Fundraiser's Toolkit

You’ve found your way to some fundraising resources for P4P. We’re glad you’re here! You can copy, paste, change, and use any of the language we have in these documents to help you in your fundraising efforts.

Have questions, comments, or an idea for something else that might help you? You can reach us any time at We always want to hear from you!


Aliya, Nicole, and the P4P Committee

So, you’ve registered for P4P, and now you need to start bringing in the donations! Here are a few tips that can help you get started on fundraising.

  • Personalization is key. Your supporters want to hear why you care about finding a cure for PD -- and how they can help. We are happy to share templates for your fundraising pages, emails, and other materials (keep scrolling - we have some below), but your words, photos, and inspiration will make your story shine to your family and friends.

  • Identify your networks. Brainstorm people and groups you know. Your network is bigger than you might think! Take some time to map out your connections and consider who to reach out to and how, whether through email, social media, or mail. You may consider friends and family, current/ former colleagues and classmates, your professional, volunteer or spiritual networks, and your social, hobby or recreational groups. You can also think outside of your direct connections. There are many people whose lives have been affected by Parkinson’s disease and may be interested in supporting you and the cause.

  • Set a fundraising goal and share it. No goal is too large or small. Let friends and family know your goal so they can help you reach it! You can even make the goal amount meaningful: it can reflect the distance you move ($1310 for a 13.1 half marathon); it can reflect someone’s age ($7500 because grandpa is 75 years old); the number of years you’ve been involved with P4P ($8000 for your eighth year with P4P), and so on.

  • If it’s within your means, make the first contribution to yourself. Kick start your fundraising and show supporters that you are personally committed to the P4P cause.

  • Collect donations online, or by cash or check. To share your fundraising page, go to Donate to a Runner, search for your name, and copy the link. To collect donations by cash or check, please include a note that mentions Pacing for Parkinson’s and who should get credit for the donation. Checks should be payable to Johns Hopkins and write “Pacing for Parkinson’s” in the memo. You can mail cash or check donations to: Pacing for Parkinson's, Neurology Development, c/o Rachel Ermer, 550 N Broadway, 7th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21205.

  • If events are your style, start with a small fundraising initiative. For example, organize a virtual game night, Facebook watch party, online auction, or video conference happy hour. Be creative!

  • Keep your donors engaged and involved in your progress. Update your supporters on your efforts via email, social media, and regular communication -- and ask them to help spread the word. Let them know how your fundraising and training is going and when you hit milestones!

  • It’s OK to follow up on donation asks. Now more than ever, the volume of email and social media communication can be overwhelming, and you may have trouble reaching your supporters. Remember that people often intend to donate, but then forget to follow through. Don’t be afraid to remind them! Most donations come in within two weeks of the event date.

  • Emphasize the impact of donor support. Learn more about what the Johns Hopkins Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center and Johns Hopkins Medicine are doing to accelerate research and impact lives in our community, and let your supporters know that they are contributing to that progress. Help educate your donors on how their dollars and your efforts are making a tangible difference for people with Parkinson’s and their loved ones. You can start with our page, Where Does the Money Go?

  • Say “thank you”. Take the time to express your gratitude in a meaningful way. Make your supporters feel a part of your efforts. For example, send a thank you note (everyone loves getting mail!) or a personal email to everyone who donates. Make sure to send a final update with your fundraising totals to share your gratitude.

This list is adapted for P4P from the MJFF’s Tour de Fox fundraising tips.

Pacing for Parkinson's has made promotional images, including Facebook cover photos and other images, that you can download and use for your own emails and posts.

Click here to download all images. They will download as a .zip file. To access images, double click the .zip and a folder with images should appear.

Facebook Profile Frames


Pacing for Parkinson's has also made Facebook Frames that can be used on your Facebook profile picture. To add a P4P frame to your profile picture, follow these instructions:

  1. Login to Facebook and go to your profile homepage

  2. Hover over your profile picture and click "update"

  3. Select "Add Frame"

  4. Type "Pacing for Parkinson's” in the search bar and select the frame you want to use

  5. Select the amount of time you want the frame to appear on your profile picture

  6. Select "Use as Profile Picture"


Quick Tips

Not sure where to start? Here are some tips to writing and sending compelling asks for donations via email.

