Myself and my nephew volunteered to fundraise this Daffodil Day. While I have fundraised before, this was my first time doing a “street” sell. It was also the first time for my Nephew but what we lacked in experience we made up for in some shameless street hustling.
Here are my top tips for fundraising/street hustling:
1. Bring a child. My nephew is of much more tender years than myself. Having a young person helped catch the eye of many a passer-by
2. Bring a child in costume. My nephew wore a white Tuxedo type suit with a few Daffodils strategically placed. He got attention as well as a bit of ribbing ( e.g. “Are you James Bond or wha?”) but remained cheerfully defiant telling me solemnly that if looking stupid helped get more money in the bad, he was up for it.
3. Wear something red. It has been proven that when women wear red, they are seen as more persuasive. I donned red lipstick and kept this fresh throughout the stint. Personal vanity had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
4. Eyeball. Eyeball. Eyeball. It’s remarkably effective to make eye contact with your target. Once you have locked them into your sight, they’re kind of trapped and must react. You may not always get your way but for anyone even open to giving, this direct appeal works a treat.
5. Be shameless. It’s all for a really great cause so there is no point in being meek. Taking a leaf out of the book of masters, we aped the best of the Moore Street sellers and hollered out our sales pitch every so often. Ok, we didn’t quite say “Daffodils 3 for 9 euros” but “Support Daffodil Day, it’s a great cause” worked wonders.
6. Hand change back very slowly. Think of how many Taxi men take their time to hand back small change. How many times have we just waived the change? Same principle.
7. Have fun. It’s all part of fundraising. Myself and my nephew had a lot of fun whether this was from having the banter with passers-by or just from guessing who would stop or who wouldn’t.
8. Be mannerly. “Please” and “Thank You” go a long way when asking people to take a moment to part with their money.
9. Always be closing. Ward off any threats to your sale. When someone pats their pockets to indicate a lack of change, get in there with assurances that you have the exact amount. When someone says “I have to do x first but I will get you on the way back” jump on this and say something like “Thanks, we will be right here waiting for you” but do keep the tone light and friendly. It’s important not to appear like a stalker.
10. Prepare to be humbled. It’s amazing how generous and thoughtful people can be. Lots of people gave way over the odds. People who promised to return with money mostly did. We witnessed a lot of kindness from strangers on Friday and it really restores your faith in human beings.
Those are my top tips. But my biggest tip of all is to get out and volunteer. In addition to needing funds, The Irish Cancer Society also needs volunteers. I admire volunteers because they refuse to be bystanders. And we cannot be bystanders to Cancer’s scourge. 1 in 2 of us will get a cancer diagnosis in our lifetimes by 2020 and all hands are needed if we want to change and stop this. No one knows this more than my nephew whose Dad died aged just 35.