Although there are innumerable non-profits, they all share one thing in common: the need to raise money for their cause. A large number of organizations rely on this as the only source of capital for their operations; and for this reason, they learn how to be very effective at fundraising.
In order for a fundraising drive to go well, it has to be impeccably planned. An organization will need a budget to get the fundraising started. This money will be used for promotions, for hiring people, and for overheads. The organization will also need a schedule to determine how much money needs to be raised by a certain date.
When it comes to exactly how an organization can ask for donations, there are many different approaches. Let's take a look at how you could use mementos, telethons, direct mail, and community events for your next fundraising campaign.
By offering a memento, an organization honors its donors. One method is the use of fundraising bricks. An organization would build a brick wall, tiled surface, or walkway, and give donors who contribute at a specified donation level a laser engraved brick with their name on it.
When it comes to mementos, the idea of donation levels is very important. It is not possible to give everyone an honorable mention because it costs the organization some money to buy the mementos and there is usually a limited amount of space to honor everyone. In addition, donors who give a lot appreciate being honored for the size of their donations.
A telethon is telephone fundraising. Usually, an organization will contact people who have in some way been associated with the organization. If, say, the organization is a school, then a group of students, usually between 6 to 12 students will place calls to parents or alumni by phone and ask for their financial support. These are not cold calls, but warm leads. Usually, the organization has a list of people who have participated in some way with the organization in the past. Moreover, before calls are placed, everyone in the database is sent an email (or a letter) telling them that they will be contacted and asked if they are interested or would like to opt out.
Sometimes the telethons are conducted through traditional media. It might be a televised event or conducted on national radio. For example, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital raised $5.6 million through a radiothon.
3. Direct Mail:
Although the idea of direct mail fundraising may seem somewhat antiquated in a digital world, it still works remarkably well. Usually, direct mail is also combined in some way with digital strategies to improve the donor experience.
Usually, after a donor gets a direct mail letter, they will be referred to a website. Here they can find out more about the cause; engage with other donors on a blog, forum, or social media page; make a donation, or promote the fundraising drive to other people they know.
Although it might seem that the easiest way to contact donors would simply be to send them an email instead of a letter, organizations have learned through trial and error, that donors are more likely to respond to a letter in the mail than to an email in their inbox.
4. Community Events:
Old-fashioned, but still effective, methods of fundraising are rummage sales, bake sales, walkathons, and auctions.
These methods are often used by churches, schools, and charities who already have an active community, to raise funds. The reason these methods work so well is that they ignite a sense of community because everyone is aligned with the same interests. Usually, the event is promoted via a public announcement, through posters, through the mail, or through email.
In a rummage sale, members of the community are asked to donate items that have been lying around their garages. A giant sale is then organized and members can buy other members donated items at a discounted price. This simple method is surprisingly effective. Should an organization not be able to sell everything, then the remaining items are donated to thrift stores.
In a bake sale, the same principles apply. Except instead of donating things lying around the house, community volunteers will bake goods and sell them at the giant sale.
In a walkathon, a volunteer will receive sponsored donations based on how many miles they walk.
In an auction, a commercial sponsor gives the organization free products, which are then auctioned off to members. For instance, a winery may donate free bottles of high-quality wine, and these then auctioned at a party for invited members.
In closing, it's important to be aware that there are different state laws and regulations concerning fundraising to ensure that the fundraising is conducted in a fair and ethical way.