When thinking of THON fundraising techniques, many think of canning and THONvelopes as the most prominent and lucrative ways an organization can bring in money for the kids. However, organizations also have the option of canvassing, which, while less popular than other methods, could become more prevalent given recent changes.
Canvassing consists of organization members distributing information about THON and how to donate throughout neighborhoods. According to THON’s rulebook, organizations can receive up to 250 free solicitation cards that detail information about the philanthropy and ways to donate. Unlike on canning weekends, volunteers are permitted to go door to door when soliciting.
While soliciting, organizations are not allowed to carry cans or signs used over canning weekends. However, volunteers are permitted to carry an envelope should donors choose to make a cash donation. Safety rules enforced over canning weekends, such as no fundraising after dark or alone, apply to canvassing as well. Should violations occur, the Overall Committee reserves the right to ban solicitation fundraising.
With this year’s switch from four canning weekends to three, some organizations are putting more focus on solicitations than in years past. While THON organizations encourage their members to solicit while home over breaks, others, such as Atlas, have taken to organizing an entire weekend devoted to solicitations.
“Atlas has definitely embraced canvassing this year because of the loss of a canning weekend. We have this entire spring semester with no canning weekends, so we decided to make the best of it by sending out a big canvassing trip,” said Atlas Donor and Alumni Relations Chair Christine Dax. “It’s a great way to raise a ton of money over just one weekend, and it also keeps our members involved in the weeks leading up to THON.”
Dax said that while turnout is not nearly as large as a scheduled canning weekend, there were still many members willing to participate in the weekend.
“Canvassing is a different experience than canning since you actually get to speak to people for more than a few seconds while they’re stopped at a red light,” said Dax. “You’ll hear some awesome inspirational stories.”
Until decisions by the Overall Committee of THON 2014 regarding whether or not THON will return to the four canning weekend structure, it’s unclear if the prevalence of solicitations will rise any further.
Does your organization participate in solicitations? Share your stories in the comments!