Let Our 2 Cents Grow Your Fundraising Dollars
In some cases, fundraising may be no more than a clumsy ask for money. It can be difficult responsibility for the asker as the conversation requires a clear and definite request that must be presented firmly but politely. And if that wasn’t enough, fundraising can take place through a myriad of methods. Some common ways are through online donations, annual campaigns, event sponsorships, onsite giving at an event, and silent or live auctions. Done well, fundraising can be immensely beneficial to an organization and well worth the potential headache.
At its core, fundraising is about cultivating, nurturing and massaging relationships – with long-time supporters, with prospective donors and with companies eager to support your cause. All of these groups care about the tremendous value you bring to the community – or to someone else’s community across town or on the other side of the globe.
Given how hard your team works to build and strengthen relationships, let us offer you a few tips to keep in mind so that those relationships to continue to thrive.
Remember that people care about what is in it for them! While they want to “do good,” they also want benefits. Allow each opportunity to ask for support to be a mutually beneficial transaction between your organization and your supporters. Craft your sponsorship packages in a way that clearly defines the benefits at each level. Thinking of your audience and what they would want will allow you to offer what would most likely resonate with your target audience.
When the time comes to make the ask, make the ask. Don’t teeter around the issue; don’t be shy. If the purpose of the meeting is to ask for money, say so! This doesn’t have to be done in a crass manner; a gentle, well-placed and well-scripted request for support can make a huge difference.
At least as important as the ask itself is the person making it. Not everyone can do fundraising and do this well. Take care in whom you select to head up this outreach. This person will be the face of your organization to many of your most valuable assets: your donors. We believe fundraising requires a personal touch and a special kind of person with a unique blend of charisma, sales skills, confidence, and humility coupled with a strategic outreach plan.
As part of that strategic plan, define the money’s use. It’s helpful for potential donors to have a tangible idea as to what the money is intended to benefit. Providing examples of sponsorship levels and their corresponding support options can be invaluable. If $25,000 can feed 500 people living in poverty or $200 can clean up a local river, include that information as well for both the intellectual as well as the emotional implications.
Armed with a solid team member leading the charge and a plan of action to get there, we have no doubt that you will maximize your fundraising efforts for your next event!