What Does it Take to Pull Off a Successful Fundraiser?

Fundraisers are often money losers in spite of the fact that they’re supposed to bring in income for charitable organizations. Mismanagement and spiraling costs doom the hopes of many well-meaning people who hope to pull off successful events. If thinking of the best way to raise money for a worthy cause is starting to cause stress, then the first step is to take a deep breath and relax.

While planning a fundraiser can be extremely stressful, there’s no reason it has to be. A few simple tips can make the entire process much easier.

Promoting a Fundraiser

Communication and life coach skills are extremely important when it comes to convincing people to offer donations or even to come to an event in the first place. Approach promotional efforts the same way someone might approach the task of helping someone with a serious problem. Asking for donations isn’t easy, so a person will want to open up to them first and then add their pitch in later.

Social media is every bit as important as other venues when it comes to getting the word out about the fundraiser. Use the same communication skills online that are used in person. Make sure to embed any requests for donations somewhere inside the message rather than as the first line.

Appealing to the Social Justice Community

When an individual do ask for money, however, they won’t want to miss the opportunity to make an emotional appeal. Remind their audience that they’re supporting a good cause by attending. If they reach the right kind of people, then they might even be able to put in a plug for some sort of monthly giving program.

Say a person was raising money for a museum. They could add that people could sign up for a sustaining membership in addition to supporting the cause by attending the fundraiser. While social justice issues can be heavily politicized online, there are certainly ways to share this message in a way that tugs at their heart strings without ruffling any feathers.

Refining the pitch will also help when it comes down to lay some presentation ideas out in writing, because it will help the person pitching have a better grasp on the best way to reach the potential audience.

Managing The Budget

There’s an old saying that everyone has to spend money to make money. Fundraising events can net the nonprofit a healthy amount of cash, but it will have to use some seed capital to get the ball rolling. Prepare a complete list of all the expenses that will incurred when holding the fundraiser. The fundraiser will probably spend the most on rental costs and transportation.

Booking entertainment can be costly, so choose the musical guests carefully. A person may want to consider some creative approaches to solving this problem. Disc jockeys often cost much less than live bands, for instance. Crowds will warm up to a good DJ more quickly than an average band, so that can save a little money without looking like that is the goal.

Rental costs can add up before the fundraiser team knows it. Shop around for the best deal before agreeing to any booking, but make sure that a venue is selected that people will be able to get to easily. It might be worth spending a bit more to find a convenient location since this could translate into more people willing to attend the event.

Deciding on the Best Type of Fundraiser for The Organization

Choosing a creative type of event can improve the chances of attracting donors. Think about how many times people have actually bought sweets from a charity bake sale. More than likely, they haven’t in years unless they are a PTO member.

Don’t feel like the fundraising team can’t ask the potential audience for their input. Car washes and other traditional events might not attract that much interest, but donors could very well have some novel ideas that could generate much more buzz than these events ever could.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.