Fundraising is a great way to support whatever cause you care the most about, but not everyone knows how to launch a successful fundraising campaign. In fact, having a fundraising effort crash and burn can be severely demoralizing, making you feel like a failure and possibly even lose money on your efforts.
The good news is, building a successful fundraiser campaign doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few simple tips to help you on your way to a better fundraiser.
Go Where the People Are
We’ve all seen a sad little fundraiser stand sitting off in a corner with little to no foot traffic. That is exactly the sort of scenario we all want to avoid. You know people don’t just magically show up, so what’s the trick to getting people to your promotion or event? Go where the people are.
It’s really no magic trick at all. Don’t try to manufacture a turnout, instead, show up where the people already are. By planning your fundraiser around a local event, you already have a captive audience that you can speak to.
Finding events to combine with your fundraising ideas is easy; you can use an online service or even see what local Groupons are being purchased and plan accordingly.
Of course don’t show up empty handed or with a unimaginative brochures. People are often uninterestingly accustom to this form of promotional items. Instead, try being a little more creative and use promo items such as customized buttons representing your cause.
Assemble the Right Team
When launching a fundraiser, many people want to simply use their friends or family to assist them, even if they have no idea what they are doing. You need a team that is going to help you from the ground up, from helping you develop the right fundraising ideas to helping execute it.
Having the right team in place prevents you from having to do everything yourself. Be sure that others are held accountable for their responsibilities and that you don’t have to give up your day-to-day duties just to pick up the slack. Make sure they have the skills you need and you can depend on them to work for your needs unsupervised.
The Right Idea
When creating a fundraising campaign, developing fundraising ideas walks a fine line. It has to be unique, yet not so far off-the-wall that people are intrigued yet interested enough to patronize it. There is nothing wrong with trying something new and different, but be prepared that you may wind up intimidating or even alienating others rather than come off as inviting.
And if you can’t seem to think of something different to do, try researching tried and true fundraising ideas that have a better chance of working. You don’t have to copy an idea down to the letter; find one that seems plausible for your needs and customize it the best that you can.
Communication is Key
When launching your advertising campaign, you need to not only communicate your fundraiser to others, but to those working with you as well. Your team needs to understand your vision, and those patronizing your fundraiser need to understand what you are trying to achieve. If they don’t understand, they will be leery of giving you money, and your team may accidentally sabotage your efforts.
Make sure everyone inside and out is on the same page. You don’t want to launch your fundraiser only to have it crash and burn because no one understands the idea or the “why” behind it. And this is the crucial point…the absolute key to the mission.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Even if your fundraiser is for a more serious cause, don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it. If your presentation is too stiff, it can be a real turn off to foot traffic and the public at large. You don’t have to come off as childish; but when your personality shines through, it takes your fundraiser from being solemn and serious to having a personal touch that others can identify with.
Too many fundraisers are far too serious, and as a result it tends to run people off. It also helps them blend in to all the other local fundraisers who are trying to come off as having a more corporate or non-profit vibe. And while there is nothing wrong with having a level of professionalism to your fundraiser, it can also make your cause seem too robotic to get behind. By putting some “fun” in your fundraiser, you have a better chance of drawing a crowd and converting others to your cause. If you build it right, they will come, have a good time, and support you. So there you go…it is not a trick but rather a very smart strategy that you implement and use to be wildly successful in your endeavors.