Fundraising Tips

Set your goals
The first step in successful fundraising is setting your goals.
  1. Know how much money you need and when you need it. Make sure to add estimated costs to your fundraising goal.
  2. If possible, start planning your fundraiser at least one month in advance. This way you can get letters and ads written, products lined up, and events scheduled.
  3. Set beginning and end dates for each project.
  4. Find out what types of fundraisers have been successful for your group or community in the past.
  5. If planning a large fundraiser that uses several fundraising sources, estimate the funds needed from each activity. If you can, use figures from past successful events as goal points.
  6. Use a goal chart (thermometers are popular) to check your progress.
  7. Double check your community calendar
    • To ensure your fundraiser doesnít conflict with other community activities. (i.e. it may be difficult to find enough student volunteers for your 8th grade car wash if you schedule it during the middle school band trip!)
    • To co-ordinate your activities with other community activities. (i.e. garage sales on weekends, bake sales during farmers market days, etc.)

Fundraising Sources
There are three main types of fundraisers:

  1. Pledges and Donations- List potential donors and approach them for support.
    • Business and Industry: Some businesses may agree to match funds you raise from the public sector, especially the employers of your volunteers.
    • Friends and family
    • Colleagues and co-workers
    • Door to door solicitation
    Suggest a minimum amount and use a range of options ($100, $50, $25, other) or use sponsorship categories like business, household/family, and individual.
  2. Product Fundraisers may be held through door-to-door solicitations, as part of another event, or as an event of their own.
    • Hold product fundraisers using purchased products from a reputable fundraiser supplier
    • Local businesses may agree to provide products for fundraisers like raffles and silent auctions.
    • Some product donations can be resold to businesses to raise cash. Examples of these are empty inkjet cartridges and other recyclers.
    • For instance, volunteers may donate products for fundraisers like craft or bake sales.
  3. Event Fundraisers can be bake sales, car washes, flea markets, walk-a-thons, dances and more. See Fundraising Ideas for specific information on these event fundraisers and others!

Finding Volunteers

  1. Ask for names of those who volunteered in past fundraisers or who serve on other committees.
  2. Let volunteers indicate their interests and assign them accordingly. (i.e., donít make bakers out of letter writers)
  3. Ask each recruit for a list of family and friends who may be interested in supporting your fundraising efforts through either participation or donations.
  4. Motivate your team with a show of your own enthusiasm.
  5. Motivate with incentive prizes. For large fundraisers, reward the team that contributes the most (e.g. bake sale committee, walk-a-thon committee). Provide prizes for individual efforts.

Publicize Your Campaign
Have a campaign kick-off.

  1. Contact local media about your fundraiser via phone call, press release, or public service announcement.
  2. Encourage each member of your team to spread the word to family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.
  3. Decorate your town with flyers and posters.
    • Bulletin boards in offices, grocery stores, malls.
    • Neighborhood electric and poles.
    • Door to door
    • Mass mailings (if your budget allows)
    • Church bulletins
    • School or club newsletters.
  4. Run an ad in your community newspaper.

Managing Money

  1. Use cash collection envelopes for each event team or individual that will collect money. Keep an accurate record of who collect the money as well as the amount collected.
  2. Set a specific date when all money needs to be turned in.
  3. Assign one of the volunteers to be your treasurer. Your treasurer should be both experienced and comfortable with handling money. Both of you should be present when any money is counted. In addition, both you and your treasurer should sign for any disbursements made.
  4. Deposit money in a timely manner. In between deposits, keep money under lock and key.

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