Using the right approach for your fundraiser can mean the difference between success and failure, at least as far as failing to achieve your monetary goals. This article is an excerpt from my book, Fundraising Success, and it talks about how the best fundraiser approach is to look at it the same way a business does when it wants to increase sales.
How To Boost Your Fundraising Results
The best way to boost your fundraising results is to get your product offer, raffle, or event information in front of as many people as possible. It’s all about approaching your fundraiser as a business and using proper sales strategies to meet or exceed your group’s financial goals.
What strategies would a business use to increase sales?
- Increase sales staff
- Create attractive offers
- Offer discounts
- Do special promotions
- Get favorable publicity
- Seek out new customers
And how would you employ those strategies in fundraising?
Increase sales staff
To improve your fundraising results, get more volunteers for your organization. Ask each staff member and each current volunteer to refer two others. Ask those new volunteers to do the same.
Create attractive offers
An attractive fundraiser is one that has widespread appeal. Events should be fun and focused on specific audiences. Casino Nights and Mardi Gras parties aren’t family events and shouldn’t be marketed as such.
Make your evening’s theme appeal to adults and cater to families with daytime events. Include fun activities that all attendees will enjoy and use volunteers to engage new arrivals and quickly get them into the swing of things.
Bargains have universal appeal. You can jump start event ticket sales by offering an early bird discount. You can offer a discount on multiple raffle ticket purchases to boost sales. Have special deals at all your events for group members who pay annual membership dues or make large donations.
It could be something as simple as special seating, enhanced photo opportunities with guest speakers, or supplemental entries into door prize drawings. Think membership rewards club. After all, it’s worked pretty well for American Express.
Do special promotions
Partner with other groups for combined fundraising events that will be bigger and better than your group could do on its own. Participate in other charity work such as Relay For Life events where you can make tons of contacts.
If you are selling a fundraising product, include a sales reward program to boost sales. Or, you can do a raffle that has promotional publicity built right into the event such as Cow Chip Bingo or Golf Balls From Heaven.
Get favorable publicity
Good word of mouth will do wonders for your organization. It will increase ticket sales, make it easier to get donations, and open doors. Regularly submit press releases featuring the kind of human interest angles that the media craves.
Build contacts that you can draw on for event publicity, emcee duties, or creating a favorable buzz about a new project.
Seek out new customers
To grow your fundraising, you have to continually be reaching new people. That’s not to say that you ignore your current client base. Have a group that focuses exclusively on expanding your reach. After all, the more people you get in front of, the better you’ll do.
Use your growth group to target new audiences. If you are selling raffle tickets, setup sales tables outside retail locations such as grocery stores and Wal-Marts. If you are promoting an event, contact other groups and see if they’ll market event tickets to their list for a revenue share.
Run your fundraising activities like a business and you will increase your market share. More importantly, you’ll increase your “mind share” in your market. That type of instant name recognition will work wonders for your next fundraiser.