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Fundraising! It’s been around for a long time, there are lots of resources to help groups run a better fundraiser…but few rarely do. Here are a few tips on how to improve your experience and be able to raise more funds in less time.
Define and set your fundraising goal. What are you hoping to achieve with your fundraiser? How much funds do you need to raise to consider it a success? Having a clear goal will not only help you and your group stay focused, motivated and it will help you to voice your objectives to prospective donors. People tend to part with money easier if they know exactly where it is going.
Set your deadline. Once you have your goal set, you can estimate how long it will take you to reach it. Now, you can set a realistic deadline. Deadlines are crucial because they create a sense of urgency that will make donors respond faster. When possible, try and have a deadline that corresponds with your effort. For instance, if you are looking at raising funds at the end of the year, you can start your campaign on #givingtuesday (usually happens after Cyber Monday)—something like that.
Plan your execution. How will you execute your fundraiser? Online? Selling a specific product? Going door-to-door? Via email? Using social media? Know your options as well as the pros and cons to each. Using a blend of some, or all the above may provide the highest results…make sure you do some research beforehand by talking to other people who have fundraised, or searching online. Using social media along with an online platform will allow you to reach more people as well as people who are not in your geographical location…. think of all your friends and family that will want to support your cause but can’t simply buy a candy bar from you (or the like).
The more the merrier. Consider working with a team to increase the exposure of your campaign. The more people working on it, the more ground you can cover in less time. You can also divide up the work among your team, so you aren’t doing everything. Be sure you are making your life easier and not harder by assembling the RIGHT team. People who are as passionate as you are and dedicated. Slackers will only make your job twice as hard.
Get organized. Make sure you and your team members know where the information is. You will have a lot to keep track of including email lists, names, goals, team members, to-do lists, notes, etc. If you are using an online platform, take some time to make your landing pages compelling by having a clear, simple message, lots of images and be sure to upload all lists before starting to fundraise. There is a lot to keep track of and you didn’t even start your campaign yet!
Start marketing. Everything is in place, and now it’s time to begin your outreach. Tell everyone and anyone you know…you never know who can relate to your cause, or who will give to your fundraiser. Pick up the phone, use all your social media channels, have an online presence, seek out advocates who can help with word-of-mouth strategies. Look in your own backyard…from local business, to press and other organizations…leave no stone unturned. Remember, don’t just reach out one time, you are competing with a million other things. Try and schedule a small campaign that includes save the dates, solicitations and follow ups.
Say thank you. As part of your campaign, this should be your final component. ALWAYS. SEND. THANK YOUS. If possible, hand written ones. People don’t always have a lot of expendable cash to throw around, the fact that they gave to your cause (regardless of how much) shows that you and your campaign is important to them. Say thank you.
If you have any questions or want to start a fundraiser but don’t know where to begin, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.