Fundraising (or fund raising) means soliciting and gathering voluntary contributions (in the form of money or other resources), by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, or charitable / governmental entities. Fundraising mainly refers to gathering money for non-profit organizations, but it can be also used to refer to the identification and solicitation of investors or other sources of capital for for-profit enterprises.
Individuals looking for fundraising have to rely on their own wits and the support of friends and family members in the beginning, before they land a generous donor or investor. Kathryn P., a veteran writer working for GoGetFunding.com compiled her 10 most effective tips for individual fundraisers to get maximum results.
1. Make Clear Plans
Once you have a cause you want to follow, establish clear fundraising goals and set firm yet reachable deadlines. Determine an expense budget for the duration of the fundraising, till you achieve your goals. Set an end date – or else your fundraising activity will drag on forever.
2. Gather Inner Circle Support
The first place to start fundraising is your circle of family and friends. Set up a meeting and discuss your clear fundraising cause. Sign up supporters, and assign roles to each of them. Make sure everyone knows the objectives, and project deadlines.
3. Create A Fundraising Page
Do your research and choose a good fundraising website for individuals, and create your own page. Write an inspiring and honest description of your cause, letting people know what their donations will achieve. Post plenty of pictures and videos documenting your cause.
4. Set Up A Free Blog
Post quick updates and thorough articles on your cause and encourage contributions from your inner circle and readers. Post pictures and videos pertaining to your cause. Also list all donation updates and place a call-to-action button on every page, which links to your fundraiser page. Stay loyal to your cause, and work on gaining more supporters and fans.
5. Tap Your Social Network
Facebook has more than 1.1 billion subscribed users and growing. Leverage this fact and get everyone on your inner circle into your Facebook network. Create a Facebook Page for updates, and also a Facebook Group so that you can send direct messages to your supporters’ inboxes. Consider investing on Facebook ads to gain more followers who can help you spread the word about your fundraiser.
6. Use Facebook Tools To Obtain Donations
Apps such as Fundrazr and Crowdrise are available to help you raise funds within the Facebook network., that you can use to reach a wider Facebook audience. Look for influencers within your target demographic and try to build relationships with them.
7. Look For Sponsors
For individuals, their local community is the best place to start. Try your community center, the mayor’s office, your local church group, universities, restaurants, food chains and so on for donations and prizes. Anyone can be a sponsor / ambassador.
8. Offer Incentive Prizes
Offer incentive prizes to donors, to motivate them. Make sure that the prizes are relevant to your target demographic. It’s a good idea to offer early bird prizes, and also prizes for donors who’ve donated more than a certain amount and so on.
9. Approach Corporates
Most companies dedicate funds towards their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) endeavors. They will be happy to offer donations to your cause, so long as the cause is relevant to what they represent. Some companies will even agree to matched donations, as long as you achieve the primary sum.
10. Leverage Local Media
If your town has a local TV and radio station, approach them with your cause and ask for a 5 minute appeal spot. You can reach into several homes via these channels. Approach local celebrities to spend a few minutes talking about your cause on TV or radio.
Kathryn P is a freelance writer working for online fundraising website GoGetFunding.com