So, now you have read Fundraising Ideas
and your head is full of possible ways to make money; but how do you put your ideas together in order to make your fundraising efforts a success? In organizing a fundraiser, your fundraising strategies often determine the success of each event as well as your entire campaign.
Know your fundraiser
First of all, know your fundraiser inside out, outside in, right side up, upside down, front wards and backwards. Does it sound detailed? That’s the point!
Fresh is Best
- Always keep your purpose at the front of your campaign. It’s easy to get so caught up in planning events that you lose sight of the reason behind them. Although you need a certain dollar amount to achieve your goal, in measuring your success substitute milestones for dollars to make fundraising fun. For instance, in raising money for a field trip, it’s more fun for both donors and volunteers to see the plane or trip bus as it gets closer to the destination than it is to see a thermometer rising with collected dollars.
- Be detailed in outlining your financial goals. Remember to include fundraising expenses in along with the amount you need to meet your purpose. For instance, even if you believe members will donate stamps, copy paper, poster paper, and other office supplies you need, still estimate the cost of the items and add it into your goal amount.
- Create a timeline that begins with planning time, then moves through your fundraising kickoff, scheduled events, to the end date of your campaign. However, remember your fundraiser doesn’t end when you collect the last dollar you need. Remember to include time to send out thank-yous to donors and volunteers and to issue rewards and/or prizes associated with your fundraiser.
- Research every idea. Put possible ideas on paper and balance the estimated costs and complexity of each with the likely outcome. Find out what types of fundraising events worked in the past as well as what didn’t work and why.
- Build a Winning Team. Find experienced volunteers from past fundraisers. Match the talents and interests of both new volunteers and veteran committee members with their assignments. Design a fundraising kit that explains each committee member’s specific role and what it means to your fundraising campaign.
- Know the answer before the question is asked. The big question both donors and volunteers want answered is “What’s in it for me?” In addition to being able to give a more satisfying answer than “the gratification of giving”, knowing the answer will help you target both enthusiastic volunteers and donors.
Expand Your Horizons
- If something has worked in the past, let it work for you again. However, keep your ideas fresh. If everyone is having a car wash, have a “Car Wax (wash included)”.
- Go ahead and use templates for donation letters, phone calling scripts, promotions, and thank-you notes, but individualize them for your fundraiser and personalize them to make your fundraiser stand out from the crowd!
- Of course, you are holding a fundraiser to earn money, but make sure to let prospective donors know that their time and/or expertise is valuable as well. For instance, in promoting your spaghetti dinner, as well as relaying the time, the menu, and the price, you can ask for donations of foodstuffs or volunteers to serve food, wait tables, wash dishes, etc. In asking for monetary donations, you can also include a “needs list” for such items as office supplies, prizes, goods for your sales, etc.
- Sell up. (“Do you want fries with that burger?”) At a Christmas craft sale, add gift-wrapping for an extra dollar. Make sure that donation cans are visible next to your check out area. At a car wash, offer a wax job or inside cleaning for an extra donation.
- People will give a little more if you offer a little extra. Cut prices in half the last hour of a garage sale or bake sale. Offer to pick up donated goods and to deliver products or prizes whenever possible or appropriate. For instance, pick up donated bake sale cookies from a busy day-care provider and deliver cookies from a product catalo
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