Donate your birthday and raise money for charity!
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Donate your birthday and raise money for charity!


By Tom Ash, Charity Science

Want to know how you can help one of The Life You Can Save’s top recommended charities without spending a dime? The secret is fundraising! With a time investment of just a few hours, you could raise $500 or more—perhaps one of the best per-hour values you can get for your time invested!

The easiest way to raise money for the global poor is to host a fundraiser in lieu of receiving birthday presents. Birthdays are a great time to spread the word about the importance of effective giving without appearing too pushy, and you’ll most likely find that your friends and family will be receptive to learning about how they can help!

You may also be interested in running a holiday fundraiser in much the same way. Either way, you may be able to get seed donations or dollar-for-dollar matching funds from Charity Science, The Life You Can Save’s partner on these fundraisers.

This post describes how to donate your birthday—or the holiday of your choice—to charity from start to finish. 

Create a Fundraiser

This part is really simple. Visit Charity Science's birthday fundraisers page for the US, the UK, Canada or Australia and click “Create a Fundraising Page.” The next steps should be self-explanatory, and we’ve provided default text and pictures for you on the website, so you’ll be done in no time. You can join the Life You Can Save team when signing up! If you live elsewhere, you can either use US dollars or contact team@charityscience.com to see if your currency can be added.

Even if your birthday might be months away, it’s never too early to start planning ahead! Take a moment to register your interest by filling in this form (or this one for Christmas), or create a page in advance today.

Promote Your Fundraiser

Here’s the most important part! You won't raise any money simply by creating the page and letting it sit there. Instead, you have to promote it! The more time you put in here, the more money you'll raise.

Send some emails!

Friends and family (even distant family) are good potential donors. Here are some sample emails that you can use or adapt to send to them:

Hey [name],

[PERSONAL SENTENCE HERE.]

I'm donating my birthday to charity! Instead of giving me a present, I'd love for you to help me give a child an education. Just 50 cents provides life-saving deworming treatment for a child in the developing world, which helps her stay healthy and remain in school.

You can donate through this page I set up. [LINK]

Or here’s another example:

Hey [NAME],

[PERSONAL SENTENCE HERE.]

Hope you're doing well. Just wanted to let you know there are only three days left on my birthday charity fundraiser. Please consider donating to help those living in extreme poverty in the developing world. [LINK]

Share your fundraiser on Facebook, often!

Facebook is a great way to share your campaign with many different people who may become potential donors. Anyone will be able to see and contribute to your fundraiser via Facebook. It's also a great platform to publicly thank your donors for their support.

Here's the message that our supporter Joey Savoie posted, three times within a span of fifteen days:

I am donating my birthday! If you want to celebrate my birthday or want an excuse to donate to a great charity, this is your chance. All funds go to deworming children, which increases school attendance and increases their lifelong income.

http://birthday.causevox.com/joey-savoie

Here's the message that our supporter Xio Kikauka posted on Facebook, twice within a span of ten days:

My birthday’s coming up and I’m donating it to charity! To celebrate my surviving so long, please help children receive an education by donating to my birthday page (http://birthday.causevox.com/xio-kikauka )

It all goes to deworming children, which increases school attendance and increases their lifelong income.

Include your fundraiser along with your birthday party invitations

Here’s an example of what you could write:

Hey everyone,

I am having a birthday party at [INSERT PERSONAL DETAILS]. We will have snacks, cake, and great company.

I am also running a birthday fundraiser for charity. Donations are my favorite gift and all donated money will be matched to have double the impact!

Contact us if you want help

If you want help or advice in making your birthday fundraiser a success, contact Charity Science at team@charityscience.com. We love to help others who support evidence-backed charities!


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The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.