Fundamentals of Event Fundraising

Fundamentals of Event Fundraising
Fundamentals of Event Fundraising
Following these fundamentals, you should be able to do many fundraisers to help you raise the money you need.

The thought of doing fundraising events for your group or organization can be downright scary, if not totally off-putting. Please don’t despair, however.

Doing fundraisers is not as daunting as it appears to be at first blush.

The whole process of fundraising needs to broken down in to a series of highly doable steps that lend momentum to the planning and conduct of the fundraiser.

Gather Participants and Create Passion

Bring together a group of people who are passionate about the project or service for which you’ll be raising the money (1). Additionally, ensure that they’re willing to do the careful planning and implementation work which will be vital to the success of your fundraiser, or fundraisers. Ideally, over time, as you do fundraisers, have experienced members of your group train those who join your group but have no experience in raising money.

Thorough Planning

Meet Regularly, Weekly if Possible

During the planning phase of the fundraising event, try to hold weekly meetings to foster accountability and to maintain the morale and forward momentum of the group. It is important that the meetings have a very clear focus and that they last only 15-20 minutes, as people’s time is extremely valuable.

Be organized and plan each part of the fundraiser: goals, how the money will be used, who will be invited and how invitations will be extended, what will happen the day of the event, and evaluation.

Set Clear Goals

During the planning stage be sure to set forth clear goals in terms of how much the group wants to raise and what resources will be needed to achieve those goals (2).

Determine Exactly How the Money will be Used

Clearly set forth exactly how the money will be used once it is raised. Make sure that all your participants and supporters will be in agreement.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel. Look at Others’ Efforts

Don’t be afraid to study fundraisers that other groups have done in order to learn from their successes or lack thereof. Be sure to share with your group successes that other groups and/or organizations have enjoyed so that they (your group) are motivated. This encouragement can make group members feel empowered which may generate better fundraising results.

Inviting Attendees

Start with Who You Know (“Warm” invitations)

Encourage members of your group to invite people they know to attend the fundraiser before they reach out to those outside their circle of family, relatives, friends, and acquaintances. In so doing, individuals in your group will gain confidence in inviting people to the fundraiser and bridging into inviting people they don’t know.

Avoid “Cold Calling” Unless It is Necessary

“Cold-call” invitations should be avoided whenever possible. Unforeseen invitations are often refused, and, however politely the refusal is made, this can erode the morale of the group.

Do the Event

Your planning should make the event easy. It will still be work, but with good planning you have no need to be nervous. Just follow the schedule that you create, and it should all fall together.

Evaluate After the Event

Be sure to evaluate the fundraising event that you’ve just conducted. Several questions should be raised to this end (3):

  1. What things at the fundraiser worked, or went well?
  2. What things did not go well? Analyze why those things didn’t go well? How can the same mistakes be avoided in the future?
  3. What was the fundraising goal versus that was actually raised?
  4. Were the objectives of the fundraiser broken down in to easily manageable steps?

In Summary:

Plan well, invite your “warm” supporters, do the event and evaluate. Following these fundamentals, you should be able to do many fundraisers to help you raise the money you need.


 

About the Author

Dave S. Morse is a freelance writer/editor in Knoxville, Tennessee who also serves as a volunteer community advocate. Dave holds Master’s degrees in Christian Service and Management/Public Administration from NW Christian College (now NW Christian University) and the University of Phoenix Online, respectively, and has a strong passion for social justice.


 

Sources:

1. http://www.justfundraising.com/fundraising-101/
2. http://www.tripointfundraising.com/4-super-easy-processes-for-raising-more-money/
3. http://www.asce.org/uploadedFiles/Young_Member_Groups_-_New/YM%20Webinar-Fundraising.pdf

Image used with permission. Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

JustFundRaising.com, the Right Choice for Non-Profit Fundraising

 High-Performance Fundraising is the Norm for Non-Profits such as Schools, Sports, Churches and Special Projects

Let JustFundRaising.com Help You Supercharge Your Fundraising Initiatives

  • JustFundRaising.com maintains a stellar record of fundraising success.
  • JustFundRaising’s passion is helping you and your organization to become, or remain, successful.
  • JustFundRaising strives to create win-win outcomes for all of its customers and their organizations.

JustFundRaising.com maintains a strong track record of empowering non-profits and other groups in their fundraising efforts, with more than 29,000 groups assisted in the raising of $67.9 million to date. JustFundRaising.com, moreover, possesses an extremely high level of customer satisfaction.

JustFundRaising’s expertise in non-profit fundraising spans four major areas:

  1. School
  2. Sports
  3. Non-profit projects such as: Youth Fundraising; Breast-Cancer Fundraising, Reunion Fundraising, and Animal-Shelter fundraising, among others
  4. Church-related fundraising.

The Ins and Outs of Working with JustFundRaising.com’s Discount Card Fundraiser

You have three excellent choices for discount card fundraising:

  1. Dinner and a Movie Card (65% Profit)
  2. Restaurant Discount Card (65% Profit)
  3. Local City Savings Card (70% Profit)

Easy-to-Sell Dinner and a Movie Card

  • Selling Price: $10
  • Gives buyers a 50% discount at 100,000 merchants nationwide
  • Profit: 65%

The Dinner and Movie card is ideally suited for groups of all sizes. It is an easy sell at the $10 price because purchasers receive a 50% discount at 100,000 merchants nationwide. Your group makes a profit of 65%. The purchasers of the card get unlimited use of it for a full year.

