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Calling all members!!!

We need you! Fundraising for SaltwaterU has officially begun, and we need your help! It will be easy, fun, and simple, but we really need everyone to participate, even if just a little. There are enormous costs associated with SaltwaterU, but even greater benefits if we can pull it off! So we are extending our tentacles out to our community and trying to reach everyone we can. Last weekend alone, I raised $160 by simply sending an email out to my friends and family, and following up with them later. So let's try to give back to our community here on the forum by reaching out to the outside community and asking for help.

Below, I have pasted a copy of the email I sent out to friends and family that you can copy and change as you like, or write a new one if you like that fits your personality. Margi also has a great form letter that I will copy into a following post below. There are a few Word documents that I attached to the email that would be worthwhile to send out as well. If you email me, I can send you these attachments. We all should have them anyway because it is a great description of what SaltwaterU is, why we are doing it, and what we pose to gain from it. My email address is"></a>--feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

As you raise money, keep track of who donates, how much they give, and get their address so we can send them a thank you letter and receipt. Donations should be tax deductible--Bob is looking into it to make sure all our ducks are in a row as far as that is concerned. If you can, convert cash into checks made payable to Atlanta Reef Club, or you can get paypal donations at [IMG]"></a>. Good luck, and Godspeed!

Here's my sample message:

(Subject: Do it for the fishies!)

Dearest friends (and family!),
As part of my first fundraising effort ever, I'm trying to raise money for the Atlanta Reef Club (ARC) to hold a one day symposium on saltwater ecosystems, marine aquaria, scuba, and all things fishy. This event, called SaltwaterU, will be the first of its kind for the ARC, and we hope to make it a huge success and continue to expand the event in the future. We have several goals, including education and marine conservation, generating interest in sustainable reef keeping, and attracting attention to our club and our town so that we can position ourselves to host MACNA--the premier event for marine aquarists nationally--in the near future. We are also currently aligning ourselves with the exciting new Georgia Aquarium and have already developed a great partnership! I wish I could tell you more about that, but it's top secret!

I've attached two documents describing our event in greater detail. Our sponsor donation levels may seem high, but feel free to donate as much or as little as you want--$5-10 donations are just as valuable to me as $100-1000 donations. Every bit counts! No matter what you choose to give, you will be recognized on our website. I will even honor my own fish with your name! Also, if you have ideas for others who may be interested in supporting us or joining the event, please let them know how to contact me for information. Donations can be made via paypal to [IMG]"></a>, or you can write a check to the Atlanta Reef Club, or even give me cash. All donations are tax deductible, as we are a not-for-profit (501c3) organization. And if you do decide to send a donation, please let me know you did and for how much so I can track our progress.

A little info from the attached documents:

What: + An all day educational conference geared towards the saltwater hobbyist, encouraging preservation of our marine environments.
+ Breakfast, Lunch, and Roundtable Discussion with the Experts
+ 6 Speakers; 4 Workshops; Regional Coral Frag Swap; Coffee BreaksÂ…
+ Book signings by Scott Michael, Eric Borneman, and Sylvia Earle
+ Photo contest
+ Exhibitor booths
Where: + Zoo AtlantaÂ’s Action Resource Center - ARC ([IMG]"></a> )
When: + Saturday, May 21st, 2005
Why: + To support, educate, and promote the preservation and care of marine animals and marine environments, and to increase awareness of events affecting our natural reefs
+ To increase the number of marine aquarium hobbyists who remain involved by providing practical and helpful information and promoting responsible reef keeping
+ To increase our guestsÂ’ love and appreciation of the oceans and the marine life therein
+ To augment the Atlanta Reef ClubÂ’s conference hosting experience in preparation for hosting MACNA XX in the Fall of 2008

Thanks so much, and please call or email me with any questions (404-606-0181). Warmest regards,
Here are some ways to raise a lot of money fast!

How to raise $1000 in 9 days

Day 1: Start by sponsoring yourself for $50

Day 2: Ask 2 of your family members to sponsor you for $50 each

Day 3: Ask 10 friends to contribute $20 each

Day 4: Ask 5 co-workers to contribute $20 each

Day 5: Ask 5 neighbors to contribute $20 each.

Day 6: Ask 10 people at your place of worship to donate $10 each

Day 7: Ask you company for a $50 contribution and find out if the company will match what you raise – dollar for dollar.

Day 8: Ask 5 companies that your business works with to sponsor you for $50.

Day 9: Ask 4 businesses that you frequent personally to contribute $25

Over the Phone Fund Raising

Develop a list of potential contributors. For those people that are on your list and that you do not see on a daily basis, using the telephone can be an effective tool to reach out to your prospective list of contributors. There are 8 easy steps to raising donations via the telephone and begin a successful fund raiser:

Develop your list. Determine who needs to hear your voice.
Pick the best time to call. Avoid late night and dinner hour.
Know what you are asking before you ask. Do your homework and avoid uncomfortable pauses.
Go for it. Explain your commitment explain our motto “Preservation through Education”
Silence is not a “no”. Some people may take time to consider the contribution.
Thank them. Regardless of the outcome, thank them for their time, consideration and support. If they are unable to contribute and may want to help, suggest that they volunteer the day of the event.
Follow up with a written “thank you” note. Personalize your appeal and retain those donors for the next year.
Have fun! If you are excited about the mission of SaltWaterU, it will be contagious!

Electronic Fund Raising

Today more than ever, people are staying connected with others through the use of the internet.

E-mailing is one of the easiest forms of communication that we now have. All the ideas that are used for the telephone and “snail mail” are effective by e-mail. Plus it saves cost and time.
Hi Name -

I am writing to you to ask for your support of SaltWaterU, an educational conference sponsored by The Atlanta Reef Club. SaltWaterU will take place on May 21, 2005 at the Action Resource Center at Zoo Atlanta.

SaltWaterU is proud to offer marine education through world-renowned speakers, workshops, and round-table discussions. Also, the event offers a regional coral frag swap with other marine hobbyists and book signings with Scott Michael, Sylvia Earle, and Eric Borneman. All activities on the agenda support the conference motto, "Preservation through Education."

SaltWaterU is a unique event and the first of its kind in the southeastern United States. Please consider supporting SaltWaterU.

You can help make this event a success:

1) The saying ‘Money makes the world go around” is there for a reason – and we need money to make this conference a success. Please consider supporting our first every SaltWaterU through a cash donation. Every little bit helps – and we appreciation your consideration.

You can contribute online via PayPal ( or via a check made payable to the Atlanta Reef Club. Checks may be mailed to:

Margi Shindell

The Atlanta Reef Club

3200 Downwood Circle, NW

Suite 230

Atlanta, Georgia 30327.

2) Donate an item for our raffle. We are going to have an onsite raffle, so if you have any new, serviceable items you wish to donate (they do not have to be Saltwater related – just desirable) – we would love to take your donation.

3) Attend the conference yourself, and learn how to preserve and protect the marine environment. Registration and further information will be available online at"></a> by mid-March.

The Atlanta Reef Club is a non-profit corporation.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration. I hope you will join me in supporting SaltWaterU. SaltWaterU will educate its participants and make them more responsible marine hobbyists while increasing their love and appreciation of the oceans and the marine life therein.

Warm regards,

Your name