Fundraising for Mental Health

Many people tell us they’ve been hesitant to ask people to sponsor them, but afterwards they felt great. Raising money to help others is an act of kindness, for both the person asking and the one being asked. Being generous feels great and, when the invitation is made without pressure or attachment to an outcome, asking someone to donate can be a real gift.

The Participant Centre, which is where you land when you login (after registering), provides:

  • The ability to personalize your fundraising page, including uploading your picture
  • Sample emails for asking people to sponsor you, inviting them to participate, and thanking them. All can be customized.
  • The ability to import contacts and send personalized emails to a group of people with the click of a button
  • A Follow-Ups list, where you can see who you’ve emailed, how many times, whether they’ve been opened, donations, and other useful information
Emailing & Follow-Up Tools

Participant Centre – the easy way to raise money quickly

The Participant Centre, which is where you land when you login (after registering), provides:

  • The ability to personalize your fundraising page, including uploading your picture
  • Sample emails for asking people to sponsor you, inviting them to participate, and thanking them. All can be customized.
  • The ability to import contacts and send personalized emails to a group of people with the click of a button
  • A Follow-Ups list, where you can see who you’ve emailed, how many times, whether they’ve been opened, donations, and other useful information

You can use our Emailing Tools alone or in combination with social media, asking in person, by phone and using regular email.

Also, if you’ve participated in past Mindfulness Challenges, you can import all your information, including contacts and donation history, when you register.

Emailing Tools

It’s simple to send personalized emails to dozens or even hundreds of people. Just import your contacts, choose the Sponsor Me email template, select who you want to email, personalize it if you like, and hit the send button!

NOTE: If using the mobile site, the screens are a bit different.

1. Log in to the Participant Centre – click the blue Login button at the top right of the Mindfulness Challenge website. Once you login, you’ll be taken to the Participant Centre and the following menu will be displayed:

2. Import Contacts – click on Address Book (4th from the left in the Participant Centre menu). Three clickable icons will appear:

  • Choose Quickly Add Contacts, to import email addresses from Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or Mac Address Book.
    • A window pops up, you select one of Gmail etc, log in to your account, and then it will say “Cloudsponge would like to: View your contacts.”
    • Click the Allow button. The list of all your contacts will appear. Now click the ones you might ask, or select them all. Click “Next” and they will be imported.
  • Choose Manually Import Contacts to import from a spreadsheet or csv file. Select “Other” to import from a spreadsheet and follow the directions of how to set it up for importing. The file should have 3 columns in this order, and with these headers: First Name, Last Name, E-mail.
  • Choose Manually Add Contacts to type them in.

Scroll down to see the contacts you added. Your own email will also be there (useful for sending a test email to yourself).


3. Send Emails – when finished adding contacts, scroll up to the Participant Centre menu and click on Email (5th from the left)

  • You’ll be presented with a list of sample emails.
  • Select “Sponsor Me” – a page will come up that includes your list of contacts and the template email. There are also emails to invite friends to participate with you.
  • The template email includes some merge fields to customize the recipient’s name, the link to your personal fundraising page, and your fundraising goal.
    • If you’d like to make some changes to add a personal touch, do so now. If you wish to save this for future use, click the Save Email Message button below. Name the message and save it. A warning always appears saying it “will overwrite any selected existing message” but it only overwrites messages with the same name. You can’t overwrite the default templates.
  • Select the contacts you want to email. Use the green arrows to add or remove names.
  • Click “Send Email Now” – your personalized emails will be sent, and at the top of the page it will say “Your message was successfully sent to xxx contact(s).”

4. Watch the donations start rolling in, and feel the joy!

5. Follow Up – It’s easy to see who clicked and to send a follow up email. Just login to the Participant Centre and click Follow-Ups (4th from the right in the Participant Centre menu). You can also see who donated.

If you need help, click the Online Help icon (last on the right in the Participant Centre menu), email us at challenge@mindfulnessstudies.com or call 647-524-6216.

This is not only a great way to raise money. It’s also a way to reconnect with friends and family. We encourage you to give it a try!

Prizes & Awards

 

Fundraising Perks & Prizes

Fundraising perks & prizes are based on the level of fundraising you reach. For the prize draws, your eligibility is determined based on your fundraising to Saturday, Nov 24 at 4 pm.

  • Special Location Draw
    • There will be a draw at each location (including Virtual) for a pair of Baffin Boots (order online your choice up to $300)
    • No minimum fundraising required
    • You must be present to win!

