Blog Post

5 Ideas for a Successful iMentor Challenge

iMentor Challenge 2019 is under way! Our mentors power this crowdfunding campaign each March, and this year we’ve already seen mentors sharing stories, holding raffles, and even DJs donating their time. Each year the Challenge demonstrates the drive and dedication of our mentor community, not to mention the care that mentors have for their mentees. Every dollar counts and helps to fund college visits, financial aid events, and other activities and supports for students throughout the year.

For mentors participating in the Challenge, two of our fundraising gurus—Jonah Anderson, associate director of development at iMentor Chicago, and Allison Dorf, development manager at iMentor NYC—shared some ideas for a successful campaign. Not sure how to get started? Check out the iMentor Challenge campaigns for the Bay Area, Chicago, or NYC to get easy guidelines and see how other mentors are tapping into their networks.

1. Take On a Personal Challenge

This is a fun, well-known option for peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. Create a personal goal that you have committed to accomplishing at the end of the campaign. Grow a moustache, run a 5K, dye your hair pink for a month.

Your personal challenge can be as creative as you want it to be, but it’s important that it will help you stand out and that people will be supportive of your goal. It’s equally important that once you’ve achieved (and surpassed) your fundraising goal, you actually complete your challenge and do it in a way that is visible to your supporters.

2. Email 10 Coworkers

We know that work colleagues and managers typically make the largest donations. Often times these individuals don’t have the time to mentor, but want to support those that do. Here’s an easy way to get started: Email 10 of your current or former colleagues and give them an update on the awesome volunteering you’ve been doing.

3. Honor Someone Special to You

Sharing a personal story that ties into your organizations’ mission is a powerful way to drive your fundraising. This strategy is especially impactful if the honoree is personally invested in the same cause you’re supporting. For example, a mentor telling a story about an influential person in their life and relating what they learned from that relationship to how they approach being a mentor today has the power to inspire others to think about the impact of mentors in their own lives. 

4. Get Your Workplace Involved

Lots of workplaces support charities that their employees are passionate about. Of course, this is something that should first be approved by any bosses and department heads. Be sure to work with your company’s employee engagement or corporate social responsibility teams to create a fun office event that others could enjoy participating in. Some examples are hosting an office bake sale or an after-work happy hour. Recently, one of our mentors in Chicago arranged a Friday Jeans Day fundraiser at their office and raised $500 in a day!  

5. Match Your Friends’ Contributions

Were you already planning to donate to the iMentor Challenge yourself? Get your friends excited by pledging to match their donations up to $25. This shows commitment and passion and encourages them to donate.

Learn about the iMentor Challenge and get started fundraising and inspiring your network!