Importance of Fundraising for Your Nonprofit
Need to Fundraise
The current economic recession means that even established nonprofits that rely on private donation and foundation funding have to increasingly do more fundraising to stay afloat. As funding streams constrict with the economy and competition for limited foundational grant money increases, fundraising is necessary and needed to generate funds for nonprofits. In addition, smaller and newly formed nonprofits can benefit from a strong commitment to fundraising that will help pay for start-up costs and daily expenses. Fundraising also can bring more public and media attention to your nonprofit, increasing access to potential future donors and funding opportunities. So, there is more to gain than lose from fundraising.
Many of your fundraising ideas will be catered towards the mission of your nonprofit and the client type or constituency that you represent, as well as the numbers of volunteers you have to help. So, you are the best judge of whether or not a particular fundraiser will work for your nonprofit. The key is to plan ahead and allot enough time to conduct a successful fundraiser. Last minute ideas and rush jobs usually translate into limited success.
General Fundraising Ideas
If the idea of your fundraiser is an event, a community fair, a walk-a-thon, or just standing on the corner with can, there are general tips to keep in mind to make you efforts successful.
Establish a fundraising committee. Recruit volunteers to help plan and carryout your fundraiser. They can make plans and goals and meet regularly to ensure that the fundraiser is on track. Volunteers are free and you can assign each volunteer a different task. Recruit more than enough volunteers in case someone does not follow through with his/her particular assignment. Always be open to adding more people to the committee.
Keep you overhead costs as low as possible. There is a popular saying that “you have to spend money to make money.” While this saying may have some truth, you do not have to spend your entire bank account to carryout a successful fundraiser. Get donations for your event. Getting donations simply involves making as many phone calls as possible to see what people are willing to give. A simple script explaining the cause and being willing to provide a donation receipt will get local companies to support your event. Be willing to take what people are able to give and make it work. Donated flower arrangements and cakes can make any event special.
Start early. Getting a committee together and generating donations to support your fundraising event takes time. Don’t wait till the last minute to do a fundraiser. Make a plan that allows yourself enough time to recruit your volunteers, get donations, and plan your event or project. Keep a calendar to ensure that you stay on track.
Special Advice About Raffles
Raffle Tickets: Raffles are very popular for nonprofits. Be sure that you are familiar with any laws around conducting raffles in your state or country before you decide to conduct a raffle. Some states view raffles as a type of lottery and require licenses and also may set limits on the value of prizes. Check the law to protect your nonprofit. If you decide to do a raffle, please keep the following tips in mind:
- Low ticket price means you have to sell a lot of tickets. A high ticket price means you have to sell less tickets but may also make it harder to sell tickets.
- Get donations for prizes.
- If you do a cash prize, give yourself enough time to raise the cash by setting a drawing date that allows for the time to raise the cash prize.
- Print your tickets “in house.” There are free ticket templates on the Internet. Don’t waste your money buying fancy paper. A successful raffle is about setting a goal and making a plan to achieve that goal. Fancy paper doesn't matter. You need volunteers who are ability and willing to sell tickets.
- Run your raffle like any other fundraising event. Set up a committee of volunteers who decide of the prizes and make a commitment to reach and achieve a common goal. Check in with this committee weekly or even daily to make sure they are working on the raffle.
Practice Makes Perfect
The more experience you have in fundraising the better you and your volunteers will become t arising money. Stick with your fundraising. Try and experiment with different types of fundraising. Nonprofit work is hard work but can be very rewarding. Good luck!