To organize a successful fundraiser, you need to consider the demographics of the target group, that is, who they are, what they enjoy, and how you can appeal to them. Based on this information, and a review of your groups resources, you will need to form a plan and follow it to succeed.
- Choose your target group. Depending on the group that you are organizing for, this may be children in school, the parents of school children, local businesses, or the general public. You may want to sell candy or donuts to the children, but advertising or services to businesses. By picking the best possible “product” for your fundraising effort, you will increase your chance to succeed.
- Think about cost. If you decide to make it a public fundraising event, think about cost, sponsorship, and participation. An example would be a car wash, which is a very common fundraiser for youth groups and clubs. Cost would include soap, washcloths, and use of a facility to hold the event at. Sponsorship could come in the form of a local retailer who is willing to let you use their premises and water for the event, and possibly help with advertising. Participation is getting the members of your club or group to be at the location, willing to work, as well as having them help spread the word prior to the event.
- Pick a suitable time and date. Carwashes, cookouts, and yard sales are more profitable and enjoyable in good weather, so they may not be suitable for mid winter or the middle of summer in very hot locations. Attendance will be higher on Saturdays, but look at the community calendar to be sure no other event is planned for the day you choose that will have people busy doing other things while you are holding your fundraiser.
- Find a good location. Many retail businesses allow different groups to use their premises for car washes, bake sales, and other fundraising activities if they are compatible with their values and they support what you are working for.
- Advertise. This can mean placing signs around town and at community bulletin boards, word of mouth, or talking to broadcast media to see what type of advertising they offer. Many radio stations and local television outlets have community bulletin boards and public service announcements for non profit groups.
- Get your supplies together and plan what you will need to pull your event off successfully.
- There are lots of tried and true fundraising events, from coupon book sales, chili cookoffs, carwashes, and bake sales, to community garage sales and raffles. Look at the resources you or your group have, and use them to the best of your ability. If you have a lot of potential labor, but little money, you may want to organize a cleanup team to do lawn work or house cleaning for contributions.
- Look at other groups who have held fundraisers in your community, and see which type are most successful.
- Talk to local businesses and see if they are willing to donate facilities or products to help you with your efforts.
- Use team work and organization, and plan the event from start to finish.
- Form a committee to make sure all the planning and gathering of materials is accomplished.
- Make sure you are not breaking local laws with your efforts.
- If your efforts involve door to door sales, travel in teams for safety.
- Bake sales and cookouts should be managed so that the food is safe and handled properly.
- How to Succeed at Community Organization Fundraising
- How to Organise an Event
- How to Fundraise for Charity
- How to Organize a Walk/Run for Charity
Sources and Citations
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Are you looking for more tips on how to make your next fundraiser a success? How about some support from an experienced agency that can offer some hindsight to your next fundraiser? Then I invite you to contact the Grable Group or call 615-283-0039, where together we can make your next fundraiser a success.