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Fundraising Toolkit

Tools To Help You Fundraise

We are thrilled to have you participate in Rock The Ridge – you are in for an incredible time as you experience the cliffs, dwarf pine barrens, crystal-clear streams, historic carriage roads, and magnificent views that make Mohonk Preserve a world-renowned ecological and recreational destination.

Thank you for raising funds to support our mission – to protect the Shawangunk Mountains Region and inspire people to care for, enjoy, and explore their natural world.

We know fundraising can be a challenge. Our goal is to make your Rock The Ridge fundraising campaign easy, successful and fun!  We’ve created this fundraising toolkit so you’ll have everything you need to get started. You can also contact us with any questions – we’re always happy to help!

Getting StartedSix Steps to a Successful Online Fundraiser 

Your campaign page is where your family, friends and supporters will go to donate to your Rock The Ridge campaign. We’ve found participants do well when they create a fundraising page rich with content. Here are some tips to help make your page so compelling, your supporters will not leave without pressing the donate button.

1. Personalize your fundraising page. We’ve found participants do well when they create a page rich with content. 

Tell your supporters your story: why are you a 2020 Ridge Rocker? In what ways do you connect with Mohonk Preserve’s mission? Share photos, videos and stories of your training and Rock The Ridge preparations, and share how their contributions make a difference to the Preserve. See below for social media sharables and sample letters! 

2. Get To Know Mohonk Preserve. With over 8,000 acres of mountain ridges, forests, fields, streams, ponds, and other unique and beautiful places, Mohonk Preserve is the largest member and visitor-supported nature preserve in New York State.

Mohonk Preserve’s mission is to protect the Shawangunk Mountains region and inspire people to care for, enjoy and explore their natural world. Our Programs:

  • Education — In 2018, Mohonk Preserve served over 11,500 children and adults through our award-winning, innovative outdoor education programs, engaging their senses and inspiring them through nature
  • Land Protection — Protecting key recreation areas, fragile habitats, and scenic viewsheds is only the beginning. 
  • Land Stewardship — Managing over 8,000 acres takes work! The Preserve helps provide a safe, participatory experience in nature for over 200,000 visitors each year. The Preserve’s team of highly skilled search and rescue Rangers are always on call and ready to assist visitors in trouble.
  • Conservation Science — The Preserve’s team of scientists monitor the changing ecology of the Shawangunks and use data to help sustain this regionally important ecosystem.

3. Plan Your Campaign. Take some time to think about what you want to say and who you want to ask before you start asking for donations. Write a sincere, informative message. The most successful fundraising messages are personal and heartfelt.  Why is being connected to the outdoors and/or Mohonk Preserve important to you? Why is protecting the environment important to you? Why do you want to participate in this endurance event? In what ways does your potential donor connect with your story or with Mohonk Preserve?

Think about who you can ask, and how you can tailor your message to them. Break your contact list down into manageable groups to plan your fundraising strategy. You don't have to ask everyone all at once - after you've developed your list, create smaller groups of people to call, e-mail or message personally. While it certainly helps to make your friends on social media aware of your fundraising, we’ve found that personal messages sent as emails, messages, or phone calls are the most successful at getting your supports to press the “donate” button. 

We’ve created a fundraising guide to help you plan: Click here to view and download the guide.

4. Make The Ask. Ask early and often! Your family, friends and colleagues want to support you! You are giving them a great opportunity to invest in a good cause. Think about your contact list and the methods that would be best to make your ask: Email, phone calls, social media, in-person asks, and matching gift requests are all great ways to approach potential donors. Be sure to include a link to your fundraising campaign!

5. Follow Up. Share the progress you have made on your campaign and during your training! Some of your family, friends and colleges will donate right away. Others may need a reminder (or two).  Don’t be afraid to reach out to those who haven’t responded with another email, phone call, or text.

6. Thank Your Donors. Rock The Ridge sends an automatic “thank you” to all donors, but it is always a good idea to send a personal thank you as well. It’s a great idea to thank your donors again after Rock The Ridge – they will be glad to share in your accomplishment! Click here to download a sample Thank You message.


Collecting Offline Donations

You may collect donations outside of the Crowdrise fundraising platform by mailing checks to:

Mohonk Preserve
Attn: Tom Leader, Special Events Manager
PO Box 715
New Paltz, NY 12561

Make checks payable to Mohonk Preserve. If donations are made directly from family and friends please make sure they indicate that the donation is a contribution to your fundraising efforts for Rock The Ridge so that they can be credited toward your fundraising minimum. 

All offline donations must also be logged on your Crowdrise page. To log your offline donations, log in to Crowdrise and click "My Campaigns." Hover over your Rock The Ridge fundraiser and click "manage." Click the "Add Offline Donations" button below your fundraiser photo and fundraiser link.

Collecting Donations Through Facebook

You may collect donations through your Facebook page, with Mohonk Preserve selected as the benefiting organization. Please title your fundraisers with a connection to Rock The Ridge like “Perry Grin’s  Rock The Ridge 2020 Fundraiser.” Funds donated through Facebook will automatically be sent to Mohonk Preserve, and you can then log your fundraising amount as an offline donation (see instructions above).

Banner Photo by John Aylward