Don’t Make These Common Fundraising Mistakes

August 18, 2014

Planning and coordinating a fundraiser takes a great deal of time and effort, as well as countless volunteer hours and days of planning .  Therefore, you’ll want to get the best possible results from your fundraising efforts.

Here are some common fundraising mistakes to avoid, as well as a few handy solutions:

Don't Make These Common Fundraising Mistakes

Use these tips to avoid common issues that plague fundraisers and nonprofit events.

Mistake: Telling a perspective supporter they SHOULD make a donation or support your organization. 

When told they SHOULD do something, donors usually react like teenagers and do exactly the opposite.  No one likes to be told what to do.

Solution: Make sure your perspective donor understands your mission and how the proceeds from this fundraiser will be used.  After that, tell him how much your organization would appreciate his help to further your mission.

Mistake: Asking for a donation in front of non-family members.

It’s not a problem to approach a friend at the church pot luck if he’s sitting with his wife, but not if there’s another couple present.  Even if you think a $100 engraved brick paver won’t be a big deal for this family, money is always a private matter.  Approach each family in private.

Solution: Make plans with your friend to drop by his house in the next day or two instead.

Mistake: Treating a donation request casually – it’s not a casual thing.

Certainly you want to have a very successful fundraiser, but seeing someone at the grocery store checkout should not trigger an “ask.” She’d be more concerned about her cart full of perishable items than what you have to say, so the answer will probably be “no” anyway.  Also, an important part of the fundraising process is explaining the mission and how the funds will be used.  Can you do this in a grocery store setting?

Solution:  Tell her you’re part of the fundraising committee and would like an opportunity to speak with her at a later date.  Then, give her a flier.

Mistake:  Not spending enough money on your fundraising program!

This is one of the most common fundraising mistakes.  After all the trouble you’ve gone through to setting up this fundraiser and getting volunteers, your organization won’t spend a dime on printing or other marketing choices.  Certainly as a nonprofit, school or civic organization, no one expects you to have a large budget, but you’ll need something to hand out to interested parties.

Solution: Since most of the information for your fundraiser will be on the web anyway, a business card printed on both sides with all of your information could serve as your main flier.  This makes it easy for volunteers to carry “fliers” at all times.  Supporters put them in their wallets as well.

At Bricks R Us, we want to help you avoid fundraising mistakes.  Our staff takes customer service very seriously. Not only will we help you order engraved brick pavers and tiles, we’ll provide fundraising advice and set up your own donor website to assist in your fundraising efforts.  For more information on our services, contact us today!

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