal. 
  • Include simple instructions on how to donate, and direct people to the "Make a Pledge" link at the bottom of the page. 
  • We encourage people to pay online, but a downloadable pledge form can be printed and sent in with a check. 

Tips for Raising Money

 

Don't forget to ask everyone you meet to support you in your Sit-A-Thon. Ask them for $10 or $20—small amounts can make a difference! Ask not only your co-workers, family and friends, but your hair dresser or barber, your mailman, your kids' teachers, your clients, your baker, your favoirte store owners and others you interact with regularly....

Tips for Soliciting Donations & Pledges

 
Once you are registered and have built your personal fundraising page, it’s time to start gathering donations and pledges.
 
People love to support charitable causes, especially when they can see how much it means to you. Yet, for many of us, it can be difficult to ask friends, family members, and acquaintances for financial support. Begin with those you know will be willing to support you and use these experiences and successes to build momentum. 
 
Tips for Soliciting Donations & Pledges
1]  Make a list of potential prospects and the best way to reach them. This might include:
  • Relatives (parents, children, grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles, etc.)
  • Work Acquaintances: Bosses, Co-Workers, Business Partners, Vendors, Clients, etc.
  • Associates from group activities (teammates, coaches, classmates, etc.)
  • Friends & Neighbors
  • Local Relationships (hair stylist, dentist, etc.)
 
2]  Create a fundraising website to help you explain your mission and provide a place to direct potential donors to learn more and make online donations.
 
3]  Create an “Action Plan” – Assign specific groups of prospects to target on certain days and/or weeks to keep your efforts focused and not too overwhelming. 
 
4]  Be well organized: You’ll want to explain the reason for the fundraiser and how funds collected will be used. (Make it personal. What does this cause mean to you?) 
  • Write out a script for yourself and practice.
  • Set goals to keep motivated & track them online to monitor your progress.
  • Post announcements on all your social networking sites. Invite friends to share wtih their friends to help spread the word.
  • Send out an email requesting donations with a link to your personal fundraising page.
 
5]  Keep offline pledge forms on-hand in case prospects are not ready to make an immediate donations or would prefer not to make an online donation.
 
6] If you have a personal fundraising page, handing out cards with the link to your site is a great alternative!
 

Requesting Corporate Sponsorships

 

We are also looking for businesses to sponsor our event, and you can help by asking some of your connections. 

Many of us work for or know of organizations that may wish to contribute either goods or funds towards our goal. In fact, businesses often have a marketing budget that they need to spend. If you have a relationship with a business, they may be likely to contribute. 

Please visit our event sponsorship page for levels of corporate giving. 

Some businesses like grocery stores, bakeries, coffee shops, and meditation supply stores might wish to donate goods, food and drink, or gift certificates to support our sitters during the event. Oftentimes, locally-owned businesses are happy to give in exchange for recognition. 

If you have an idea to ask a local business, please contact Kathryn, programs [at] sfshambhala [dot] org. 

Following Up With Donors After the Event

 

After the Sit-a-Thon it is important to log back into your account and see the status of your pledges. Some donors will have chosen to pay by check, or pay at the end of the Sit-a-Thon.

1. Log into your account at the upper right corner of the home page, below the header.

2. Click on "My Page", and then "Donations", and you will see a list of your donors. This will tell you if your pledges are complete or incomplete.

3. It is nice to send a personalized email. You can do this by selecting the boxes on the left side of the incomplete donations, then go to the bottom of the page and click "Email Thanks".

You can change the subject and content of your email to reflect the message you wish to write. If you leave the salutation intact, you can send out multiple emails at once. The code looks like this: Dear , and it will display the first name of your donor in each individual email.

4. If you received offline donations and did not collect the pledge up front, donors can send in a check directly to the Los Angeles Shambhala Center. Please ask them to write your name in the memo line, and make the check out to SMCLA. It can be mailed to the Eagle Rock Center:

Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles
C/O Alice Toohey
963 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041

5. When the check is received and entered into the system, it will show up as "Complete" on your donors list.

 

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