Many of us during our life-times have the opportunity or need to participate in fundraising, and it can be a bit overwhelming trying to decide where to start, especially if the need is great.
When you have a worthy cause that needs your help, you’ll want to focus your efforts in the most efficient, effective way possible, so start your research off by following these basic tips!
Decide how much money you plan to raise
Whether you have a specific goal you absolutely must reach (school or mission trip, perhaps,) or a support-a-cause type of fundraiser, (the Steps for Life walk that our church just participated in for the Pregnancy Resource Center, for example,) it will help you focus your efforts better if you have made a concrete, attainable goal for yourself or your group.
Use a goal chart (such as a thermometer, as shown!) to track your progress
Visual aids help everyone reach the goal. Volunteers stay motivated and inspired, and people love to see how their donation is going to affect the graph!
Start preparing way ahead!
If at all possible, start planning at least a month before you actually start the fundraising effort. Planning ahead will help you get any bumps smoothed out in advance and keep down surprise expenses that will drain your raised funds!
Give yourself an online presence
This is especially helpful if you’re trying to help cover medical expenses for someone in need, or need to educate your benefactors about the cause you’re supporting. You can easily set up a free website with Blogger or something similar and use it to keep everyone updated on progress and give them information on how they can donate or otherwise volunteer.
If you are coordinating a lot of volunteers, you might consider setting up a Facebook group or event to easily keep everyone up-to-date and informed and to bounce ideas off each other.
Set specific dates & stick to them whenever possible
Volunteers will be better motivated and inspired if you have an end date in sight, and you’re less likely to burn out. Those donating will also be more interested in watching and helping you make your goal if they know when it ends and that they’ll get to see the results soon!
Research fundraising companies and programs online
There are countless ways to raise money for a good cause through online resources. Try flower fundraising or running a coupon fundraiser. If you’re handy in the kitchen, make a loaf of bread or batch of cookies as a thank-you to friends or family that donate! Browse Pinterest for more homemade fundraising ideas.
For larger-scale non-profit fundraising, be thorough about your research before beginning. This blog post has some great advice and resources for large-scale fundraising.
If you’re working with young volunteers, make sure their parents are kept up-to-date as well
Either communicate directly with parents, or make sure that kids keep their parents in the loop as far as dates, schedules, and commitments that their children are making.
Plan fundraising events strategically around other community events
Make sure your event doesn’t collide with another major event happening the same day or weekend. Also, consider planning it around complimentary community events. If you plan to host a car-wash, you might want to run it nearby and on the same day as a neighborhood garage sale, for example!
Make sure you thank everyone involved!
It may be something as simple as a short and sweet note, but remember to express your gratitude both to those who donate to your cause and to those who volunteer and give of their time to help you reach your goal!