Do you ever wonder what it would feel like to organize your own fundraiser to raise money for the most important causes? Fundraising is actually much simpler than it may seem, and with the right knowledge and some effort, you can start raising donations in no time.
1. Set a goal for how much you want to raise. This is the most important step because the following steps depend on it. You don’t need to decide to the penny how much you would like to raise, but try to come up with a ballpark number. This way, you can decide what type of event is best for your goal, how long to take donations, and how many volunteers you should recruit.
2. Pick your event. This will likely depend on a few factors, one of which is how much you are looking to raise. If you are looking to raise thousands of dollars, a neighborhood bake sale may not get you what you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you’re aiming for a couple of hundred dollars or less, you don’t need to rent the Town Hall and buy TV ads for your fundraiser. Another important aspect is your community. Catering to their interests will likely get you better results because people want to donate to something they support and have fun at the same time. It’s also important to choose an event or program that interests you. Sponsoring a car wash for charity won’t be enjoyable if you don’t enjoy the sun, water, and physical labor.
3. Decide on a deadline, and make it clear. If people know upfront your fundraiser will only be accepting donations for an afternoon, a day, or a week, they will be less likely to miss the deadline. It’s also easier to get people to put the dates on their calendar, which will likely result in more donations. Your deadline will also depend on where you’re giving the money. If the organization needs it by a certain date, your fundraiser should end before that date to make sure all the people who wanted to give had the chance to donate.
4. Recruit volunteers. If your fundraiser is small enough to run alone, your volunteers will be the people who help spread the word. Word of mouth is some of the best advertising, and can dramatically increase your results. If your project is larger, you may need people to help you run and organize the fundraiser. Their duties can include calling/emailing potential sponsors to help host the event, tracking donations, creating publicity, and managing other volunteers.
5. Ask for sponsors to help pay for hosting the event or program. Although it’s possible to create a fundraising event with money from your own pocket, many times local businesses or individuals are willing to help for the publicity and free advertising. Sometimes businesses or other organizations will even let you use their building or supplies for your fundraiser, and in that case, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
6. A few days before your event is set to begin, double-check to make sure everything is in order. Follow up with sponsors and volunteers to ensure you all are on the same page, make sure you have all the supplies you will need, check to make sure you have the necessary permits for your city, if you need them, and make any other last-minute confirmations to make sure your fundraiser goes exactly as planned.
– Katie Brockman