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Fundraising Articles


"How do you make more money for your organization?"

It's all about multiple streams of income.  When you put together
your annual plan, you need to build-in as many ways to make
money as possible.

So, you're probably thinking: "That's easy for you to say, but
how do I do it?"  With a well thought out plan that doesn't
make too many demands on any one facet of your organization.

Every fundraiser that you conduct places various demands on your
volunteers, your supporters, and your leadership.  Those demands
can be time consuming, expensive, and stressful.

The more large-scale fundraisers you conduct in a year's time,
the greater the load you place on the people you depend on.  You
need to be "smart" in how you go about fundraising.

Thinking smart means taking the time to review past results and
strategizing about how to do better this year.  If you don't
spend some time brainstorming some new and creative ideas to
increase your bottom line, how are you going to rise above last
year's results?

Define your three best income streams.  Now, daydream a little
about what changes or enhancements you can make that will add
additional volume to those streams.

Fundraising is all about reaching more people with a compelling
message that inspires them to take immediate action to assist
your organization. 

How can you reach more people?  By exploiting two things -
personal networks and personal motivators.  Your fundraising has
to be structured to achieve maximum leverage of everyone's self
interest by providing sufficient incentives for giving time or
money to your cause.

How can you make your message more compelling?  By giving it
"story-like" visual imagery that speaks to your supporters
emotions.  Decisions are made on an emotional level, not logical,
and a "story" allows people to visualize their contribution
having a positive impact on what they've visualized.

How can you inspire a higher percentage to immediate action?  By
combining your story with a call to action.  A call to action
leverages the immediacy of the emotional reaction to your story
with a request to help now BECAUSE their contribution will have
a positive impact.

Everyone wants to help.  They just have to be properly coached
about your situation and motivated to act now.

Planning smart means taking concrete action to put your ideas
into an annual business plan.  Yes, I did say "business plan."

No self-respecting, non-profit organization should be without
a written business plan to guide their fundraising efforts.

Your plan should spell out roles and goals along with detailed
instructions on how you'll get there.  It should be grounded in
the past and targeted at the future. 

Each fundraising activity should be broken down into the
necessary action steps that will produce the highest level of
results with the most cost-effective effort.

Everyone should know exactly what's expected of them.  A well-
organized team where everyone understands their role is able to
execute their mission flawlessly.

Everyone should know and be able to state your group's value
proposition. If they can't articulate, in two sentences or less,
a convincing reason why you are raising funds, then you need a
plan that helps communicate your message more effectively.

Working smart means taking your plan and putting it into action
with an eye towards getting the most bottom line results from
every facet of your organization.

You'll get the best long-term results if you stay focused on
not overburdening your volunteers, your supporters, and your
leadership.  Overworking volunteers will ensure that many will
not be around to help next year.

Too many demands for small donations will alienate your group's
supporters.  Structure your fundraising requests to two or
three campaigns in a year's time, no more.  Size those campaigns
to get the most from each time your supporters are asked to make
a contribution.

Continuous fundraising will wear out your leadership as well. 
Your key personnel will be spending most of their time on
organizing and conducting campaigns. 

You want to keep everyone fresh and motivated.  Do that by
having a well thought out plan that maximizes the value of
everyone's time, energy, and contributions.

Being smart means taking the time NOW to begin a "Get Smart"
effort about your fundraising efforts.  Start the brainstorming
process now.

Get a small journal and start recording any and all ideas you
have, day or night, about improving your fundraising.  Some of
them will be duds, but others will be gems.

Sure, the gems will be rough and will need polishing, but you
won't have any gems at all if you don't let your creative juices
run wild.  Just write them down as they occur to you and keep
adding to the ones that make the most sense in the light of day.

Hey, if it worked for Edison and Einstein, it can work for you.
Start writing down all the ways that you can think of to create
multiple streams of income for your organization and watch the
money flow in.


Copyright 2002 - Kimberly Reynolds

About The Author: Kimberly Reynolds is the author of Fundraising Success, a best selling ebook on fundraising. You can read more of her fundraising ideas for fundraisers on her website, FundraiserHelp.com.

You may reprint this article as long as this resource box accompanies the article.


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