No matter how large or small your organization, raising funds is an integral part of its operation. Whether you are trying to raise money for new team uniforms, underwrite expenses for activities or fund programs and operations, the basic elements of successful fundraising apply to all campaigns. Setting realistic goals, effectively communicating with the public and engaging supporters will help you meet your goals. Following up afterwards lets organizers assess the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign so that future projects can benefit from the experience.
Well-defined goals will guide your project to success. Decide how much money your organization would like to raise. Hold a brainstorming session to explore fundraising ideas that can best meet the goal. For smaller fundraisers, selling popular products like customized sports apparel, scratch cards or healthy foods can help you meet your goals. For larger projects, activities that bring in well-wishers and the general public not only help meet your financial targets but raise awareness of your cause. Silent auctions, themed events or school fairs are fun ways to engage those who are not already involved with your organization.
Get the word out about your organization and your immediate cause. Many radio stations will air a short announcement about a non-profit’s fundraiser. Some will host an interview with an organization’s director to discuss the mission of the organization and the intent of the project.
Be sure to inform all well-wishers who are already engaged with your organization. Many are willing to contact colleagues and friends to broaden the communication network. Social media, dedicated Web pages, posters, informational mailings and email are just a few effective media channels that can broadcast your project.
After the project is launched, keep everyone informed about its progress. Use graphics like bar charts or thermometers to display ongoing results. Regular updates keep participants enthusiastic, which helps achieve the financial goal.
Keep communicating when your project is over. Thank everyone who participated, and let them know about the success of the event. Send photos of the event to the local newspaper, post photos on social media sites and include them in emails or letters. A photo of a team in new uniforms says a lot.
Assess what worked well, what problems were encountered and how they were resolved. If your organization has frequent fundraisers or annual campaigns, written evaluations from previous projects help refine the strategy for the next time.