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Fundraisers are often money losers in spite of the fact that they’re supposed to bring in income for charitable organizations. Mismanagement and spiraling costs doom the hopes of many well-meaning people who hope to pull off successful events. If thinking of the best way to raise money for a worthy cause is starting to stress you out, then the first step is to take a deep breath and relax.
While planning a fundraiser can be extremely stressful, there’s no reason it has to be. A few simple tips can make the entire process much easier.
Promoting a Fundraiser
Communication and life coach skills are extremely important when it comes to convincing people to offer donations or even to come to your event in the first place. Approach your promotional efforts the same way someone might approach the task of helping someone with a serious problem. Asking for donations isn’t easy, so you’ll want to open up to them first and then add your pitch in later.
Social media is every bit as important as other venues when it comes to getting the word out about your fundraiser. Use the same communication skills online that you would in person. Make sure to embed any requests for donations somewhere inside the message rather than as the first line.
Appealing to the Social Justice Community
When you do ask for money, however, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to make an emotional appeal. Remind your audience that they’re supporting a good cause by attending. If you reach the right kind of people, then you might even be able to put in a plug for some sort of monthly giving program.
Say you were raising money for a museum. You could add that people could sign up for a sustaining membership in addition to supporting the cause by attending the fundraiser. While social justice issues can be heavily politicized online, there are certainly ways to share this message in a way that tugs at their heartstrings without ruffling any feathers.
Refining your pitch will also help when it comes down to laying some presentation ideas out in writing because you’ll have a better grasp on the best way to reach your potential audience.
Managing Your Budget
There’s an old saying that you have to spend money to make money. Fundraising events can net your nonprofit a healthy amount of cash, but you will have to use some seed capital to get the ball rolling. Prepare a complete list of all the expenses you’ll incur when holding your fundraiser. You’ll probably spend the most on rental costs and transportation.
Booking entertainment can be costly, so choose your musical guests carefully. You may want to consider some creative approaches to solving this problem. Disc jockeys often cost much less than live bands, for instance. Crowds will warm up to a good DJ more quickly than an average band, so you can save a little money without looking like you’re trying to.
Rental costs can add up before you know it. Shop around for the best deal before you agree to any booking, but make sure that you select a venue that people will be able to get to easily. It might be worth spending a bit more to find a convenient location since this could translate into more people willing to attend your event.
Deciding on the Best Type of Fundraiser for Your Organization
Choosing a creative type of event can improve your chances of attracting donors. Think about how many times you’ve actually bought sweets from a charity bake sale. More than likely, you haven’t in years unless you’re a PTO member.
Don’t feel like you can’t ask your potential audience for their input. Car washes and other traditional events might not attract that much interest, but your donors could very well have some novel ideas that could generate much more buzz than these events ever could.
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