Fundraising is not only asking for the gift. It is seen as a mean to ensure a more stable future for once organization. Indeed, you need to be aware of the necessity to go through the complete and the whole process, not only before having the funds but also how to hang on your donors after they donate to your organization.
Here, I decide to share with you 8 tips for an effective and successful fundraising:
1-Well understanding of the environment you are operating in order to realize where the opportunities are, or you may end up going on blind. By environment, I mean the local and national market. The majority of people don’t know that the largest number of donations come from individuals and not foundations and that affects the way they prepare their fundraising planning. It helps a lot having a diverse network.
2- Crystallizing your vision: People try always to keep focusing on what they are doing while it’s more about the reason why you are accomplishing that. The “why” behind what you are doing is very powerful. It is the most effective way to connect people who have the heart for the cause and people who can implement the cause and make that happens. I have always encouraged and still do practicing this board exercise, to generate no more than 20 words about the organization’s vision, then once they have that general idea they can hold it down to 5 or 7 words maximum.
3- Communicating your vision or the support case: you need only to be aware that it is not given for anyone to know the needs, so let them know the need of the community and not the organization. The program, the cost, and why you? The case study gives the people the duty they may need to decide how to be part of the organization and get excited about your cause. Sharing that case statement is not only for fundraising, it can be also used for your campaigns, website, brochures … it’s a source document.
4- Specifying your questions: there are three primary questions you should take into consideration: Are they already linked to your organization? Do they have the ability to give the amount that you are asking for? Do they have an interest in the cause? It’s not about: « I am going to get out and to talk to everybody”, but specific people. Actually, I believe that each one of us has a dream to change the world and to make things better. As a fundraiser, you need to invite donors to revive always that feeling and connect people to their passion.
5- Getting the word out: you just need to let people know about your organization and raise their awareness and engagement, through press releases, social media …etc
6- Asking: I invite you to see it in both ways: Ask for your need; do not expect them to know it by themselves. Some people consider fundraising like begging while it is not about that. According to me, I think that it is about helping people to connect with their passion and that’s how you make sure to keep them involved. It’s crucial to create a trusting environment rather than making them understanding that you are taking advantage of them. Sometimes they will appreciate the recognition and find a way to satisfy them even if they say they don’t want it. It’s seen always significant to ask not only for your gift but your donors too, as statistics prove that only 10% donors continue donating the next year for the same organization.
7- Filling your plan: you have to get intention to put together specific things to be doing. If you fail your plan, you plan to fail. In order to engage the board more, they need to have specific tasks so they can help in the way we want them to. It also makes it easy to track and follow the plan. A one size fits all approach won’t work very well.
8- Building your team: it could include staff members; volunteers …who are your informal advocates that you can educate and get them on board with the whole plan. Fundraising, simply, requires assistance from all different areas of the organization. One person won’t be efficient even for a small organization, you need to build your team, and find people who are passionate about your cause who want help build the relationship.