The key to successful fundraisers is obvious—get your volunteers to sell more, and get donors to spend more. Obvious, sure, but easier said than done. So what can your group do to make the most of your fundraising efforts and increase fundraiser profits?
Get The Word Out
Many excellent fundraisers fail for one simple reason—nobody knows they are happening. To make the most fundraising profits, you have to let your supporters, including both donors and volunteers know that you have a need and a plan to fill it.
- Include fundraising plans and efforts in organizations newsletters. Also, ask other area newsletter publishers (such as schools or church and community groups) to include your fundraiser in their newsletter.
- Send out a letter discussing both your need and your plan; you may include a donation request portion for interested supporters
- Post flyers and posters to publicize your fundraiser
- Submit a press release to local media
- Send emails to those on your address list
- Post fundraisers and updates on your group’s website (and others websites if possible)
- Set up fundraising tables and/or informational tables at community and group events
In all of this, you have to show people what is in it for them to motivate them to support you. Explain to them how helping your group is beneficial to them; there is always some benefit no matter who you are speaking to—if nothing else, you can at least tell them they’ll feel better for their generosity. If your group is a non-profit, remember to mention that support is tax-deductible.
Keep your fundraiser visible in some way; this way, people will remember your ongoing efforts and remember to continually support them. It doesn’t have to take a lot, you can do something simple like send reminder letters or construct a ‘thermometer’ to gauge your success and remaining need.
New, fresh information will remind supporters that you haven’t quit trying to raise funds. Update posters, mailings, emails, and thermometers periodically so that people are aware an active fundraiser is still in progress. Don’t be shy about reminding people you are still selling and/or collecting donations.
Creating a little friendly competition through incentive programs is a good way to keep volunteers interested. Ask each to set their personal goal and tell them to share that with their supporters; this is an extension of ‘what’s in it for me’—grandpa and grandma may care more if they know their expenditure directly benefits little grandson Johnny.
Your fundraiser is not a place to hold back if you want to succeed. To make your fundraiser as profitable as it can possibly be, you need to vocalize every aspect of it; show your group’s members that you need them, teach them why the fundraiser is important, and give them the means to get that point across to donors—and watch your bottom line fundraising profits grow and grow.