Fundraising Case Studies, Fundraising Ideas

Fundraising Tips from a Top Fundraiser

Tom Asciutto, Top Fundraiser

Tom Asciutto, top fundraiser for the 9th Annual Sons of Ireland Polar Plungers, has raised $6780 for this year’s polar bear fundraising event.  We asked the 45-year-old branch manager in Hoboken, New Jersey, how he did it, why he does it, and a few more things.

How many years you’ve been taking the plunge?

This is my second year plunging.

Why do you do it?

Two reasons:

  1. My wife is an ABSOLUTE ANGEL. It never ceases to amaze me how kind and charitable she is. I pale in comparison to her. She is my true love, my friend and my inspiration. I want to make her proud.
  2. I accepted the role of Charity Point Person in my firm. As part of this function, I try to inspire my co-workers…. leading by example and “walking the walk”.  I am quite active in several other charities. I participate in the Autism Speaks Walk. I donate my time monthly and organize my co-workers to “feed the homeless”.  We sponsor a “cook and serve” monthly at the Hoboken Shelter.

I also donate and assist WRAT with their Annual food drive to benefit the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. And this is how it all started. Last year, I had begun purchasing food for this drive in July. I would buy a case or so of food per week as I was doing food shopping for my family. I kept it all stored in my trunk knowing that I would deliver it to the Drive near the end of November. In the beginning of November, the trunk was full. As I was heading to work one morning, I was stopped at a light. Another driver rear-ended my car.  It was a horrific accident and pretty much ended any hopes I had of assisting WRAT with the drive. I have very little recollection of the event.

What I do remember was sitting on a lawn on Rte 18 looking at my car which was a crumbled mess. My first thought was, “Am I dead? Well… I can’t be dead because I am in pain. And I am cold.” Then, “Is anything broken?” I got up and did “inventory”. I was in pain but nothing felt broken. I looked at my car and had no recollection of how I got out. All the doors were smashed shut. And then I saw all the smashed food lying all over Rte 18. That sight brought me tears.

As I came home from the hospital, I knew I couldn’t help on the Food Drive. I was in too much pain. But in keeping with the role of walking the walk, I knew I had to do something. Several days later, I heard WRAT talking about the Plunge. It was a natural fit. I had limited time to fundraise but still managed to be the #1 guy last year.

How you were able to raise so much?

I ask EVERYONE. I usually start by asking them to JOIN me knowing full well that 99% of the population thinks this is stupid and would never try it. And then when they say no, I ask them to support me. It’s tough to say NO to someone twice in the same conversation.

My advice is to anyone: Don’t be ashamed or shy — ASK EVERYONE you know.

I sent my solicitations to everyone in my personal e-mail address book. And everyone in my office. And everyone I play fantasy sports with….Facebook, etc. You get the picture.

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Lisa Bennett

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.
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