Are you a fundraiser? Here are the ten most important tips for you:
Form a List
Put together a list of friends, family, co-workers, work out buddies, etc… (i.e. potential donors). Think creatively here. Do you have neighbors, doctors, sports club members, etc. that might support you? Remember, it doesn’t hurt to ask so build the biggest list you can by including everyone you can think of!
Set a Fundraising Goal and Continue to Raise It
Make sure you set a goal. Having something to aim for always helps. And 9 times out of 10 you’ll end up doing better than you originally thought so aim high! Most supporters will set their personal fundraising goal very high to inspire themselves and their donors (i.e. friends and family). Normally, you set your goal when you register, but don’t forget, you can go back and raise your goal as you start to see the fundraising dollars come in. Remember, you’re raising money for a cause you care about. Push yourself to raise more than you ever thought you could.
Send Hand Written Letters First, Not Emails
Email is faster and can return instant results, but good old-fashioned had written letters show a personal touch. Think about making your initial requests via hand written letter. Deliver it personally if possible! It is unlikely that your friends will throw out your hand written snail-mail letters before they open and read them, but even friends with the best intentions can easily lose or forget your email in an overcrowded “inbox.” Use emails as a follow-up to those who don’t respond to your letter.
Remember Your Inspiration
There’s a reason why you are supporting this cause. Make sure to remember that and bring that same energy to your fundraising efforts. As you go about setting your fundraising goal and sending out personal appeals to your friends and family try including a personal message about why you’re supporting the cause and what the fundraising efforts mean to you. The more personal you can make it the better.
Use Online Fundraising Tools
It goes without saying, but using an online tool will help you manage your fundraising efforts. Blackbaud’s Everydayhero gives you the ability to setup your own fundraising page complete with the ability to set your fundraising goal, write a personal message, send email appeals and track progress. This is an invaluable resource, not just for your donors (i.e. the friends and family you’re asking to support you), but also for you as you keep track of your fundraising campaign. You should direct all your contacts to visit your personal web page.
Get Face to Face
When you’re fundraising make it a point to ask the friends and family you see on a regular basis to support you by donating. Dinner parties, soccer games, church, family reunions, etc. They are all great opportunities to make in person asks. Remember, it’s difficult for people to say “no” if you speak with them in person. Consider creating simple “fundraising cards” that have your personal fundraising page URL (for example: http://www.nonprofitname/event/frankbarry) on them. That way when you see people in person you can hand them a card and ask them to make a donation online when they get home.
Make It Personal
People will donate because YOU are asking them to. Simple as that. They like you and respect that you’re supporting a great cause.You have the space on your fundraising web page and in your emails to tell them why supporting this cause. Communicate your passion to your friends, family, co-workers and other potential donors. It’s a critical part of your fundraising success.
It’s very common for people to put things off. We all live busy lives and have a lot of other responsibilities on our plates. A little reminder nudge never hurt anyone. If someone has indicated that they want to donate, but hasn’t, don’t hesitate to follow-up with a phone call or reminder email. Especially as the time you have to fundraise for the event runs down. People respond to deadlines!
Form a Team
There is nothing like the camaraderie of doing an athletic event with family, friends and co-workers. A team will be able to raise more money faster and the team atmosphere will help foster friendly competition, inspiration, encouragement and participation. Teams Rock! Create one if you can.
Send Thank You Notes
It’s a simple thing to do, but also one of the most powerful. Make sure to say thank you to everyone who supported you. Send emails, write personal notes and thank people in person. Do it every opportunity you get.