Organising a successful fundraiser can be a big task, especially if you haven’t done it before.
You’ll need to plan every detail of your event, build a team to help make it happen, figure out your finances and plan your advertising. However, if you take the time to work through each of these steps beforehand, and bring on good help, you’ll find that organising a fundraiser isn’t that difficult! Though each fundraiser will be different, you can use the following steps as a general guide for your own.
Your objectives are what you hope to achieve with your fundraiser.
Define in the clearest possible terms exactly what you hope to achieve, i.e selling a certain number of each product, or raising a set amount of money.
Identify your audience
- Decide who and what group of people are likely to want to donate to your cause
- Define your demographic by age, gender, interests, or anything other criteria you think is relevant
- Clearly define who this group is. This will allow you to tailor the rest of your planning and organizing to meet the needs of your target group
Decide on a fundraiser type
Your event can be anything from a dinner, a concert or a race. There are lots of options for the type of fundraiser you organise, but try to:
- Choose a creative and different fundraiser as this will improve the amount you raise. Bake sales and car washes work, but aren’t that original; completely original fundraisers will attract more people
- Pick an event that is specific to your audience. It may also reflect your own experience as a fundraiser and the cause you are supporting
Study other successful fundraisers of a similar type
Look back at other fundraisers in your area. Think about where they succeeded and what they could have done differently. Speak to your friends or neighbours to see what they think. Make a list of what you come up with and use it to improve your own fundraiser design.
Seek out volunteers
- Work in your church, school, or community group to get volunteers for your cause. Have people that you bring on spread the word to their friends, family or anyone they think might be interested in helping out
- If you need certain skills, like an accountant or advertiser, consider asking around for people known to have these skills
- For large or more complicated fundraisers, it may be nearly impossible for you to make every decision yourself. For this reason, you should split up your responsibilities among a core group of trusted team members. For example, think about asking someone good with money to be in charge of the fundraiser’s finances. Another person could be in charge of promotional efforts. For many segments of the fundraiser, you may need someone in charge so that you can coordinate the fundraiser as a whole without focusing on the smallest details
Define your fundraising goal
Your fundraising goal can be hard to define as it’s easy to just think, “I want to raise as much as possible.” However, you should set a high but achievable goal. How much is your next installment for the expedition? What is the total amount left to pay? These can all help you decide on your fundraising goal.
Think about cost
If you decide to make it a public fundraising event, think about cost, sponsorship, and participation. A car wash (a very common fundraiser for youth groups and clubs) involves the cost of soap, washcloths, and use of a facility to hold the event.
When it comes to costs, remember:
- If you host an expensive event, you will need equally expensive tickets to cover the cost
- You can go over on your donations, but not on your expenses
Make use of the internet
The internet is the best resource for reaching large groups of people at low cost. For starters, every fundraiser should have a Facebook page that is filled out with relevant information and updated regularly. You can use Twitter or Instagram to further spread the word and connect with potential donors. Consider creating a website that includes a donation link. Crowdfunder or Gofundme are great examples!
Put the FUN in FUNdraising! Make sure you enjoy yourself, that way you will be able to plan many more events and enjoy each and every one of them. Fundraising is an enjoyable task and you will be super proud of yourself once you get going and see your efforts turn into money for your expedition.
Remember, we are always here to help!