The last few years have left many looking high and low for funding. People and businesses have cut costs and that’s leaving many charities short on funds. Many of my customers have come to me seeking help on new ways to raise needed funds. Its a fact that when someone receives a small token of appreciation, they’re more likely to donate so I think its important to help my customers find new ways to raise money.
First and foremost, if you have the resources file all the needed paperwork to become an official, legal charity. Larger companies just aren’t able to help you if there is no paperwork to document your status as a charitable organization, private or public.
Its essential that before you start your fundraising journey you’re prepared. Know the facts about who, what, why the money is being raised. Have information about where the money is going whether its a larger organization or the specifics of how the locals will be affected by your efforts. You need to be ready to answer the multitude of questions to be taken seriously and to get those signed checks in your hands.
It’s important that you have people who are not afraid to ask for money speaking for you. I for example, am not one of those people. If you’re like me, find someone that doesn’t mind approaching people or walking into a business and simply asking for the financial support you need. The confidence goes a long way in securing funds from any business.
That being said the simplest way to find much needed resources is to ask. I know we think that friends and family will simply step up when they hear about your wonderful charitable work but the truth is it doesn’t enter their mind. You don’t have to make the big push just let them know what you’re doing and that if they’re in the position to help you would appreciate it. Most will be thrilled to help you reach your goals.
Get involved in the community. Every season there is a flood of fun outdoor activities run throughout local communities across the country. There are opportunities to rent booths to expose a new audience to your efforts. Usually, charities can get a special discount on rental fees. If that’s not an option consider partnering up with another charity or not-for-profit that has a similar mission. Be sure you show up prepared. Make sure you have literature and something to remind visitors about your message such as silicone bracelets.
You don’t have to be trying to get space at a show or event to partner up. Finding a sponsor could be easier then a simple donation. It’s a great idea to visit businesses that have a similar message to your charity; are you raising money for animals, visit veterinary offices or pet stores; fundraising for breast cancer, visit local oncologist or medical stores. You don’t have to visit similar businesses banks, grocery stores, and more are always happy to help local charities. I mentioned sponsorship though, not just donations. What that means is the business expects a certain amount of advertising for their support. Your literature, website and give-aways must mention them. this is a give and take relationship, they expect at some point there will be new customers based on involvement in your charity, and usually there are new customers.
Its very important that your efforts are shared as much as possible. Today’s world of social networking play one of the largest roles in fundraising. Create a page (not your personal page) to share with friends and family and in turn their friends and family. This page should be devoted to news and stories related to your organization. Include milestones and information that will make visitors connect.
There are also websites dedicated to helping small businesses and charities raise money. Check out gofundme.com and build a website.
Always, after you receive donations send a thank you. It’s important that donors are recognized. Its as important as customer service to a business. If word spreads that a charity is not appreciative funds will dry up. You can send a simple note, a small thank you gift such as a book mark or bracelet but regardless you must send something acknowledging the donation.
Finally, just be confident and know that what you’re doing is good, is going to help. The confidence you exude will make people trust you. all of the above information can’t help if you don’t feel committed and confident in your efforts.
Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe.
- G.T. Smith