Whether you’re an experienced fundraiser or a newly elected fundraising chairperson, there are seven steps to follow when planning a successful fundraiser.
1) Organize Your Group of Volunteers
It is often said, “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” Volunteers are the lifeblood of any fundraising effort. To get started, gather your volunteers and seek their input on everything — from vendor selection to sale set-up. From there, schedule regular meetings with your team, including key stakeholders, to ensure everyone is on the same page.
2) Choose Your Fundraiser
Choosing what to sell for your fundraiser is an important decision. Just remember: One size does not fit all. Focus on quality products that people want to buy — or things they are already buying. Give them something they will love and look forward to purchasing year after year.
3) Choose a Vendor
Google “fundraiser” and you’ll find hundreds of companies who are eager to help you sell their products on commission. Not all of them are legitimate — or even desirable — for your organization.
Do your research, and find a brand you can trust. Most importantly, consider the supplier’s experience, customer service and back office support to manage any unforeseen issues that might arise with your sale. You’ll also want a vendor that offers online shopping as a convenient way to increase sales.
4) Agree On How to Incentivize Your Sellers
To attain your fundraising goals, motivate your sellers with fun and age appropriate rewards. Can your fundraising representative stand behind their prize program and offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee? Kick off the fundraiser with a presentation that includes promotion of the incentives, tiered based on money raised. To keep costs down —and make things fun — include events that poke good natured fun at principals or authority figures by, say, making them dye their hair or take pies in the face. For example, contests like “Principal for a Day” encourages students to be the top seller.
5) Communicate and Promote Your Sale
Shout your fundraiser from the rooftops. Share information on social media, place ads in newspapers, post on electronic communication boards for the community, and issue a press release to the local news. In all communications, demonstrate the need to raise funds and tell your audience what the money will be used for, finding ways to personalize the need for involvement.
6) Seamless Order Collection and Item Distribution
Choose a vendor that will guarantee timely delivery of products and offer help in collating or packing out individual seller orders. Have plenty of volunteers on hand to assist with the process.
7) Love and Take Care of Your Customers
Things happen — but it’s how you handle the errors or mistakes that will make or break relationships. If a product isn’t up to a customer’s standards, work quickly with them to resolve the issue. Employ a supplier with a 100 percent guarantee to ensure they are ready to manage issues. After all, it’s your group’s reputation that is on the line. Always remember: successful fundraisers with happy customers lead to continued support for your organization’s fundraising projects.
Contact Wolfgang Fundraising today. Our sales team would be happy to help you plan a successful fundraising program.