Major Plusses with the Restaurant Discount Card

  • Selling Price: $20
  • The $20 card gives buyers $50 to spend at over 18,000 eateries around the country
  • Profit: 50-65%

The Restaurant Discount card is accepted at over 18,000 eateries around the country, and it provides a great savings for your supporters. By spending $20 on the card, they receive a $50 card that can be redeemed at local restaurants or at eateries nationwide.

The profit to the seller ranges from 50% to 65%, depending on the number of restaurant cards sold. In short, the greater the number of cards sold, the larger the profit per card, which, of course, would have very beneficial results for your organization.

Win-Win Outcomes with the Local City Discount Card

  • Selling Price: $10
  • Buyers love having a discount card for local merchants that lasts a whole year
  • Profit: 50-70%

These discount cards sell for only $10 and earn a profit of 50%-70%, depending upon the number sold.

Here’s how it works:

JustFundRaising will provide you with a list of 300 local merchants from which you select 75. From that list of 75, JustFundRaising contacts the merchants and creates a card with 10 valuable discounts that is customized with your logo.

Want more information?

You can contact JustFundraising by phone at 1-888-440-4114 or check out their web site at www.justfundraising.com. Once you talk with them, you will know why so many groups choose JustFundraising for their fundraiser provider year after year.

“A Fried-Turkey Fundraiser,” Say What?!

How to do a turkey fundraiser

Amazingly, Thanksgiving weekend is only about six weeks away. Many individuals, families, schools, and groups, among others, engage in fundraising activities around Thanksgiving time to provide Thanksgiving meals to the homeless, shut-ins, and needy people of all ages around the U.S.
Holding a fried-turkey fundraiser is a very “out of the box” idea but merits serious consideration by your group or organization.

There are several very important tips, however, which should be observed when planning such an event. www.Easy-Fundraising-Ideas.com  has developed a few recommendations which are very important:

  1. The location should be easily accessible. If, for example, parents are planning to hold a school fundraiser, the school cafeteria would be the best place to do so given the large amount of table space and ease of access to kitchen facilities. If the fundraiser is to benefit some other type of group or organization, a community center could well be the best place to hold the event.
  2. Good advertising fuels the success of a fried-turkey fundraising event. Brochures, fliers, letters, newsletters, social media, and word of mouth all form effective ways of publicizing the event. Advertising should be started well in advance of the event and should be done consistently.
  3. The group or organization sponsoring the event should ensure that several cooks would be available to fry the turkeys and to prepare all the other fixings that go along with Thanksgiving dinners. The cooking of the turkeys and the preparation of all the trimmings would be very time consuming so the cooks and helpers should be prepared to start very early and to work all day.
  4. To raise more money, it’s a good idea to hold a raffle during the fried-turkey fundraising event.

In sum, plan the fried-turkey fundraiser well in advance, ensure that a sufficient amount of advertising is done on a regular basis, make sure that an adequate number of cooks and kitchen helpers would be available the entire day of the event, and be sure that the event venue is easy to access and that it has adequate kitchen facilities and a sufficient number of seats and tables for the guests in attendance.

Here are a few more suggestions you may want to seriously consider.

Keep the Important Parts Primary. The bulk of the income usually comes from the sale of the turkeys. While raffles and other games can result in additional income during the event, be sure to sign people up for the event by selling them turkeys. After all, if the people don’t come, you won’t have people there to participate in the raffle. If individuals buy turkeys prior to the event, they are more likely to have a “sense of ownership” relative to the fundraiser and are more likely to attend.

Keep It Simple. The more complicated it gets, the more work it is.

Have a Coordinator. Even if you have a group leading the event, one person needs to have the responsibility of coordinator. In addition to completing his or her own individual tasks, the coordinator’s responsibility is to make sure everyone is doing their part and that all tasks are done on time. The coordinator should also be the go-to person if questions arise during the event or if any snap decisions need to be made.

Delegate. One person cannot do it all – most of the time. Make a plan and break it down into steps. Assign a person to complete each part and follow up with them, on occasion, to see how they’re (he/she) doing and ask them if they have any questions or are having to tackle any problems in what they’re doing. Fundraising is much like project management which requires careful planning, delegation, follow up, a very positive attitude, and a willingness to make decisive decisions when necessary.

More Ideas for Your Turkey Fundraiser

If you want to get some other ideas for your fried turkey fundraiser, do a quick search on your favorite search engine for “fried turkey fundraiser.” You will find a number of groups providing details to their members. For example, in 2010, a group (“All Walks of Life”) sold turkeys, but they also made turkey snack packs available at the event for people who didn’t order a whole turkey. Dawnbusters (a Kiwanis group) used an online form for ordering. All Around the World Children’s Center didn’t do an event at all. They simply took the orders and had people come by and pick up their fried turkey. Get the idea? You don’t have to “reinvent the wheel.” Look at what others have done and get ideas for what you’d like to do.

Other Thanksgiving Fundraisers

By the way, a fried turkey fundraiser might not be the right fundraiser for your group. A wealth of other ideas concerning Thanksgiving Season fundraisers abound and a rich assortment of concepts for fundraisers year around exist.  Do a quick search of your favorite search engine or you might check  fundraising companies that offer multiple types of fundraisers, such as www.justfundraising.comwww.amazingfundraisers.net, and www.abcfundraising.com. Another source of Thanksgiving Fundraisers is the Holidays categories on The Fundraising Network.


About the Author

Dave S. Morse is a freelance writer/editor (published in the NY Times and other media) and serves as a community volunteer in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is also a strong social justice advocate. His years of experience in teaching as well as studies in Political Science (BS from Univ. of Oregon) and Public Administration Management (Masters from Univ. of Phoenix) give him both the passion and knowledge to help groups and underserved communities overcome their challenges.