How to Fundraise | A Step-by-Step Guide To Getting Started

how to fundraise

In a few short minutes we’re going to teach you how to fundraise.

Without the ability to raise money, non profits would not exist.

Financial contributions from supporters are the life blood of any charity, making successful fundraising campaigns important to their longevity.

Keep in mind that it’s not simply a matter of coming up with an appealing fundraising event.

The key to victory is understanding your donors.  What makes them want to give to your charity?  Along with what desires they may have regarding your organization.

It’s also extremely important to thank them for every donation, no matter how large or small.

Here are some great tips when it comes to preparing for your next fundraiser.

1) Planning Your Budget

Unbelievably, this is the first step in the fundraising process is often overlooked.

Before you can come up with a sound, strategic idea for your fundraiser, you must first know what exactly your budget will be.

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, then you’ll need to come up with a fundraiser that has very little or no upfront costs.

Or be able to find volunteers and others who will donate resources or time that you need.

If your ideas require you to purchase products in advance, you’ll need to determine how much those products will cost.

Also add additional costs for unexpected things you may require.

You can do all the planning in the world, but if your plans don’t fit within your budget, you won’t be able to accomplish your goals.

You also need to plan out how you expect to collect funds.

Many local functions may rely on cash, but in today’s world you always need to accept credit cards.

Here's: 7 Free Tools to help plan your budget

2) Organizing Staff

It’s time to get organized. Gather up your fundraising staff.

This includes board members, volunteers, and anyone else who will be assisting in the development and execution of your fundraiser.

Have a meeting to discuss what your event will be and what date you plan to hold the event.

Be sure that your staff is given plenty of advance notice so they may plan accordingly.

Divide responsibilities between staff members. Take into account every individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Find the people are well-suited to each role. By giving everyone specific responsibilities and plenty of time, your fundraiser will run more smoothly and efficiently.

Check out: 8 tools for organizing volunteers

3) Set a Fundraising Goal

Once you’ve determined your budget and come up with a plan, you now need to set a realistic fundraising goal.

Consider your ideas, your audience, and your plans to raise money from event partakers.

This will give you an idea of the amount of money you might be able to raise.

Setting a specific target lets event participants and staff know exactly what you need to raise.

This will inspire and encourage them to reach the goal.

4) Advertise Your Fundraiser

No matter what type of fundraiser you throw, whether you’re hosting it online or locally, no one will come if they don’t know it exists.

Use every resource available to advertise and promote your fundraiser, from flyers to internet ads, emails, posters in store windows, bulletin boards, newspapers, and so forth.

You can also contact your local television and radio stations. Many communities will publicize your campaign in the community event portion of their broadcast.

If your event requires participants to purchase tickets ahead of time, you’ll want to start advertising at least a month in advance.

Make sure people know where they need to go to purchase their tickets. We suggest setting up an online ticketing system like what CharityAuctionsToday offers.

Successfully marketing your campaign is essential to your success! This step should be given special attention. It’s the most important consideration in your non profit fundraising campaign.

For social media marketing, we have some more resourced here:

Marketing for Fundraisers

Facebook Marketing

Instagram Marketing

Twitter Marketing

Pintrest Marketing

Linkedin Marketing

5) Get Motivated

You can get your group even more motivated by setting up incentives, such as prizes or enjoyable activities for their hard work.

You can also create a competition between staff members, offering rewards to those who bring in the most donations, and so forth.

The more excited they are, the more willing they’ll be to put forth their best efforts.

Learn: 8 tips for motivating volunteers

6) Follow Up

Always make sure you show appreciation for donors’ support and contributions.

No matter how large or small their donation, every dollar or item they donate to your cause counts.

Let your supporters know how important they are to your cause and keep them updated on future campaigns.

A simple thank you can go a long way to ensuring their continued loyalty.

Visit: How to Write a Good Donation Letter

7) Understanding Your Supporters

Fundraising is an essential practice for any foundation hoping to promote their cause.

It not only allows the public to become aware of your goals, but it also aids in building a base of potential donors.

They’ll share your attitudes and concerns and wish to support your organization and its’ efforts.

It’s important to be realistic. Many people out there are willing donate to your cause, especially if you make it easy by using a simple charity auction software or online donation page.

However, some won’t donate regardless of what you do. Don’t take it personally. Every organization encounters these types of issues.

This is why understanding why people do or don’t donate and developing engaging campaigns are so crucial to your success.

So why aren’t people showing as much interest in your organization and its cause as you had hoped?

Below are some possible explanations as to why this happens.

8) Fund the Reasons

Knowing the reasons can give you a better understanding of what factors you need to examine in order to draw more people to your cause and inspire them to donate.

Even though your cause may have the best intentions and be one that could go  a long way in helping others. Some people are simply just not interested in donating.

Or they don’t care about your specific goals as much as others do. Don’t let it affect your mission.

When developing your fundraiser, you can overcome some of these odds by promoting directly to people who have an emotional attachment to the charity.

Find people that support you or have shown involvement in similar endeavors.

9) Research, Research, Research

Do your research. Check online groups to gather a list of member names and see if they would like to be a part of your mailing list.

Promote a free e-zine or newsletter. This way, you’ll know those who sign up are interested in your campaigns.

There are many ways you can scout out and find your targeted audience.

Focus your marketing efforts on people who show concern for your specific charitable efforts.

Be sure to remember to take into consideration who exactly will be helped by the money you raise.

You wouldn’t want to throw a nationwide fundraiser if you were trying to raise money for a local school.

If you’re supporting a school, church, local group, or other community-based cause, then promote your endeavors to local residents and businesses.

When operating at a national level, then seek out people who share similar interests and have donated to similar causes in the past.

10) Find The Right Audience

This is where targeted mailing lists, free e-zines, newsletters, and other strategies may come into place.

Give your attention to those who are more likely to be interested in your specific campaign and offer them the chance to participate in a rewarding fundraiser.

Another reason people may not donate is simply because they can’t afford it.

They work hard for their money and may be in a situation where they’re struggling to pay their bills or just managing to get by on their current incomes.

Knowing this, let potential donors know that any contribution, no matter how small, does make a difference.

Be polite and courteous in your approach and make them feel important.

Instead of trying to get as much money as possible from everyone involved, create fundraising opportunities that ask for smaller amounts.

11) In Conclusion

Remember to be easy and respectful of donors’ budgets.

Never be demanding. Donors should never feel pressured or obligated to contribute to your charity.

By giving them more flexibility and freedom, you’re more likely to encourage a donation.

Potential contributors may also not donate to your organization because they are unaware you exist or feel more comfortable offering their support to more popular, widely known charitable institutions.

One way to overcome this is to partner with a more publicly recognized charity that shares the same objectives.

This gives potential donors more confidence that they’re donating to a worthwhile cause that will follow through on their goals.

Name recognition plays a huge role in getting people to sustain your efforts.

Whenever possible, publicly promote your organization through television, radio, internet, newspaper, and other advertisement mediums.

The public will begin to acknowledge your presence and recognize your non profit.

Back To Fundraising Ideas

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