When it comes to planning a successful fundraiser, it can be a little stressful, to say the least. There are a lot of different elements to juggle, and it can feel overwhelming at times. However, it doesn’t have to be the gargantuan task it first appears to be. By breaking the process down into steps, it becomes a lot simpler, and it ensures that you aren’t forgetting anything, which is why we have put together the following guide to help you to plan your fundraiser, so keep reading.
Step 1: Build Your Team
Organizing a fundraiser is not easy as it is, but organizing one alone is a whole new ball game. Everybody needs help, remember two heads are better than one! Your team is important because they will have an input into every other aspect of the fundraiser. Therefore, you need to choose your team carefully. Think about your reasons for hosting a fundraiser. Does anyone else in your circle share them? If you are struggling to find other people to relate to your ideas, then you can always look for volunteers to help you. Assemble your team and use them in every stage of the planning.
Step 2: Choose Your Purpose
This may seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning. You cannot really progress any further until you have a clear purpose. Why are you raising funds? What are the funds going to go towards? Be as specific as possible; people appreciate honesty and are much more likely to donate when they know exactly where their money is going. Even if you want to raise money in general for a non-profit, you should still find out more about that non-profit and what they do so that you can communicate this to donors. You do not necessarily have to raise money for a non-profit or a charity. You can raise funds for a cause closer to home. After you have decided on your purpose, you can move on to step two.
Step 3: Come Up With The Goal
The next thing you need to do is come up with a specific goal. This provides you with something to work towards, something to measure your success by. When you are coming up with your figure, you need to be realistic. If you are fundraising for a specific purpose, i.e., paying for a trip or buying equipment, then the goal will ultimately be the cost of said trip or equipment. If you are raising money for a charity, then you can come up with a more generic figure. You can then use this goal in the promotion of the fundraiser, and it also gives your donors an idea of what you are working towards. You might also want to consider coming up with a visual cue that you can easily use and update during the fundraiser too. It encourages the participants to be more generous if they know that you are close to reaching your goal.
Step 4: Choosing The Fundraiser
After you have come up with your purpose and goal, you can begin to think more about your fundraiser. You should start by trying to come up with ideas that have a link to your purpose. Do your best to try and always bring to the cause. For example, fundraising ideas for sports teams will differ greatly from fundraising ideas for the homeless or the hungry. You should also start to think about how you are going to accept donations; in order to maximize your potential intake, you should consider accepting donations digitally in addition to cash donations. Donation platforms can help; they have a number of tools designed to make raising money easier. When a fundraiser lacks a connection to its purpose, it can be jarring to potential donors, and in all honesty, it can put them off of donating.
Remember that fundraisers should be fun; it is in the word, after all! All too often, organizers focus on tragedy, choosing to showcase sad stories. While they may be the reality for the people that you are fundraising for, the truth is that it dampens the mood, turning it serious and somber. Some fundraisers do call for this; however, by and large, it can put people off of attending. Unless the cause calls for it, you should do your best to keep the tone and mood positive and uplifting. People as a whole are mostly good, and they do want to help where they can. However, they want to have fun and make a connection over a shared support of the cause, not a trauma bond over an intense fundraiser. Think about the emotions that you want to encourage in your donors.
Step 5: Work Out A Budget
Often you have to spend money to make money. You have your purpose, your fundraising goal and a small list of ideas. The next thing you need to do is work out a budget. This ensures that your efforts stay profitable; otherwise, you could end up in debt. You can also use your budget to help you to narrow down your fundraising ideas further. Which ones could you realistically pull off within your budget? It may be worth breaking your budget down further. Think about the different elements of your fundraiser and work out a rough cost for each. If you need to rely on service providers to help you pull off your fundraiser, then remember to shop around and get quotes before you commit. You should always be looking for the best deal to maximize your profit potential.
Step 6: Delegate
This is where your team really comes into play. At this point, your plan should be pretty much complete. You should now start to divide up and assign tasks to the different members of your team. You need to make sure that you have a record of what each person is meant to do, and it may be necessary to check in with them regularly to see how much they have done versus how much they have left to do. Before you can move on to the final step, everybody should have finished their tasks because the final step relies on their completion.
Step 7: Market The fundraiser
This is the final step to planning a fundraiser. You should have all of the details nailed down by this point. You can begin to construct your marketing materials. Remember that the success of your fundraiser directly relies on how many people participate. You need to drum up some interest. You can market your fundraiser using a variety of different methods. Send out leaflets and put up posters to engage your local community. If you are accepting digital donations, then advertising in the digital space is a must; you can engage a new demographic while also bringing in donations from people who may be touched by your story but not necessarily able to make it to the event itself.
How you decide to plan your fundraiser is important, it speaks directly to the success of the event. Planning properly can help to assuage your levels of stress, and it also reduces the chance of you encountering unforeseen problems. When planning your next fundraiser, be sure to use the structure provided above to help you and to ensure that you haven’t forgotten anything important.