Awards

Many thanks to the prize donors above. We also wish to thank the following organizations for in-kind donations:
– A-Press Printing
Flow Water
Halfmoon Yoga Products
Kaya’s Tea
Made Good Bar

Notes:
1. 5 Minute Journals will be handed out at the event. They will not be mailed out. You must be present to claim one.
2. Centre for Mindfulness Studies staff and board members are not eligible for prize draws or awards. For the Top Team Award, the amount raised by staff or board members will be deducted from the total.
3. Due to limited numbers of Hero prizes, choice will be given in the order in which the $2,500 level is reached.

Fundraising Tips

Top Ten Fundraising Tips

Choose the ones that are right for you!

1. Set a challenging goal

Is it better to set a goal of $250 and raise $300, or set a goal of $500 and raise $450? More people will be helped if you raise $450! The fact is, setting a challenging goal will encourage donors to give more. So consider setting a challenging goal, and upping it when you reach it. Don’t forget to track and share your progress—many people will donate a little bit more if they know you’re close to reaching your goal. And don’t hesitate to ask people to give the amount needed to advance you to the next $50, $100 or even $1,000 milestone.

2. Self donate

A self-donation is a chance to set the tone and show your personal commitment to the cause. When friends ask how much to give, you can let them know what you donated. It’s a powerful way to encourage donations.

3. Start early

The sooner you start, the more space you’ll have to ask people. You can start slowly, experiment with different ways of asking, and wait until your ordinary social movements allow you to ask those close to you in person or by phone, where you can give them as much or as little information as they need to decide. They may even decide to participate with you! With the luxury of time, you can work lazily. Send email follow-ups through the Participant Centre Email Tools. People often need to be reminded several times before they take action, so getting started earlier and using gentle persistence really pays off.

4. Get personal

Share a story about yourself, a loved one, or someone you know. It can even be a story you heard second-hand of someone who has been impacted by a mental health condition. And consider dedicating your Challenge to someone or share a personal reason why this cause resonates with you. It will make your request that much more impactful. And be prepared to educate your donors—they may not know about the benefits of mindfulness or the Centre for Mindfulness Studies. Learn more here.

5. Start smart

Since donations will be displayed on your personal page, if the first pledge is high, your friends, family and colleagues will likely follow this lead and give more. So make the first asks of people you think will give larger donations.When you talk to people, and they ask what they should give, you can say “well, so-and-so gave me $____”. Or you can mention your personal donation. That way, you’re not telling them what to give, but you’re demonstrating that other people have been generous, and providing support for the person you’re asking to be generous as well. Remember, giving feels great, and giving generously feels even better.

6. Get social

Make sure everyone in your social circles knows you’re committed to this Challenge. You can receive unexpected donations by linking your personal online fundraising page to your email signature or Facebook page. Don’t forget to go to the Mindfulness Challenge Facebook page and say you’re going!

7. Ask many people

Ask everyone you have a personal connection with who can afford to give $10, $20 or more. Simply put, you need to ask! Being brave is important. Being kind is also important. Ask without any pressure or attachment to the result. Asking someone to sponsor you can help build a connection and re-connect with those you haven’t been in touch with for a while. Many people report that asking people to sponsor them resulted in an outpouring of support and social requests, as well as discovering a common interest in mindfulness. When people give it makes them feel good. So asking someone to sponsor you can be a real act of kindness and connection.

8. Be yourself

Do what works for you. Some people will make great use of the tech features in our fundraising system. Others will use more traditional methods. Some will experiment with different methods. And while this website and our templates are a great starting point, make the voice your own. Why do you care about bringing mindfulness to the disadvantaged? Why are you participating in the Challenge? What does your heart want to say?

9. Ask for matching gifts

Contact your Human Resources department to find out if your company has a corporate matching gift program to double the value of your personal contribution. You can also encourage donors to ask their companies for matching gift support.

10. Thank your donors

Make sure to follow up and thank those who helped you reach your goal. Send a personalized thank-you messages as soon as you receive notification of the contribution. Follow up with a letter/e-mail after the Challenge to share highlights and let them know what a great time you had.

How to Raise $250 in 3 Days

 

How to Raise $250 in 3 Days!

When you invite people to make a donation, you’re inviting them to make a difference in the lives of others. Remember that the biggest barrier to fundraising is hesitating to ask. If you ask without attachment to outcome, you’re offering them a gift. Go ahead and give it a try. Here’s how in 3 steps.

1. Self-Donate: 

Show your commitment to providing a cost effective mental health solution through a $30 donation. Set the precedent for future donations. TOTAL: $30

2. Email: 

Let people know you’re participating and invite them to support you. Send emails yourself with a link to your personal fundraising page, or use our Emailing Tools (see above) to easily send personalized custom emails, based on our template. Either way, you can reach a lot of people quickly. Four of them will give $30 each. TOTAL: $120. Now you’re at $150.

