Fundraising Success

 

How to make your fundraiser a successCongratulations, you have just been given your first assignment to lead a fundraising program for your school, business, or cause. Fundraising can be an extremely challenging and rewarding experience, but it takes planning. To ensure your success, you'll need to start planning as early as possible to make certain all of your objectives are met. Below is a basic checklist to help you pull things together.

  • What are your goals? Make sure your goals are measurable, such as raising a specific amount of money or signing up certain number of volunteers.
  • After a goal has been defined, create your team. Your team should consist of people who can help achieve the goals of the fundraiser.
    • Assign each person a specific area of responsibility, such as treasurer, secretary, setup/cleanup, promotions, or any others you may require.
  • Create a project timeline. Make sure to include each of the following elements in your timeline:
    • A comprehensive list of details to help remember all the pieces.
    • Team member names and contacts, by responsibility, so you can touch base with individuals between planning sessions.
    • The projected, and actual, costs of various expenses. Tracking your budget, to stay on target, is extremely important.
    • Expected completion date, and real date of completion, for each task. Keeping track of these dates will allow your team to better understand which projects worked, and which ended up being more of a challenge. This information will help future fundraisers to plan and improve training for all team members.
  • Select a location for the event. Be sure to consider the following:
    • Choosing a public place people will see as they are walking or driving by could encourage more participation.
    • Does the location have all the amenities you need?
      • Size
      • Water hookups, if necessary
      • Sufficient room for tables or games
      • Restrooms
      • A kitchen, if needed
      • Storage for your event items
    • How far in advance will you need to reserve the location/facility?
    • Are there rules for using the facility that could be problematic for your event?
    • Is there a fee to use the location?
    • Can your sponsors advertise there?
  • Options for promoting your event include:
    • Flyers, pamphlets, banners.
    • Public announcements at schools, churches, clubs, fairs, community sporting events, and other functions.
    • Paid or donated advertisements in local publications and newspapers sponsored by schools, small newspapers, colleges, churches, civic organizations, etc.
    • Community bulletin boards at local schools, newspapers, radio stations, public access television, etc...
    • E-mail, letters, or phone calls to past contributors.
  • If your fundraiser is focused on an event, be sure to show up early on the big day, and be ready for surprises, such as rain, locked doors, etc.
  • Begin researching custom imprinted promotional products.
    Use these to:
    • Offer items, such as screen printed t-shirts, imprinted with your theme or campaign message, for sale as an additional way of soliciting more funds.
    • Keep your group motivated throughout your fundraiser with incentive prizes and fun activities. Small giveaways can work wonders toward showing how much you appreciate your group.
    • Reward your top fundraisers either for getting the most volunteers or money in donations.
    • Give promotional items to volunteers, sponsors, and donors as a token of your appreciation. These gifts will not only express your gratitude, they will also get your name and message out there for everyone to see.
 

Wrap Up Checklist. Did you:

- Count your donation totals, whether monetary or volunteers (depending on your goal).

- Add up all of your expenses.

- Calculate your total earned against what was spent.

- Evaluate the man-hours spent on the fundraiser against the amount of cash brought in.

- Review the process, and identify areas for improvement for the next fundraiser.

- Return any borrowed items used during the fundraiser (tables, chairs, music, etc…).

- Thank your sponsors and suppliers.

- Clean up any advertising banners or signs posted.

- Have a small party to reward everyone who helped to pull the fundraiser together.