How Can I Fundraise Effectively?
Fundraising is often the foundation for many low- and non-profit organizations. It can be the difference between an entity thriving and folding. When done inefficiently, fundraising can be an utter waste of time and resources, but when done correctly, it can make all the difference. Here are five steps that you can take to make your fundraising a success.
1. Set clear expectations. One of the major issues businesses have when it comes to raising money is that not everyone is on the same page regarding expectations. In addition to knowing how much money you wish to raise (the amount you want after expenses are accounted for), it is important that you set up a well researched, thought out strategy in order to achieve your goals. These should be highly focused and take into consideration the organization’s long-term goals.
2. Budget. In order to keep a good hold on how much your organization is spending, every event necessitates a full budget, itemized by various expenses to be capable of holding the event. This includes things such as space rental, utilities, hired workers, food, and invitations. Your budget should also exist with your fundraising goal in mind. This is so that you end up raising more money than what is necessary to pay for the event. It is also good practice to budget for emergencies or other unforeseen issues.
3. Clearly define how the funds are to be used. No one wants to donate money when they don’t know where it is going, what it is to be used for, and how that use will help to propel the organization forward in light of its goals. Communicating an internal rate of return (IRR), which demonstrates how a donor’s money is moving the organization towards a sustainable lifespan, is effective for larger donors, who don’t wish to be approached again later on.
4. Define your target audience. Any plan is inefficient and often ineffective if it does not include a well-defined target audience. It is important to identify which group(s) of people you wish to attend. Your target audience could be anyone and everyone or a specific group of people (e.g. young professionals).
5. Assign the right tasks to the right people. There are several important roles that your team will undertake in order to make the event a success. These include:
- Askers – These are individuals who understand the skill and timing associated with asking for donations.
- Connectors – These are the individuals who are well-connected and can help to make valuable introductions.
- Engagers – These are the relationship builders, who have the ability to communicate well and nurture relationships.
- Stewards – These are the individuals who interact with, nurture, grow, and promote donor relationships.
It is most important to pair individuals with the positions that play most to their strengths and avoid their weaknesses.
While fundraising can be time-consuming and at times frustrating, when done correctly it can help to achieve goals and relieve financial pressures that may often arise. To learn how to most efficiently and effectively fundraise, it is a good idea to consider a consultant for your team. These individuals have the knowledge and experience necessary to make a huge impact on your organization, so that your organization can continue to make a huge impact on others.