3. Follow up with Close Connections: 

Your family, close friends and work colleagues want to support you. Ask for their help to reach your goal. Say 3 of them donate $35 each. TOTAL: $105. Now you’ve reached your goal!

Most importantly, follow up and thank your community of generous donors! Be prompt with your thank you emails, and be sure to provide them with an update after the Mindfulness Challenge day. Congratulations on raising $250 towards bringing mindfulness practice to those who need it the most. Now that’s something worth asking for! 

Be Lazy

Be Lazy

Working lazily is wonderful. No stress, just going with the flow. With that in mind, we encourage you to register and start fundraising early, so you can do it lazily. Aaaahhhhhhh….

Four Steps to Lazy Fundraising

1. Start slowly and Experiment

The sooner you start, the more space you’ll have to ask people. If you have a few months, you can start slowly, experiment with different ways of asking, and wait until your ordinary social movements allow you to ask those close to you in person or by phone. They may even decide to participate with you!

2. Start with a Large Donation

Since donations will be displayed on your personal page, if the first pledges are high, your friends, family and colleagues will likely follow this lead and give more. The first donation sets expectations for all that follow. So either make a large self-donation or make the first asks of people you think will give larger donations.

3. Email your Contacts

After you have one or more large donations, email people who might be interested in supporting you to achieve your fundraising goal. Remember that giving feels good, so don’t hesitate to ask unless you know they really can’t afford it. And ask without any expectation they will give. Use our Emailing Tools makes it easy to send and track. If you use regular email, don’t forget to include a link to your personal fundraising page.

4. Follow Up

People often need to be reminded several times before they take action, so getting started earlier and using gentle persistence really pays off. Once you’ve made the first ask, follow ups are easy. And with our Follow Up tool (login to the Participant Centre) you’ll see who’s already donated, how many emails have been sent to each person, and the date of the last email.

While emails are great, they often go unread or are merely glanced at without much consideration. Consider phoning or asking in person after you’ve sent an email. Then you have their attention and can answer any questions they have. If you want to go “old school” download a pledge sheet.

With the luxury of time, you can work lazily and reach your goal with kindness and ease!

Fundraising FAQ

Fundraising FAQ

Where will the funds go?

All funds will go to The Centre for Mindfulness Studies and used for its Community Program, which trains social service agency frontline workers to deliver mindfulness programs to their clients and provides bursaries for The Centre’s therapeutic mindfulness programs. The Centre is a registered charity and will issue tax receipts for all donations of $20 or more. No tax receipts are issued for registration fees, as the Canada Revenue Agency does not allow us to issue tax receipts where something of value is received in exchange.

If I’m participating in Toronto or London, what does the $250 fundraising commitment mean?

The $250 fundraising commitment in Toronto and London means you commit to raising $250, to make a sincere effort. If you don’t raise that much, don’t worry, you can still participate!

How do I raise money?

Mindfulness Challenge 2018 works like a walkathon or bikeathon – you ask people to sponsor you. We’ll provide you with the latest tools and great ideas to reach your fundraising goal. The online fundraising system makes it easy to email and use social media to ask people to sponsor you. It’s simple, effective and secure. You import the contacts you want and we provide templates to ask them to sponsor you, join your team, etc. On average participants who fundraise online raise significantly more than individuals exclusively raising funds offline. But it’s really up to you, and there is no one right way. See the Emailing Tools and other tabs on this page for more ideas.

What are the benefits of using our Participant Centre?

The Participant Centre, which is where you land when you login (after registering), provides:

  • The ability to personalize your fundraising page, including uploading your picture
  • Sample emails for asking people to sponsor you, inviting them to participate, and thanking them. All can be customized.
  • The ability to import contacts and send personalized emails to a group of people with the click of a button
  • A Follow-Ups list, where you can see who you’ve emailed, how many times, whether they’ve been opened, donations, and other useful information

You can use our Emailing Tools alone or in combination with social media, asking in person, by phone and using regular email. Also, if you’ve participated in past Mindfulness Challenges, you can import all your information, including contacts and donation history, when you register.

Is the online fundraising system secure?

Yes. The system uses the most current encryption tools to provide a safe and secure environment for participants and donors. All transactions and data are captured and stored in a secure environment. Industry standard Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption certificates are used. The online fundraising site displays the SSL Web Server Certificate seal that confirms the transaction is secure and encrypting all data. Electronic tax receipts are secured with either a random 40-bit or 128-bit encryption code ensuring their authenticity while at the same time, meeting all government standards. While PDF tax receipts are sent via the online system and can be printed, they are tamper-proof. All online transactions are conducted using the HTTPS protocol – the same standards used by most major financial institutions on their online banking applications.

