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A guide to plan a successful fundraiser

Fundraising can be an overwhelming task but it doesn’t need to be. Whether you are raising money for a non-profit, school, sports team or religious organization the basics of fundraising are the same. Here at Halenda’s we aim to put the fun back in fundraising and try our best to make things as simple, easy and profitable as they can be for you.

While some individuals are naturally gifted at planning events not everyone has the experience or natural ability to feel confident jumping in and pulling off a successful fundraiser. With that in mind, here are a few basic fundraising tips to keep in mind before you begin planning your next fundraiser.

Set a Fundraising Goal

Once you have determined your budget you will need to set a realistic fundraising goal. If you are raising money for a specific event or person this goal may be easily determined. For example, you need X amount of money for transportation to a tournament. If you are raising funds for a cause, this amount may be vaguer. You need to consider how many people are involved, your budget, the time of year and the location and determine a reasonable goal.

Planning Your Budget

Proper budgeting is a fundraising basic that is so often overlooked when most people plan fundraisers. Before you can plan how you will fundraise you first need to establish what your budget will be. Your budget needs to cover more than just the cost of the product you will be selling though. You should also consider the cost of resources such as tables, marketing, venues and volunteers. If you have a small budget, you can contact companies to donate resources or their time to help compensate.

Once you have set your budget. You should also look into how you will be collecting money. Although cash only events can still turn a significant profit, in today’s world you should consider the available technologies for accepting credit cards and debit. This will also depend on the product you are selling. If your item is priced well, a cash box may be all you need.

Check out our profit calculator, it is an excellent tool to help you set your fundraising budget.

Organizing Staff

Managing people is always a big job. Gather the names and contact information for your fundraising staff and have a meeting to discuss the details. Be sure that your volunteers are given plenty of notice so that they can plan accordingly. Confirm the day of the event and divide the responsibilities of your staff members, taking into account every individual’s strengths and weaknesses. You want your volunteers to feel well-suited for their positions, to understand their roles and to know who to seek help from if they need more information.

Advertise Your Fundraiser

Another fundraising basic that is often overlooked is advertising. Whether you’re fundraising online or hosting it locally, no one can support you if they do not know about it. Use every available resource to advertise and promote your cause. For a small budget, you should focus your efforts online with social media promotions, influencers and paid ad space. Be sure to share your posts with Halenda’s on Facebook!

If you have the budget, consider paid print promotions such as flyers, posters, newspapers and magazines. For those with a large budget or if you are lucky enough to have the resources or connection to create an audio or video ad, radio, tv and youtube is an excellent way to promote your fundraising event.

Successfully marketing your campaign is essential to your overall success! Remind your team to snap photos and videos while they work on the event. Behind the scenes, shots of your hard-working team will let your audience know how much you have put into your cause and reassure them their money will be going to a worthy place.

Halenda's fundraising event

Halenda’s fundraising event with our mascot, Koby

Motivate your Team

Set up incentives such as prizes and treats to give praise to your team’s hard work. Incentives help to keep people focused. Sometimes the end goal can seem so far off that people can get discouraged. By creating smaller milestones your staff will feel more accomplished.  Milestones can also create healthy competitions between staff. The more excited your group is the more energy they put out and the more donations you will receive.

Follow Up

Always make sure you show appreciation for donors’ support and contributions. No matter how large or small their contribution is. Every dollar counts. A simple thank you goes a long way. You can create a thank you note to give out on the day of or send out an email after donations are made.

Understanding your Audience

Finding your audience is important in order to advertise and promote successfully. Online communities can be an excellent way to find communities who share similar interests and goals. For example, if you are raising money for a local hockey team to purchase new equipment you may look to Facebook Groups that focus on Hockey Moms, Used Sporting Goods or Local Community Events. If you place your promotions correctly, your community will share your event and your audience will grow organically.

Advise your team to be realistic about results. Many people may walk by without lifting their head to acknowledge your booth. They may not respond to your greetings and that is okay. Tell your team to stay positive and smile. There are many reasons someone may not want to participate, they may not be able to afford to donate or perhaps they already have.

Wrapping Up

Fundraising can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! Understanding the basics of fundraising can help you plan a fundraising event that is both simple and profitable.

Fundraising is also much easier if the product is desirable. Halenda’s can help with that! Our Pepperoni Stix are healthy, delicious and they sell themselves. To find out more, check out our Fundraising Program Information page.

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