Fundraising – The Basics
Fundraising is simply the process of soliciting and gathering money or other materials in kind from people and organizations public and private for some worthy causes or reasons.
Mostly, they are done primarily to fund operations of non-profit organizations, aids to charities, institutions, and help to victims of calamities.
Nowadays, fundraising is also used to simply refer to the act of gathering funds for, say, a business capital or perhaps for just any other purpose. (Church renovation, political funds, etc.) Some are huge and international and some caters to your kid’s school projects.
Because of steep competition for attention, complications, and a growing degree of difficulty, there are now a number of professional fundraisers who are paid for their services. Their fees are sometimes outright flat fees or a percentage of the raised funds.
Fundraising could be done via a rummage sale, group dinners, sports events, or perhaps an auction. Whatever is the method of raising funds, the following are some noteworthy tips:
For the group or organization deciding to do a fundraising event, the first consideration is the goal. What exactly do they want to accomplish? How much would they need?
Set out in clear terms your fundraising goal. This means allotting a budget for products, prizes, advertising, and other incidental expenses. The only consideration is that expenses should not exceed that of projected proceeds.
Setting a clear goal means choosing the right product (or event) for fundraising and with it, the right course of action.
As in any endeavor, planning is the key to its success. There should be a time allotted to plan out things and other courses of action before anything else is done. Would it be advisable to hold a golf tournament instead of having a bake sale or an auction?
It is a good idea to give your organizing group a reasonable length of preparation time. Decide on the exact nature of your fundraising and your plans to go with it several months before the scheduled event.
Veer away from tired old fundraising ideas and try to do some that had not been tried for a time. You and your group can perhaps try something quite new and exciting.
The location and the date of the fundraising event have to be decided carefully. After which, group members and other pertinent people will have to be notified in advance.
If there is another activity before the event, be sure to give your group at least two weeks of lead or selling time. This is also the time to designate the staff and their responsibilities.
Advertise the event. Use posters, flyers, community announcements, mailings and emails and whatever else that your budget allows.
Don’t forget to allot for incidental costs that may arise (fees, shipping, prizes, etc.)
Involve local businesses to help defray some of your expenses. Most of the time, they are happy to donate materials, services, or maybe even their merchandise. Keep in mind, too, that some big business establishments plan their budgets (including donations) early in the year.
Note: If you have some businesses helping you, don’t forget to mention their participation at your event in all instances (radio and newspapers, and live mentions). Thanking them goes a long way, too, for their continued participation in the future.
These donors have to be informed too how the money will be spent. It is best to give them all the information about your organization especially if you had sought donations.
All receipts and donations have to be exactly accounted for. All those who donated (money, services, and goods) will need their tax receipts later.
Fundraising can be fun
A fun and easy fundraising is always possible. As in all things, planning and getting organized before anything else takes most of the old nasty troubles away. By then, fundraising is going to be fun.
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