Fundraising for Dummies: Tips and Tricks to Actually Make Money
Fundraising is hard work. It always is.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s for a large international NGO or a local non-profit organization, whether it’s happening in New York or rural Alberta, whether it’s about saving pandas or getting a new dance facility for your daughter’s dance team. Whatever the case, raising money for a cause isn’t easy.
But once you’ve committed, you’re already in the game. So how do you make a fundraising campaign work to your best advantage – so that you actually make some money?
- Create a strategy document before you start.
A lot of smaller scale fundraising groups tend to use casual organization methods to run their event. Unfortunately, no matter how big or small your final event, a clear, organized strategy is the key to success.
Create a spreadsheet that includes all the action items you and your team need to take before spending even a single cent. Put deadlines and delegate tasks to team members. Write out all the expected expenditures versus the amount of money you estimate you’ll raise.
Identify the group of people who are the most likely to donate to your cause or buy your products. For example, selling handmade macrame bracelets outside a motorcycle convention might not result in very profitable fundraising efforts.
TIP: If you make your spreadsheet on Google Docs, you can share it with everyone on your team, update the information in real-time, and anyone can access it whenever they need!
- Choose a fundraising product that will actually allow you to make a profit. A lot of fundraisers pivot around reselling products that were bought in bulk through a fundraising campaign like Stawnichy’s.
But here’s the thing: if the company sells you a certain quantity of products at a certain price, but dictates what price you can sell it at… unless you do manage to sell out your stock, you run the risk of losing money.
Try to opt for companies that allow you to choose your own selling price so you can adjust your strategy depending on your audience. For example, when you start a fundraising campaign with Stawnichy’s, you’ll receive a bulk order of Mundare sausage at a set price. After that, you’re free to sell our famous sausages at whatever price you like. Here’s an example of a team that made over $24,000 selling Mundare sausage!
- Come up with a marketing plan.
You can’t set up a table somewhere, put a product on top of it, and expect it to sell itself. All fundraisers require some form of a marketing plan to make sure that:
a) People know what you’re selling
b) People know why you’re fundraisingHere are some tips to help you promote your cause:
1) Tell a personal story. People respond well to a personal experiences because they can relate and empathize with it.2) Use social media! Get your team to promote your fundraiser on all the social platforms so that you can reach the greatest number of people. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… whatever works. TIP: If you’re fundraising for a bigger charity or organization, tag them in your posts. They’re likely to re-share your original post and increase your audience reach!3) Email your network. Not everyone is on Facebook!4) Rally your fundraiser around a bigger event that you know there’ll be a lot of people attending anyways. Selling food? Look for a hungry crowd!5) Use photos to promote your cause. People respond better when they can put a face to a story.6) Get creative! Make up a wacky promise to get people (especially your friends) to donate. “If I raise $10,000 – I’ll jump into a pool of ice water wearing a tutu!”
- Keep track of the numbers.
Make sure you keep a running tally of what and how much you’re selling, even if your products are flying off the table. Not only will it make sure you keep everything in check, you’ll be able to do some analysis after your fundraising wraps up to make future iterations even more profitable.
- It’s not over ‘til it’s over. Did you know that 20% of donations come in after a fundraising event has already wrapped up? Make sure you
do your due diligence after your event by putting out a public update about your fundraising efforts, asking if anyone forgot to drop by or send in their donation.
With these tips and tricks in hand, it’s time for you to get out there and raise some money for your cause. If you’re interested in fundraising the easy way with Stawnichy’s, start here.