Tips for spreading awareness and raising funds to support our neighbors experiencing homelessness!

Thank you for signing-up for SleepOut for Shelter benefiting PADS Lake County! Now that you’ve set up  your personal fundraising page and you have a plan of attack, it’s time to get fundraising!


Set a Goal

Your goal will automatically be set to $500 once you register online, but you can customize it to any amount you want.  Don’t be afraid to aim high—it will show your dedication to the cause and will encourage more of your friends, family and co-workers to donate!

Remember: in order to raise $500, you only have to find 10 people to make a $50 donation or 20 people donate $25—you’d be surprised how quickly that can happen! If you do surpass your goal, be sure to increase it on your donation page.

Reminder: All participants Sleeping Out at Six Flags must donate or raise at least $75 in order to gain entry to the event.

Personalize Your Fundraising Page

  • We’ve included a statement for your fundraising page, but please edit or completely change the information as you see fit! You, better than anyone, know what will speak to the people in your lives the most.

  • Add photos and videos - consider adding a photo of you holding a sign that states why you’re participating in SleepOut! For example: “I’m SleepingOut on May 2nd because I believe everyone deserves a place to call home.”


Start a Team

You don’t have to go it alone! Everything in life—SleepingOut and fundraising included—is better when our community are alongside us. Consider forming a team to maximize both your experience and fundraising efforts.

This guide includes different tips and ideas for fundraising. As a captain, consider coordinated

group efforts so that you and your team can maximize your impact! For example, if you’re working with some of your co-workers, consider asking others in the office to donate to your team page (as opposed to your individual page) so that they feel that they’re contributing on behalf of your company or organization. Consider throwing fundraising parties (more on that to come) together to create a great sense of community. You’ve taken the initiative to form a team for a wonderful cause—your team will look to you for your great leadership skills as they work to reach their goals!

Don't forget to check out all the great fundraising incentives for individual

and team fundraisers!

Spreading the Word


No one can support you if you don’t let them know you need their help. Ask anyone and everyone—you’ll be surprised who will give! We’ll go into some more detail with some of these techniques; but here are some simple ways to get the word out:


  • Use social media! Make weekly posts to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat reminding your followers about your fundraising efforts (and why you became involved).

  • Send emails and make them as personal as possible. Let the people in your life know why you care so much about our cause.

  • Send personalized letters or postcards to relatives and friends who don’t regularly use the internet. Some folks will appreciate the time and effort it took for you to send something via snail mail.

  • Add a link to your fundraising page to your email signature.

  • Visit or send a letter to a local business you frequent. You might be surprised at how many businesses owners are looking to give back—and how many community members feel compelled to join you in your efforts to ensure that everyone in Lake County has a place to call home.

Who to Ask

Before you ask anyone else to make a donation to your efforts, consider making one yourself. When your page visitors see that you’ve made an additional financial investment in PADS, they’ll see how much you believe in our work — and they will too.




Did you know that researchers have found that, on average, a person has to be exposed to something at least three times before they will take action? Don’t be afraid to consistently post on social media or send reminder emails—people genuinely appreciate the reminders as their own lives are probably relatively hectic!


Many people are nervous when asking for donations—you’re not alone if you’re feeling a little anxious fundraising! Instead of focusing on what’s causing your anxiety, try thinking about these things instead:

  • Practice, practice, practice! If you’re nervous about asking; practice what you want to say to before asking. Also: considering making your first ask someone you feel certain will say “yes” in order to boost your confidence.

  • The worst anyone can say is “no”. You’re not asking your grandmother to fund a trip to Vegas, you’re asking her to support a cause you believe in—so the odds that you’ll offend her by asking are slim to none.

  • Speaking of the cause … focus on that! Think about how amazing it would be to know that because of your efforts, PADS can provide critical services to more of our neighbors experiencing homelessness.

  • Trust your gut. If you’re not comfortable asking someone for money—don’t. While we absolutely encourage you to reach out to anyone you can, if you truly don’t feel comfortable asking someone, don’t sweat it!


Tips for Fundraising with Email

Email is a great way to add a personal touch to your fundraising efforts through your own unique messaging. Tell your friends, family and co-workers about all the services that PADS provides for our community and why supporting our mission is important to you. You can absolutely use some of the same language from your fundraising page!


Reminder: the average person needs to see something three times before acting on that information so don’t be shy about sending follow-up emails.

Fundraising with Social Media


One of the easiest, most successful ways to reach your personal and team goals is to use social media. You’ve already created a platform from which you share who you are and what you care about to the people in your life — use it!


  • If you haven’t already, follow us on Facebook (@PADSLakeCounty), Instagram (@padslakecounty), and Twitter (@PADSLakeCounty1).

  • Share your personal and/or fundraising page. Let your followers know what your goals are and keep them updated on your progress.

  • Thank your donors publicly by tagging them in your posts and photos.

  • Don’t forget to hashtag #PADSleepOut whenever you post!


Get creative with your fundraising efforts! Creating events will show your friends, family, teammates, or co-workers how much you care about the cause and encourage them to support your efforts.

  • Ask your supporters if their workplace offers matching gifts – this is a great way to double your efforts.

  • Host a party and ask all attendees to donate $20 that they would have spent on a night out. Tip: have a computer, tablet or phone with a secure wireless connection handy for those who would like to donate directly to your page in lieu of cash.

  • Ask your boss to raffle off a “Free Day Off” for your office or team.

  • Ask a local bar or restaurant to host a happy hour, trivia, or bingo night and donate part of the proceeds to PADS Lake County through your fundraising efforts.

  • Collect loose change. Put a jar on your desk at work or carry one with you to class and create a label that says, “Help me support our neighbors experiencing homelessness in Lake County.” Consider ask inga business you frequent if they’ll start a coin collection campaign on your behalf.

  • Create a March Madness Bracket Challenge where the winner receives half of the entry fees and the rest goes to your fundraising efforts. You never know, the winner may choose to donate his/ her winnings

  • Ask a local restaurant, bar or business to donate a gift certificate/item to your efforts and have your team raffle them off at your next get-together.

  • Offer your friends and family members with children a “Free” Night Out Coupon for which they can donate to your fundraising efforts in exchange for a babysitter for the evening.

  • Host a poker tournament. Set a buy-in price and then split the pot between the winner and your fundraising efforts.

  • Create a “No Shave April”! Grow a beard and people to sponsor you for each week that you don’t shave it.

  • Host a Sunday brunch. Invite your friends and family over for some home-cooked pancakes, eggs and bacon and ask for a donation in place of what they would have spent going out for brunch.


No matter what your fundraising goal is, we’re here to support you and are so very thankful for your participation in this event. Our work here at PADS Lake County truly wouldn’t be possible without community members with you. With so many 5Ks , Facebook fundraisers, and other events, people are going to give to someone; it’s just a matter of to whom. Use your creativity to make sure it’s you!


Questions? Contact us at

© 2016 by PADS Lake County