30. Fundraising - Secrets To Success
Anyone can raise some money some how, but if
you are serious about really supporting your non-profit through your fundraising efforts, you will have to go
further than the occasional sale or selling campaign. The costs of running a non-profit are quite high today, and
you need to make sure that you get every dollar you can to keep your group afloat.
There are a few secrets to successful fundraising that are simply not covered in most books and
resources aboutfundraising. However, these are the secrets that can mean the difference between a mediocre
fundraising campaign and a great one. These are strategies that many fundraising consultants use, and here you can
consider them without those expensive consultation fees.
There is an entire psychology of selling and of getting people to part with their hard earned
money. Fundraising is very much about the emotional and psychological response that donors have to your cause, and
often, the difference between a donation and a "no" response is nothing more than a few small psychological events
that make a potential donor look with less favor on your non-profit organization. Consider the
Money: Most people are very emotional when it comes to cash. To part
someone from their cash, you have to affect them emotionally, not intellectually. That means rather
than focusing on all the practical reasons for giving money, you need to paint a picture of the
suffering lack of money is causing and then emotionally show how their donation can change
"Me": Donors are human and like all of us, they want to feel special.
If you can make them feel that they are indeed very special and that they can make a huge impact, they
are more likely to support your cause.
Reasons: Before most of us donate t a cause, we look for
something that appeals to us, some reason why we should give to one cause over another. If you can tell
donors something special or your experience, they are more likely to support your cause. For example,
the charities that raise money for world relief often stress the sheer number of people who die every
single day from hunger. The very fact that these numbers are so unbelievably large often causes many
people to be compelled to give money for this cause. Find a compelling reason why people should give to
your non-profit organziation right now, and you will be well on your way to a successful fundraiser.
Compelling reasons create a sense of urgency that money must be given now.
Impressions: We are very suspicious of strangers these days, and we use
our first impressions and intuition to see whether we are comfortable with a volunteer asking for
donations. If we are not, then our answer will be a definite "no", whether there are good compelling
reasons to donate to a cause or not. So make sure that your volunteers create that good first
impression, that they are warm and friendly, and create that comfortable feeling.
No: People look for reasons to say "no" to your fundraising cause, so if
you can eliminate these reasons, then you have more chance of them saying "yes" to your request for a
donation. Some reasons that donors say "no" are because they believe:
- that their money won't really make a difference
- that a cause is too far away or not important enough
- that charity is a waste of time
- that non-profit groups do not use money responsibly
- that the money will never get to those who really need it
- that there is no urgency in giving money now - a contribution can be made
- that money can be raised elsewhere or from someone else
You and your group need to create compelling reasons why these beliefs are invalid when it comes
to your fundraising campaign and your non-profit group. Then, include these reasons and ideas in your opening
requests for support.
You will likely need more than one fundraising event, and unless your group is quite small or
supported generously by grants, you will need to try several different methods of fundraising in order to collect
the funds you require for your group. This is especially important because not everyone
will respond favorably to the same kind of fundraiser, so by trying diferent strategies, you cast your net wider,
and are more likely to get funds from more sources.
For example, one person may not donate cash to a food bank drive, but they may be prepared to
donate some canned goods, provided they have that option. Make sure you leave your options open, and if possible
provide choices to people so that they can choose how they would like to support your cause.
Fundraising for a non-profit organization is not usually just one event that takes place when the
group has a need for money. In order to be successful, fundraising has to take place all the time and the more
successful non-profit groups work regular fundraising into the daily operations of a group. Weekly meetings always
include some mention of a fundraising effort underway, so that money is always coming in.
Larger groups may actually create small groups whose only job is to fundraise. Three volunteers
from your group, for example, could be in charge of year-round fundraising while the rest of the group uses the
raised money to implement programs and help people.
Of course to make it more interesting for your volunteers, choose some fun fundraisers, so that
your volunteers do not lose interest or find it a chore to keep on with constant fundraisers.
Most people will gladly come out to see a favorite celebrity even if it is at a fundraising event
especially if they get to hear this celebrit. Many celebrities support good causes, and you may find this out by
reading interviews. Once you have found someone who supports the work you are doing, contact
the celebrities or their agents (there are Hollywood directories at your library that will tell you how to contact
who) and explain about your non-profit organization.
To get the best response, ask for a specific thing rather than for general support. Writing
"I know that you are a generous supporter of childhood literacy - would you please offer a few kind words about the
subject that we can place exclusively on our web site to help inform the public about this important issue..?" is
more effective than simply asking for help. Do not overlook local celebrities such as radio station DJS and local
bands. Local celebrities are often very generous with their time and support of non-profit groups and can be an
excellent champion for your cause (especially if your non-profit group has a very local presence).
Sizing it Right
Fundraising and raising awareness about a cause you believe strongly can be very exciting, and
it's easy to get carried away and start dreaming big. However, try to start small when
it comes to fundraising goals, and build on the excitement in your group by dreaming big when it comes to results.
You do not want to try organizing a huge fair, for example, only to discover that it consumes far more time than
you and your volunteers have, because this will demoralize you all. Start small and work up to the bigger events,
so that you don't get overwhelmed right at the beginning..
Choosing the right time for your fundraiser is very important. You want to avoid days that
already have big events on them, and you don't want to have a 24 hour walk in the middle of winter, nor a marathon
during the hottest days of summer. And remember, potential donors don't like to have their meal times interrupted,
or their sleep either, so it can be very difficult to find the "perfect" time to ask someone for a donation. So
stay aware of the timing for events in your community, and do the best you can.
Next page: 31. Fundraising - Problems
Practical Fundraising Ebook - Table Of Contents
- Fundraising - The Basics
- Fundraising - Terminology
- Fundraising - Money
- Fundraising - Where
to Find Donors and How to Reach Them
- Fundraising - Targeting Your
- Fundraising - Research
- Fundraising - Your Donors'
- Fundraising - Ideas
- Fundraising - Donated
- Fundraising - Bought
- Fundraising - Marathons
- Fundraising - Lotteries, raffles
- Fundraising - Fairs, Auctions and
- Fundraising - Fun Events
- Fundraising - Drives
- Fundraising - Services
- Fundraising - Tips for
Choosing a Fundraising Idea
- Fundraising - Your Plan
- Fundraising - Your Team
- Fundraising - Staying
- Fundraising - Communicating With
- Fundraising - Advertising
- Fundraising - Letters
- Fundraising - Emails and
- Fundraising - Person to
- Fundraising - Thank You
- Fundraising - Grant
- Fundraising - Press
- Fundraising - With
- Fundraising - Secrets to
- Fundraising - Problems
- Fundraising - Conclusions
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