Fundraise Your Way to WW 2011 in just 4 Easy Steps

We've come up with four steps to get you started on raising money to support your participation in Women's Worlds 2011. This is by no means a comprehensive fundraising guide, rather, some ideas to inspire you instead of thinking WW 2011 is beyond your reach.

Let's face it – whether you are a young person seeking donations for the first time or someone who has fundraised before – asking for money can be uncomfortable and intimidating. Our best advice is to be prepared and don't be disheartened when someone does say no because someone else will say yes. For ideas on how to be at ease when asking for money, check out this handy resource.

Use steps #1 and #2 below to help build confidence through clarity of goals, then tackle whichever aspects of #3 and #4 feel most comfortable to you.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about expenses related to participation in WW 2011:

Happy fundraising!


Step #1: Prepare your pitch

  1. Ask yourself: Why do I want to attend Women's Worlds 2011?
  2. How will attending this event further your career, studies, activism, or personal goals?
  3. What expertise or knowledge do you have to share with other participants and hope to gain?
  4. What can you offer donors in return for their support?

The answers may seem obvious and varied to you, but pinpointing exactly how attending WW 2011 will benefit you and/or your work will both help identify appropriate sources of funding AND sharpen your pitch. Practice your spiel on close friends and family first, then broaden your reach when you feel more empowered.

Step #2: Make a budget

Use this template to figure out how much you need to raise:

Travel to Ottawa, Canada


Accommodation (5 nights)


Food (minimum $40/day)


Registration Fee

$ 100

Ground transportation


Travel visa

$ 75








Check the congress website for accommodation and travel options in February 2011.

Step #3: Get fundraising

Now that you know why you want to come to WW 2011 and how much it will cost you, the next step is to solicit donations. We suggest you:

  • Write a personal appeal to people who know you – family, friends, colleagues, classmates, faculty, employer, fellow volunteers or worshippers – asking for a pledge. Click here for a sample appeal letter.
  • Write a sponsorship request to budgeted organizations that you (or one of your parents) are a part of – how about approaching your union local, community group, place of worship, university/college, campus clubs, or even city council? Consider what you can offer in exchange for a donation such as a presentation upon your return about your WW 2011 experience. Click here for a sample sponsorship request.
  • Request in-kind donations from an airline or other transportation company that could help get you to Ottawa-Gatineau – approaching local businesses for food or prizes for fundraising events you might organize is also a great way to offset costs. Click here for a template for writing to local business for donations.
  • Sell the "Dreams for Women" calendars that have been produced in partnership with WW 2011 – you can make $10 CDN for every calendar you sell! Click here to get started.
  • Join the WW 2011 online community to start discussions about alternate accommodations, cab sharing from the airport, or even collaborative fundraising.
  • Channel your special talent(s) into a local fundraising event like a house concert or bake sale, or sell a product you've made. Here are some ideas.

Charge a ticket or door fee for an event you organize:

- performance or open stage concert

- movie, trivia, or game night

- billiards or bowling tournament with a donated prize

- dinner, brunch, or tea party with donated food

Sales savvy

  • run, bike, or swim your own fundraising marathon and get sponsors by the mil
  • make and sell frozen cookie dough or pizzas
  • hold a bake sale using donated food (or your own culinary creations!)
  • auction yourself off as an 'Assistant for a Day'
  • raffle off prizes you collect as donations from friends and businesses
  • offer kitchen table workshops on topics you know – what about women's rights?
  • offer to teach someone how to use social networks like Facebook or Twitter

Artsy outlets

  • make a zine/book with recipes, poetry, short-stories, or drawings
  • make small gifts to sell
  • sketch, draw, or paint portraits

Step #4: Promote what you're doing

People will be more inclined to support you if they feel energy and momentum around your fundraising drive. Here are some ideas for creating a buzz:

  • E-blitz – Use email to announce your goal to personal and professional networks and keep them apprised of progress.
  • Social media - Put your fundraising campaign into cyber-circulation. Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter are three of the most influential online networking tools. Create your own page, post your appeal on everyone's walls, tweet your progress, create a video.
  • Go viral – Make a short video of you making your pitch. Think creative, fun, and short. Post on your Facebook profile or embed it in a mass message.
  • Textify - Shrink your appeal into a pithy text message and get thumbing.
  • Word of mouth - Talk up what you're doing with anyone and everyone, and ask them to tell others.
  • Flyers – Do up a catchy, personalized appeal to pass out to colleagues, classmates, and everyone you know. Be sure it includes your contact info.
  • Imagination - Some of the most effective campaigners have reached the top of their game by innovating. Find new ways to say things, to access people, to persuade. Ask creative friends to help.

Helpful resources on fundraising:

Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training

Girls Action Foundation


More fundraising ideas to get you motivated:

Tips on writing fundraising appeals:

Help with letter writing, with tips and templates:

Over 30 different forms of fundraising letters, from event ticket selling to requesting silent auction items: