What are your fundraising objectives? To be successful, you need to have a clear understanding of what your overall objectives are and how you are going to achieve them. It is very important to be realistic in your objectives, yet not settle for less than the best results possible.
Your fundraising approach should closely match the long-term goals and fundamental tenets of your organization. Assess your present situation carefully and identify specific, concrete needs to link to your fundraising activities.
For instance, say that you are interested in raising funds for a youth sports group to cover the travel costs to a championship tournament. Your primary supporters in this example would be the parents of the children involved. Thus, most of the sales will result from their interactions with friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
Make sure that each participant communicates the message when they approach a possible supporter.
In this example, you’d want to say that we are “raising funds for championship travel.”
Fundraiser choices matter
The fundraiser you choose should also respect the value of those relationships and give reasonable value in exchange for the funds requested. If your offering is low in perceived value, then your key participants risk alienating their group of contacts.
Selling items that have a higher perceived value will provide more revenue in the long-term and generate additional goodwill for your organization.
A fair statement would be that most groups seek to offer good value to their customers while generating the largest possible amount of retained profits per customer and per seller.
Sales of inexpensive items such as candy bars require a much larger number of individual sales transactions to achieve the same results as higher priced offerings such as discount cards or music CD’s.
The importance of the right offering
Many organizations will return to their community several times a year with new fundraising campaigns. Prospective buyers rightly expect to get something of reasonable value in exchange for their contribution.
If the perceived value is low, or if a previous experience with your organization was less than rewarding, then the prospective contributor will be reluctant to participate again.
If your group is selling primarily to family friends, neighbors, or adult coworkers, then the parents (your key participants) will also feel awkward about promoting this low value type of fundraising activity.
Getting your message across
A successful fundraiser is one that clearly communicates the reason why funds are being raised. Make sure that the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your fundraiser gets out to the community. Revenue will be greater if every prospect knows the reason why you’re raising money.
Provide a clear, concise goal so that your participants have no trouble communicating the need and asking people to help meet that need.
Your message needs to be specific, not general in nature. It should detail why the fundraiser is being done and it should make them want to help. For example, which of these messages has more motivational power?
“We’re doing a band fundraiser. Would you like to buy something?”
Or would this work better:
“Our school band has earned the right to compete in the regionals. Can you help us because we have to pay our own way?”
Does it feel right to everyone?
It’s very important that all participants in a fundraiser feel good about what they are doing.
Attitude and perception are significant factors in the success of your endeavor. Maximum results are achieved through the full participation of everyone involved.
Objectives are important to your success. Pay attention to them if you want to reach your objectives!