What is required to set up my personal fundraising page?

It’s already set up, but we encourage you to make it your own. Customizing your personal web page is quick and easy and requires no technical skills. All you need to do edit the text, and upload your photo. You can add more photos or videos too. It’s important to let people know why the Mindfulness Challenge is important to you. These few minutes can make a big difference and will help kick-start your fundraising success.

How do I enter offline donations online?

Offline donations include cash and cheques collected through in-person fundraising. Using the online Participant Centre simply click the “Offline Pledges” button and input the requested information. The donation will be included in the ‘offline’ donation portion of your fundraising thermometer. You will also have the option to include donors’ names on your Honour Roll. NOTE: To be eligible for tax receipting, ALL offline donations must be received at the event or by The Centre for Mindfulness Studies. When submitting donations, enclose payment, and remember to include a copy of your pledge form outlining the address details for each offline donor. Keep a copy for your records.

Can my personal and/or team online fundraising page be viewed by the public?

Yes. Team and individual fundraising pages are viewable by the public. If you want you don’t want to display your personal page in lists or searches, you can change it by editing your profile and going “private.” However, this will make it impossible for someone to donate to you if they don’t have the link to your personal page.

Can people donate anonymously?

Yes. Donors have the option of keeping their name and/or their donation amount ‘anonymous’. Note: A donor’s identity will still be passed on to the participant and to The Centre for Mindfulness Studies for processing reasons.

What if I forgot my online password or username?

Go to the Participant Login Page. Follow the prompts to have a new password and username sent to your email.

When does online fundraising close?

You have up to December 31 to collect pledges online and to submit offline pledges to the Centre for Mindfulness Studies office. (Please note our offices are closed between Dec 24 and New Year’s Day.)

When and how do I submit my pledge form and offline monies?

Offline donations with accompanying pledge forms can be submitted on event day. Pledges collected offline will be added to your online fundraising total and will count towards eligible prizing. When submitting donations, enclose payment, and remember to include a copy of your pledge form outlining the address details for each offline donor. If you receive additional funds post November 25, you have up to December 14 to submit monies and pledge forms to the Centre for Mindfulness Studies office. You can also pay online using your own credit card or PayPal. The payment is made by clicking “Offline Pledges” in the Participant Centre menu, scrolling to the bottom, selecting the offline pledge to be paid, and clicking on the appropriate payment button. If you intend to use this method, please have your donors make their cheques payable to you.

What is a ‘Corporate Match Program’?

‘Corporate Match Programs’ are offered by many Canadian companies. Companies offering this program will match employees’ charitable donation dollar for dollar, and some companies will also match dollars employees have fundraised or for their volunteer contribution. Many Canadian companies offer a ‘Corporate Match Program’, encouraging employees to make philanthropic gifts to charities. Ask someone in human resources or if applicable your corporate donations department.

Donations FAQ

Donations and Tax Receipts

 

Who should my donor make cheques payable to?

Cheques can be made payable to: The Centre for Mindfulness Studies. You can also ask for the cheque to be payable to you, and then you can make the donation using credit card or PayPal. The payment is made by clicking “Offline Pledges” in the Participant Centre menu, scrolling to the bottom, selecting the offline pledge to be paid, and clicking on the appropriate payment button.

Can I make a donation even though I will not be participating in the Mindful Challenge?

Yes. Just click here to donate. You can donate to an individual (which will be added to their team, if they’re on one) or make a general donation to the event.

Can I donate to a Team?

No. You must donate to either an individual team member or to a location or to the event. If you donate to an individual team member, the donation will be added to both the individual and team fundraising totals.

Can people donate anonymously?

Yes. Donors have the option of keeping their name and/or their donation amount ‘anonymous’. Note: A donor’s identity will still be passed on to the participant and to The Centre for Mindfulness Studies for processing reasons.

When will tax receipts be issued?

Donors who pledge at least $20 online will receive an electronic tax receipt by e-mail within minutes of completing a successful transaction. A thank-you note is also automatically generated for all donations. Receipts for offline donations will be sent by February 15, 2019.

I lost my tax receipt, how do I get another copy?

Contact us at challenge@mindfulnessstudies.com or at 647-524-6216.

Posters and Graphics

 

For the past six years, the Centre for Mindfulness Studies has emerged as the leading provider of professional mindfulness training in Canada. As a charity and social enterprise, the Centre is committed to making mindfulness available to everyone. We work with more than 20 social service agencies and seven healthcare partners to bring mindfulness into the communities that need it most. It’s the heart of what we do.

Learn more about how our Community Program empowers marginalized and disadvantaged people to take control of their own mental health and well-being through mindfulness-based interventions, and our community-based model of care.