Fundraising is a skill that takes time and practice to master. It’s also an important strategic competency you must develop as a startup founder. Illustrate the intended impact of your goals when marketing your fundraisers to encourage participants. For example, a school raising money for a new playground may use its fundraising campaign to explain how the investment will benefit kids.
Identify Your Goals
Non-profit organizations usually have fundraising activities. However, only some people are aware of what is fundraising and how to make it a successful activity.
Fundraising is a process of seeking financial contributions; thus, fundraising goals need to be clear and specific. Incorporating SMART goal-setting principles is an effective way to help you plan and prepare for your fundraising campaign.
Specify how many dollars you want to raise (or an increase in dollar amount from the previous year), the number of new donors, or how many recurring gifts your biggest yearly donating supporters will make. These clear, concrete fundraising goals will ensure everyone involved is on the same page and can focus their efforts toward meeting those goals.
Set a Budget
Nonprofits need to set a budget for their fundraising campaigns. Budgets can help organizations estimate project costs, determine which donors are best suited for different donor tiers, and understand their financial standing.
When creating your budget, consider your organizational goals. These might include your definition of success, such as securing new donors or increasing the average donation size.
Also, remember that the cost of a fundraiser can add up quickly. To save money on your event, shop around for the best prices and seek out in-kind donations that can reduce your expenses.
Create Marketing Materials
Once your team has clearly outlined fundraising goals, understands how donors communicate with the nonprofit and understands the organization’s branding, they can start creating marketing materials. These can include flyers, posters, and a style guide to ensure that all outreach materials are consistent with the campaign’s messaging.
Customizing your direct appeals based on each donor’s needs is also important. This will make them feel valued by your nonprofit and increase their likelihood of donating. In addition, it’s a good idea to send donors impact updates after their first donation so they can see the real-world difference their contribution has made. This will help keep them engaged and motivated to donate again.
Develop a Plan for Engagement
As you’re planning, it’s important to set achievable SMART goals. These will give you the confidence to know if your plan is successful.
Be sure to consider the amount of time required for project milestones, data processing, and other deliverables that will be necessary to meet your goals. Also, include enough flexibility in your plan to adjust midstream if needed.
Keep supporters in the loop by sending them updates on how their donations are helping to achieve your goals. It’s a great way to show appreciation and encourage more people to support your cause. Keeping your supporters informed will help you build long-lasting relationships and ensure your organization is funded for years. This can be done via email newsletters, social media posts, or annual reports.
Create a Plan for Success
Once you’ve set your goals and have an engagement plan, it’s important to create a roadmap to get there. Having a clear path will make it easier to stay on track, even when things unexpectedly come up.
It’s also important to consider a timeline when planning your fundraising campaign. This will help ensure your events are adequately spaced to keep engagement levels high and avoid burnout.
Also, remember to factor in time for prospect research. Having dedicated prospect research tools and training on how to identify wealth and affinity markers can help you improve your results in these strategic focus areas.