As money is becoming harder to find for our worthy causes we all have to become better at attracting money.
Here are four keys to consider. How well are you doing these in your organisation?
Have a clear objective.
When you’re approaching your community or donors to support your cause or asking parents to donate, tell them that the funds will go to a specific project. Make it visible, a building or playground, sell them the benefits of construction and tell them who will benefit. The more who benefit the greater amount of donations you’ll receive and the faster you’ll reach your target. Share your vision for your school not just with today’s objective in mind but with what your long term plans are so your supporters can share the vision. It will excite and inspire them to give more.
Use multiple methods to raise funds
Just as with volunteering where people have less time to give, so too with fundraising. People are being asked by so many causes to contribute. You need to make sure that you cover as many methods of giving as possible. Some will want to give cash, some may want to buy chocolates, some will want to give online, others may want to contra. You may also have to apply for grants to secure part of your fundraising goal.
Skill your people
More hands make light work. To help spread the load amongst your team of volunteers, give them training to improve their effectiveness. For example, enrol your team in grant writing courses. Once learned this skill can be used to apply for grants from hundreds of places. Ask your new volunteers to shadow the experienced group of volunteers so they learn how to run a school carnival, or how to research suppliers for events etc. The successful growth of an organisation is in the skill level of its personnel, educate them and you’ll reduce your workload and succeed more often.
Recognise and appreciate
Upon the completion of any event, but most importantly fundraising events, thank and appreciate all those who have contributed.
Not everyone wants to see their name up in lights but the simple recognition and thank you will secure their ongoing support. Write personal letters to major supporters, meet face to face with business leaders who have contributed, ring your fellow parents and put thank you notices in as many public areas, newspapers or get the local TV station to run a story and slip your thank you’s in there. Warming the heart of those who have given will make your next fundraising event even more successful.
Think big, share your vision, make it easy to support, up-skill your people and recognise all those who believe in you and your project. Next time we’ll talk about philanthropy and how you can attract long term support from wealthy individuals and overseas benefactors.