Fundraising 101: The Easy Way to Get Started

Most non-profit groups and school-related organizations are in a near-constant state of fundraising. Organizations that have been around for a while often have a well-oiled fundraising machine. But what if you’re just getting started? Here are some tips for getting your fundraising program up and running:

  1. Create a plan. Whether you’re raising funds toward a specific goal, like a class trip, or raising cash to support your group’s ongoing efforts, it’s important to start out with a plan. What are you raising the funds for? How much do you want to raise? How much do you have to spend on your fundraising efforts? What’s the timeline? Having a carefully crafted plan and goals can help guide your efforts, make it easy to explain your mission to potential donors, and also enable you to track your progress and make necessary changes along the way.
  1. Assemble your team and assign responsibilities. Figure out who is going to be involved, how much time they have to dedicate to the program, and if they have any skills that can be leveraged. For example, if one team member works at an advertising agency, they would probably be a good candidate to be in charge of marketing and promoting your program.Determine what your major areas of focus are, and then designate team members to spearhead those efforts. For example, if you’re having a silent auction, determine who is going to be in charge of contacting local businesses or individuals for donations. Depending on your particular group or plan, you might want to consider assigning team members to handle social media, community outreach, product (like box tops) collection, event logistics, and more.
  1. Research and sign up for “passive” fundraising options. These are typically programs offered by companies — often retail and restaurant — which will donate a certain percentage of sales proceeds to non-profit groups. In most cases, you have to sign your group up to participate. At Bulk Nation, you can sign up for our program, pick a period of time during which funds will be raised, and we’ll donate 20% of participating sales to your organization during that period. Many other companies offer similar programs, and you can take advantage of multiple ones at the same time. That said, it makes sense to make one of your team members in charge of researching and enrolling in these programs.
  1. Get to work. You have a plan, a goal, and everyone has their assignments. Now it’s time to get to work. It’s important to set up weekly meetings or check-ins to monitor progress and make adjustments. It’s also important to be consistent with your efforts, your message, and your timing. Make sure everyone’s calendars are in sync, you dedicate a consistent number of hours each week to the program, and everyone has the same talking points to describe your group and its mission.

Fundraising can be challenging and time-consuming. With so many organizations and groups jockeying for a finite pool of funds, you have to be creative, committed, and work hard. But careful planning and consistent execution can help make your efforts successful.

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