When it comes to fundraising success, most of the important work lies in the planning and preparation. Whether you are organizing a sponsored challenge, a charity bake sale or a black-tie ball for hundreds of attendees, to have any chance of success your fundraiser needs to be managed like a professional project.
You need to decide who you want to target on terms of your ideal donors so you can plan an event to suit and can target any marketing towards them. If you’re preparing for a fundraiser, here are 6 top tips to help you get off on the right foot.
- Get started ASAP
You should start preparing for your fundraiser as soon as possible by setting up your online fundraising page or sponsorship form. You can add a photo, a short description of the event and your cause and then email a link to the page around your contacts.
2. Set a high fundraising target
To encourage bigger donations you should set your target higher than you actually hope to raise, possibly even twice as much, as this may encourage people to give a little more to help you reach your goal.
3. Prepare for the unexpected
With the right planning and attention to detail, your fundraiser should go without a hitch. However, it’s always best to prepare for worst case scenarios so you should always bring extra kit and have a back-up plan for important elements. For example, if it rains on the day of your outdoor event you will have to cancel unless you have an alternative indoor or covered space ready such as a marquee. You should also have a basic first aid kit on hand in case somebody injures themselves. Depending on the nature of your event you may also want to take out public liability insurance should an attendee bring an injury and accident compensation claim against you.
4. Start with friends and family
If you are running an event or preparing for a sponsored challenge, ask your friends and family to donate/buy tickets first and as generously as they can. This will get the ball rolling and encourage others to buy tickets or match the donation amount they have set.
5. Tell as many people as possible
Don’t be afraid to ask people from all areas of your life to get involved, including current and former colleagues, neighbors or old acquaintances. Social media often enables us to stay in touch with people from several years ago, and a simple message with a polite request could make the difference. You could also ask friends and family to collect sponsorship or spread the word about the event from their network of people on your behalf. If you have a local community group or club which meets regularly you could present to them or put notices up in the local area.
6. Know your cause like the back of your hand
Make sure you tell people not just what you are doing but why you are doing it, i.e. the charity or good cause you are trying to raise funds for. Remember to thank every supporter whether they are a volunteer or a donor.