7 Steps To Your Fundraising Success
by School Programs USA
Fundraising has become an essential element to schools, scouts, sports and cheerleading teams, youth sports leagues,
and other community groups in both small towns and major urban areas. The need for fundraising has become of greater importance
than ever before for a variety of needs ranging from playground equipment, uniforms, and trips, to primary funding to support
and maintain many types of programs and curriculum.
Robinn Lange of School Programs USA's Main Event Entertainment
Fundraisers has enjoyed fundraising success for over thirty years and says he has noticed the changes in the fundraising landscape.
“Fundraising used to be a means to offer or support supplemental programs or activities, but in today’s world
fundraising is being depended on more and more for the survival and primary support for more and more groups, activities,
events and programs."
This importance of fundraising in today’s marketplace has created the need
for stronger and more successful fundraising programs that can generate impact and results. Fundraising is no longer just
a fun activity, but rather an entrepreneurial enterprise - a business.
Parents, students and community members
are bombarded and approached with more fundraising solicitations than ever before. Lange says “the one crucial element
is to make sure your fundraising efforts do not get lost in the shuffle. You must make sure your fundraising campaigns are
properly executed to position yourself to achieve the best results possible.”
The good news is Lange
offers seven important steps you can implement to help to insure your fundraising success.
1. Create A Good Fundraising Team
This is one of the first and often most overlooked aspects
of a successful fundraising program. Your team is the heart and soul of your fundraiser. Even though it is often difficult
to get volunteers and quality people to be part of your fundraising team, one of the biggest mistakes that can be made is
just accepting anyone onto your team. Seek people that are driven, motivated, and share your fundraising vision. Those who
can attain their given goals. Confident, self-starters who can take direction, yet be able to function and operate on their
It is better to have a smaller team of like-minded and motivated members than to have a larger team with
some weak links.
Take the time to find the right people for your team. Talk to them, learn their interests,
discover their strengths and weaknesses, and then put the best qualified person in their most appropriate position.
Do your homework and make the effort and you will find that this is time well spent as you are creating the strongest
foundation possible for your fundraising abilities.
2. Selecting The Right
Equally as important as assembling the best fundraising team as possible, is selecting the
right and proper fundraiser itself. Factors such as the length of your campaign, the season or timeframe of your campaign,
the size of your committee or team, the amount expected to be raised, and your target market and demographics are just some
of the key elements that should be considered to assist you to select the right fundraising program.
fundraiser stand out from the pack. The market is saturated with many of the same typical fundraisers such as candy, candles,
wrapping paper, cookie dough, discount cards and so on. While some of these may have the potential to offer decent results,
you may find your efforts are greatly improved and better accepted by your target audience by offering a different type of
fundraiser. Custom fundraising products, live event and family entertainment fundraisers, and other unique fundraising ideas
can assist you in offering that “something different or special” element than can allow your campaign to stand
out and be better accepted and a welcomed relief from the typical standards.
Explore your options and ideas.
What programs really excite your team and can create excitement in your market? Take the time and effort to carefully examine
these factors to select a winning fundraiser.
3. Plan Your Fundraising Success
Many times the lack of proper planning is the reason behind a lack of expected results. Chart out your fundraiser
from your first step through completion. By creating a plan to execute your fundraiser you and your entire team will be able
to see the big picture.
Plan out all facets of your fundraiser including staffing, dates, times, promotion,
product distribution, ticket sales, accounting, meetings, and any other pertinent details than may be included in your overall
4. Set Your Goals
Along with the proper planning
of your fundraiser is the creation and execution of your goals. Creating a written set of goals allows you to see your starting
point, where you are each step of the way, and where your final goals are at all times.
Having these written
goals also helps keep your team invested and aware of their expectations, while also being a fantastic way to measure and
track their results and progress. Your team will enjoy a great feeling of pride and accomplishment as each goal is reached
during your campaign. There is no better feeling than to meet your expected goals and even surpassing them to achieve greater
success. This also promotes team spirit and overall motivation of all of your team or committee members.
5. Manage Your Fundraising Team
Once you team is in place, your plans and
goals have been determined, it is crucial to properly manage your fundraising team. Make your your leaders and team members
are clear on their role and duties. Make sure they have the tools and materials to succeed. Identify any strengths and weaknesses
that may exist. Tend to the weaknesses and play to your strengths. Who are your teams “superstars”? Who needs
special attention and reinforcement and perhaps personal motivation? What combinations of team members work well together
and produce the best results?
Managing your team while assisting and supporting your team leaders will put
you on the fast track to your desired expectations.
6. Promote And Spread The
After all of the team, goals and organizational efforts are in place, the priority is the continual
promotion of your fundraising campaign. Your main objective is to make sure as much of your target audience as possible becomes
aware of your fundraising program.
Spread the word in any way you can including as many methods and resources
as possible. Although you must have a combination of promotional methods and techniques, the most beneficial is still word
of mouth promotion. Let everyone you encounter be made aware of your fundraiser and the important cause or benefactor to your
efforts. Promote the reason for your fundraiser and remind your target or potential customers that they are helping your cause
and objective. People want to feel that they can help to make a difference.
You will soon find the amount of
promotion directly affects your final results, so promote, promote and promote even more.
7. Motivate Your Fundraising Team
The importance of maintaining the proper focus and motivation
is also very important to your fundraising success. Different people get bored or lose motivation at different levels. Stay
on top of your team members and offer support and motivation to each member as needed. Acknowledge their successes and accomplishments,
remind them of your goals, and reinforce their importance to your team’s overall success.
fatigue” or burnout. Offer incentives and rewards to your team members for achievements.
spirit, attitude and enthusiasm of your team members. The right positive attitude is infectious. Being aware of these factors
should help you to keep everyone focused and on track to attain your desired results.
By following these seven
steps your fundraising campaign will be managed properly and positioned for optimum success. “While these steps may
appear to be a more business-like approach, this is how fundraisers must operate to attain your goals, succeed in today’s
potentially saturated market, and prevail even in difficult times.” Lange states that these steps work well with all
styles of fundraisers and offer immediate and residual benefits.