How to Take the Fear Out of Fundraising
Fundraising can get a negative reputation because many people associate the term with asking for money. Well guess what: fundraising is NOT about money! It’s about the desire to improve your community for the better. Think about how you have felt after contributing to a cause. Donors site different emotions including joy, pride, and a sense of purpose. Don’t think of it as “asking for money;” rather, providing people you know with an opportunity to be involved in something with meaning.
What Fundraising Methods Are There?
You don’t have to be a fundraising expert to successfully reach your team’s goal! Common methods include:
- Soliciting your network (family, friends, etc.) utilizing your online fundraising webpage, e-mail, letters, phone calls, social media, or however you best communicate.
- Hosting an event in your social circle, workplace, or community organization. Example: cookout, tournament style game or creative competition, cocktail party, etc.
- Dedicating a life event to the cause. Example: birthday, anniversary, etc.
- You don’t have to pick just one method; combine them however it fits your style.
Best Practices for Soliciting Donations
- Create your fundraising page.
- Set your fundraising goal.
- Personalize your page with pictures and text about why you care.
- Make an initial donation to your page to set an example for others.
Second – Identify Potential Donors
- Make a list of all the people in your inner circle, such as family members and friends.
- List a few groups of people in your life to appeal to, including coworkers, teammates,
and church groups.
- Check out the Sample Messaging section of the digital toolkit for e-mails and letters
you can copy & paste to send out.
Third – Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
Plan when to reach out to potential donors such as:
- Day 1 – Send out to 10 of your closest contacts (friends & family)
- Day 2 – Send out to 20 additional contacts (larger social circle)
- Day 3 – Send out to as many other contacts as you feel comfortable
- Day 4 – Post on your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts
Fourth – Follow Up
- Follow up with people you have contacted.
- Call out donors on social media to thank them and include a link to your page.
- Update donors and potential donors on your progress to reaching your goal.
How to Utilize Your Fundraising Webpage
Simple ways to get your fundraising webpage to work for you and inspire potential donors to act and not just say, “I’ll look at it later.”
- Make a Personal Donation – When others see that you’re investing your time and also your money to the cause you care about, they’ll be encouraged to donate too.
- Building Momentum – Get some of your closest contacts to donate to help your page build up momentum. Studies show that as you start to make more progress towards your goal, others are more likely to donate.
- Personalize your Page – Potential donors will be interested in the cause, but they are primarily interested in YOU. Tell them why you are getting involved and what your connection is to the Boys & Girls Clubs.
- Avoiding the Bystander Effect – This is when a group of people collectively fail to act because they assume someone else is doing it. To avoid the bystander effect, utilize the tag & thank method above, give progress updates, and set time goals to create a sense of urgency. For example, “Thank you, Jim Smith and Mary James, for your $50 donation. My goal is to raise $100 by the end of today towards my total fundraising goal. Click below to join Jim and Mary, and help make this goal a reality!”
- Power of Small Donations – Every donation makes a difference, no matter what the size. Small donations can really add up so make sure people know any amount will make an impact!
- Asking for a Specific Amount – Asking for a specific amount can encourage giving. For example, Sam is e-mailing a group of his college friends about his involvement with the Campaign. In his e-mail, Sam says that he has made a personal gift of $50 and asks his friends to consider doing the same. Suggestion is a powerful thing!
- Follow Up – Follow up is key! People may see your first request, but they read it at a busy time and got distracted. Follow up with a second email, or a personal phone call.
Setting Goals to Boost Responses
Breaking your Teams $ Goal Down
Rookie teams usually set a goal of $2,500. If you have 5 people on a team, you can break that goal down to $500 each. Setting individual goals can be helpful to keep all team members accountable.
Set Weekly Goals
To reach your overall fundraising goal, it helps to break up the $ amount over however many days or weeks you’re fundraising. For example: if you goal was to raise $1,000 in four weeks, you could try to raise $250 each week.
Connecting Your Goal with Potential Donors
Each team will have its own fundraising goal that will differ based on team experience and size. A proven successful practice is connecting your $ goal with a tangible need, providing supporters with a concrete image of the impact of their donation.
Different club costs:
- $25 helps send 1 child to summer camp for 1 week
- $30 provides 1 hour of homework help and tutoring
- $65 provides 1 hour of gang and drug resistance education
- $90 provides annual membership for 12 youth in need
- $150 provides 1 full week of Power Hour homework help for 25 Club members
- $500 provides physical education and Healthy Habits programming for a week in 1 Club
- $1,000 provides education supplies in 1 Club for the school year
- $2,500 fuels activity buses for after-school pickup and field trips during the school year for 1 Club
- $5,000 provides team sports leagues for 250 members