Fundraising is an important part of survival for most non-profit organizations, schools, churches and community organizations. Without contributions from local businesses and community members, these groups would not be able to raise money for their unique causes. Let’s discuss some fundraising tips to help in organizing a successful fundraising campaign.
Create a Plan and Establish Goals
- Create a written project plan that spells out goals and outlines roles and responsibilities.
- Estimate expenses & establish fundraising goals for your campaign via a fundraising event budget
- Select fundraising software that includes online registration, donation processing, and detailed reporting functions.
- Create a list of potential donors including local businesses, colleagues, friends and family. If your organization has a Board of Directors, each Board member should also do this.
- Ask your constituents to set personal goals to instill motivation with the pledge drive.
Recruit Participants & Form Partnerships
- Recruit participants months in advance giving them ample time to raise funds. Provide easy-to-use tools, such as a fundraising website that allows each participant to personalize the fundraiser, and provides an easy way for them to collect donations.
- Recruit volunteers to assist with planning and day-of-event operations to ensure you are properly staffed.
- Recruit sponsors to partner with you on your fundraising initiative. Approach them with a clear, online marketing plan that outlines the benefits their organization will receive through sponsoring your event.
- Partner with local media (radio stations, community newspapers, event calendars, etc.) to help you publicize your upcoming event and provide benefits to media partners such as on-site presence at your event.
Spread the Word
Getting the word out is one of the most important aspects of planning a successful fundraising event. If you don’t do a good job here, all of your other preparations will go unnoticed. Be sure to spread the word every chance you get and invite others to do so.
- Send customized email messages and/or an online newsletter to your entire database & partner lists.
- For non-profit crowdfunding campaigns, ask constituents to send an email to friends and family with a link to their personal fundraising page where donations can be made online.
- Inform people about your online fundraising campaign with a message and link to your website on your Facebook page or other social media sites and on your organization’s home page.
- Ask all partners including sponsors, volunteers, media and vendors to help spread the word through their online channels (organizational websites, email database, social media networks, etc.)
- Distribute flyers at high traffic destinations or events leading up to your fundraiser.
- Create press releases to inform local media of event happenings, and pitch story ideas featuring volunteers or recipients to make an emotional appeal to community members.
Manage Donations & Monitor Progress
- Provide a secure online website where donors can easily make online donations. The easier it is for donors, the more likely they are to contribute to your charitable cause. Be sure your software partner works with one of the industry’s leading payment processors to help you manage the intake of your money.
- Donors like to be recognized. Communicate with donors by sending thank you messages for donations, and follow-up emails to re-cap how successful the event was (DoJiggy’s online software tools provide auto-generated email confirmations to help you stay on track).
- Continuously monitor progress with a fundraising thermometer. This can help instill motivation and rally people towards the close of the fundraiser if goals are not met.
- Choose software that includes a reports section that will help you to easily track and manage logistics of your fundraising event, and store information on donors, participants, sponsors and volunteers.
- Everybody likes prizes. Monitor participant progress and motivate participants to perform through incentives and encouragement.
So you see, successful fundraising is not really about being lucky, but careful attention to planning and detail.