Start Planning you Fundraiser During the Summer Downtime

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Summer Vacation on the Beach

Summer is a great time to rest, relax and recharge your batteries. It is also a great time to establish your fundraising calendars and begin planning for those events. Many nonprofit organizations slowdown in the summer while volunteers and donors are on vacation, students are out of school, and employees take much deserved time off. Summer fundraising is not as popular for many groups because of schedule conflicts, but that does not mean it has to be an unproductive time. If you are looking for some summer fundraisers check out our favorite summer fundraisers.

Fundraisers can provide great money making opportunities for nonprofit organizations, but they can also be time consuming and costly. Fundraising success will depend on proper planning. Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

To help plan an effective fundraising event, here are components that should be included in planning your fundraiser.

1) Establish Goal:

What is the purpose, goal or desired outcome from this fundraiser? While the main goal of most fundraisers is to raise money however, friend-raising (expanding your network of supporters) and increasing publicity for your organization are also important to consider when defining the details of your event. What is the dollar amount you need to raise to accomplish your goal; e.g., buy team uniforms, fund student trips or expand programs? If you need to raise large dollar amounts then you need to look at fundraisers that will offer greater returns. If your goal is to raise a lesser amount of money then you should be looking into simple and easy fundraisers that will accomplish your goals without overtaxing your team.

2) Determine Timeframe:

When do you plan to launch or hold your event? What is your timeframe? Do you have several months to plan for a big event or just a few weeks to accomplish your fundraising goals? Timing is an important factor to consider when planning your event. Do you want to tie your event to a holiday or certain time of the year? When setting your date, check other community calendars to make sure you will not be competing with other events. For shorter a shorter timeframe consider an easy fundraiser.

3) Assemble Your Team:

How will you facilitate your fundraiser? How many people do you have available for your fundraising team? Do you have good leaders to help with organizing and planning of your event? Do you have enough volunteers to implement the type of event you are considering? If not, then you may want to look into outside volunteer sources or select a fundraiser that is less labor intensive.

4) Define Target Audience:

Who will be your target audience for your fundraiser? Do you have an audience that will support your efforts? Will it be a general population or a select group? Will your audience be your school community, your team’s friends and family or will you reach out on the internet? The size of your target audience and their interest in your organization should play a major role on the type of fundraiser you choose.

5) Create Marketing Plan:

How will you market or get the word out about your event? Determining your fundraising strategy is an essential component of your fundraising plan it can make the difference whether your event is successful or not. Similar to a new product, your event needs to be marketed to your audience. You need to let them know about it and persuade them that your group and event are worthy of supporting. A few ways to marketing your event include: mailed invitations, direct mail, word of mouth, social media, personal phone calls, host committees and signage.

6) Resolve Logistics:

Where will your fundraiser be held or where will the fundraising take place? Do you need a special location for will your team determine their territory? What other extras do you need to plan for; (e.g. food, drinks, decorations, tickets) and who will be in charge of each task? The type of fundraiser you choose will help dictate possible locations and needs.

a) Product based – Selling specific goods; e.g. candy bars, scratch off cards.
b) Service Based – Selling a type of service; e.g. car wash, cooking.
c) Event Based – Hosting some type of event at a specific location; e.g. spaghetti dinner, auction.

Before the new fundraising season or school year begins start thinking about your fundraising goals. It’s really important to take the time to get organized, plan your strategies and tactics for the coming year. If you take the time now to create your plan you will have a greater piece of mind and will be ready to kick off your fundraiser with confidence which will result in a successful event.

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