Organizations across the globe are fundraising every day for their cause. There are large groups that accept donations and put on huge charity events for causes like Autism, Cancer, Homelessness, Religion, etc. There are also more small-scaled organizations like local athletic teams, cub scouts, or academic clubs that need financial help as well.
While the cause might differ, there are always people out there willing to donate in order for groups with good intentions to meet their goals. Examples include raising money to put towards medical research, donating to a specific family in need, getting a team to a tournament out of state, or raising money for those club jackets that every other competitor already has. So, how do you organize a fundraising event? Depending on the scale of the project, there are many things to consider.
What kind of fundraiser should you pursue?
When deciding what kind of fundraiser is going to be the most effective for your cause, it’s important to identify your target audience. If you’re raising money to fight obesity, you’re not going to want to sell chocolate bars to raise money. Your monetary goal is also important to think about. If you need to raise a few hundred dollars, you can keep your fundraising efforts simple. Many grocery stores will allow representatives from your group to bag groceries for their customers and keep a tip box at the end of the isle. A similar option is canning (standing outside a store with a can to collect money and a poster explaining where those donations are going). With a full team effort and a few hours, you can raise a few hundred dollars in no time. On the other hand, if your goal is much larger than that, more planning is going to have to go into the fundraiser. You might consider holding an actual event with a set time, place, and date, or hold a sale over many weeks.
What are some options for a large scale fundraiser?
When you need to raise thousands of dollars, you need to get many people to participate in your fundraiser. Unless you can bank on one person supporting the bulk of your efforts, you need to get as many people involved as you can. More often than not, holding a large event can do this. You’ve probably heard of The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. These events are held across the country at many affiliate locations. Other large charities hold walks, races, galas, etc. For schools and other local events, consider holding a tricky tray or concert. Make sure that you have all of the permits necessary from your town, county, and state before holding the event.
If you’re not interested in hosting anything, there are plenty of companies that will work with you to fundraise through selling. A very new and very effective selling fundraiser is the laundry detergent fundraiser. Through the company Good Clean Fundraising, you can sell 5 gallon jugs of high quality laundry detergent for much less than they can be found in your nearest retail store. The idea behind the laundry detergent fundraiser comes from needing to sell something that people actually need and want to buy. When you sell things like gourmet popcorn or candles, more often than not, you’re just guilt tripping people into buying from you because you’re supporting a good cause. Laundry detergent on the other hand is something that everyone has to buy regardless if it’s through a fundraiser or not.
Identify your budget
Most of the time it takes money to make money. There are very few fundraisers that are set into action without a little money put up out front. Some of the selling fundraisers that go through companies will not ask for money out front, but hosting events can come with a hefty budget. It’s important to know how much money your booster club or charity is able to spend in order to begin the fundraising efforts as well as how much you’re expecting to earn back. If you have to pay $500 to set up the event and you’re only targeted to make $600, is it really worth the effort to raise only $100 total?
Designate leaders in the fundraising effort
Most of the time the person who will be running the fundraiser makes themselves known pretty quickly in group meetings. However if this isn’t the case, it’s important to designate leaders in different areas of the event being held. If you’re doing a sale, there should be one person in charge of collecting customers money, another person in charge of communication between your organization and the fundraising company, and even someone in charge of answering questions, sending out flyers, and marketing the fundraiser. If you’re holding an event, you’re going to need any more leaders to make it efficient.
Send out thank-yous
Very often the people who run fundraising events are so overwhelmed by the organization and collection aspect that they forget a very important part of the entire thing. Saying thank you to the people who donated to your cause is a great way to close out the fundraiser and to show your customers how appreciated they truly are. If you can’t send out formal thank you cards, make sure you send an email a day or two after the close of the fundraiser saying thank you to all of those who donated. It’s also a good idea to follow up with an update on how their donated money went to good use. As you reach your goal, send out a follow up email!
There are a million ways you can set up a great fundraising event for your team, club, or organization. You know your target audience better than any website does, so think about what they would enjoy taking part in. Once you have your idea down, get a team together and start planning!