Having a successful fundraiser can seem like a daunting task with a lot on your mind. What if it doesn’t go well? Is it a waste of time and effort? How do you get started? Fundraising can be a great way to bring people together for a common cause, but how do you effectively have a fundraiser without blowing time, money, and energy, only for it to not get the planned amount you needed?
If you want to be successful in your fundraising efforts, you will have to make sure you have a plan in place, instead of just hoping it works. By following these steps and asking yourself some questions, you can make sure your fundraising goes as expected:
Step 1: Map out and define what it is your fundraiser is about to get a clear view of your goal. Ask yourself, or write down, the following:
- What is the fundraiser for?
- Why is it important?
- How are you going to do the fundraising?
- What is your goal amount?
- Is there a deadline?
- How long is the fundraiser? And what is the best time to do it?
- What is your call to action for others to join in?
- Is there a schedule of when goals need to be met by week 1, week 2, week 3, etc.?
Answering these questions listed above will give you a purpose, reason, and focus.
Step 2: Put yourself in your target audience’s place. What do the people you’re helping out need and want? It can be easy to think you know what is best for others, but what do your recipients really desire? Even with the best intentions and production, if you were raising a bunch of money to donate heavy winter jackets for a sports team in Las Vegas, it would be wasted effort, unless they are a traveling snowboarding team looking for better gear.
Step 3: Create your team. Will you be the sole organizer of the fundraiser, or will you delegate roles, such as who will spread the word to their network, who does the accounting, promotional efforts, the organizing, etc.?
Step 4: Market your fundraiser. This doesn’t mean you have to pay for advertising or come up with a detailed campaign (if you don’t want to). You just need to make sure you actually get the word out about the presence of your fundraiser so people know it exists. Using your connections, your social network, sending an email, snail mail, calling over the phone or text, or just word of mouth will be the lifelines of your fundraiser. Thinking you can just sit back, relax, and hope luck is bestowed upon your fundraiser to get funds will be a costly mistake.
Step 5: Show your appreciation. Once the fundraiser has completed, make sure to thank everyone that spent their time or money helping you out and that they really were appreciated. Making your supporters feel acknowledged and like they made a difference may make them feel compelled to want to help you out again in the future, as well as increase your total network of those supporting you. You can also take this time to assess how the fundraiser went and go over what worked and what didn’t so you can have an even better fundraiser the next time.