Fundraising How To Questions Answered

I get lots of “fundraising how to” questions… many people, even those who are full time development professionals, find some fundraising strategies confusing and difficult to implement. Below are two of the most common questions I am asked regarding non-profit fundraising:

1. How can my Organization Raise a Quick $10,000? Or $25,000 Or $100,000?

The goal amounts are always different, but the question is always the same… how can my group raise its goal fast? The answer I give starts with a question: why do you need the money? If the fundraising need isn’t extremely urgent, it’s best to follow tried and true (and slower!) fundraising methods to build your donor universe, grow a supporter list, cultivate your supporters, and then ask for financial help.

For some groups, that just isn’t possible. Some schools, churches, and charities need a significant amount of money just to keep the doors open this week, month, or year. For them, the best answer is to run a mini-campaign. A mini-campaign is just like a standard fundraising campaign, only the amount sought is smaller, and the time-frame is shorter.

To run a great mini-campaign, first, set a reasonable fundraising goal. Then, recruit supporters to serve as the chair, vice chairs and members of the campaign committee. Prepare quick and easy campaign materials and run off on your organization’s copy machine or at Kinko’s, then go out and raise money. Keep the committee constantly informed of your goal and where you stand on that goal. Hold very frequent meetings, motivate your group, and push them to hit the mini-campaign target. This tactic even works for super-short time frames, like 1 or 2 weeks, provided you have enough supporters to market the campaign to.

2. How Can we Raise More Money on the Internet?

This really is a popular fundraising how to question. Before I answer, let me make it clear that very few non-profits will be able to move to an all-online giving model, or be able to raise even a majority of their funds on the Internet. That being said, online giving can and should be a lucrative resource for your organization. So how do you maximize your online revenue?

First: Stay in touch with your supporters. Send out an e-newsletter. Constantly invite them to your website, and put useful information on it, as well as entertaining items, like pictures from events, relevant videos, etc.

Second: Run some online only fundraising campaigns. The majority of the online contact between you and your supporters should not involve making asks, but once in a while, hold an online fundraising event, or send out an e-letter asking for donations. Hold special online fundraising campaigns and events.

Third: Offer rebilling options on your website. A rebilling option is offering your donors the option of having a certain amount of money withdrawn from their account / credit card automatically every month. When people come to your website and click your donate now button, be sure they have the option of signing up for monthly giving, and tell them why monthly giving is so important to your organization, as well as what the money will be used for.

For more information on succeeding with online giving, read Fundraising on the Internet.

I hope this answers some of your fundraising how to questions. If there are other questions you would like to see featured in future articles, feel free to e-mail them to me.