  • Know your audience. The more you know your audience, the more you can tailor your email messaging. How frequently does this person check their email? What email content might convince them to donate? Is there a better way to share your fundraising efforts with them such as social media, a phone call, etc.?

  • Send emails at the right time. Emails sent mid-day or on Monday at 6am have been shown to have higher opening rates than other emails. 

  • Have a strong subject line. Subject lines can be the determining factor for someone opening your email. Ask a question, suggest urgency, or call to action in the messaging of the subject line. The shorter the title, the better since long email titles will be cut off on mobile devices or small browser windows.

  • Make it personal. Use people’s names and share your own personal story. Think about answering the following questions: How has Parkinson’s disease impacted you and your family? Why is finding a cure important to you? Why do you run / walk / move?

  • Keep the email short and sweet. Ideal emails are 2-3 paragraphs at most. This also can help make it more mobile friendly for individuals opening email on their phones or other devices. Make sure your email answers questions that might be on your donors’ minds: Why should I care? How will my donation help? What do you want me to do? How do I help?

  • Make your call to action (donating or signing up) stand out in the email. This can be done by bolding the font, using bullet points, highlighting in a surprising color, or separating out paragraphs to make your point stand out.

  • Provide multiple direct links to the P4P website. Be sure to link to your direct fundraising page (find your page by searching for your name here), the main P4P website, our Where Does the Money Go? page, the Johns Hopkins Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center page, and any other info you think might be useful for your donors.

  • Follow up. Follow up at an appropriate time (usually about two weeks) with another email. Don’t be afraid to follow up with a phone call or a more personal communication form as well! If someone does donate, it is also nice to follow-up with a thank you message to them as well!


Email Templates


We've put together a couple of email templates for you to use if you’d like. Please feel free to download or copy and edit and use however you'd like!

You can access email templates here.


Quick Tips

Want to make memorable posts so your followers know how important the P4P cause is? Here are some tips for successful social media fundraising.

  • Make sure to like and follow P4P on Facebook (Pacing for Parkinson’s) and Instagram (@Pacing4PD).

  • If you want Pacing for Parkinson’s to re-post or share your photo, make sure your post is public and make sure to tag our social media. To tag P4P, just use Pacing for Parkinson’s (Facebook) or @Pacing4PD (Instagram) in your post.

  • We also use the following hashtags: #pacing4parkinsons / #p4pGoesVirtual / #RaceForACause.

  • Social media posts can take whatever tone you’re comfortable with (fun/funny; serious; reverent; etc.), but they work best when they’re authentic to you. What’s your story, and how do you want to tell it?


Facebook-specific tips


  • Facebook posts can be a little longer than your typical social media post, but you want to have a way to catch people’s attention.

  • Pictures do help capture attention, so we always encourage photos to be shared on posts!

  • Hashtags don’t help people find your post on Facebook so those aren’t necessary (though you’re definitely encouraged to use them on Instagram!).


Instagram-specific tips


  • Instagram posts should be short and sweet.

  • Don’t forget to tag @Pacing4PD and use hashtags so others can find your post and consider donating.

  • Similarly, you can use a shortened version of a Facebook post you might make.


Social Media Templates


We’ve put together some social media templates for you to use if you’d like. Please feel free to download or copy and edit and use however you’d like!

You can access Facebook templates here.

You can access Instagram templates here.


Quick Tips

It’s crucial to say thank you to your donors and supporters, no matter the size of the donation.


  • Thank yous are the best part. You feel good, your donors feel good!

  • Tell them what the experience meant to you. Did you learn something about yourself? Did you meet new goals? Share with your donors what the experience meant to you.

  • Show them where their money’s going. Be sure to link to our Where Does the Money Go? page.

  • Add pictures. Your friends and family will be so inspired by your accomplishments. Share pictures of you doing what you love and supporting P4P!

  • Send thank yous and stand out. You’d be surprised how few people actually send thank-yous. A personalized message will help you stand out from others and raise even more funds in the future!


Thank You Templates


We’ve put together a couple of thank you templates for you to use if you’d like. Please feel free to download or copy and edit and use however you’d like! 

You can access thank you templates here.

Have questions, comments, or an idea for something else that might help you? You can reach us any time at We always want to hear from you! Thanks for reading, and happy fundraising!