Seven Steps to a Successful Fundraising Campaign

January 7, 2012

Fundraising events can be great instruments to raise money for an organization; however, they can also be time consuming and expensive.  Hence, a successful fundraising campaign depends on careful planning.

To help ensure that your fundraising event is a success, below are seven major components you need to have in mind as part of your plan

1.  Purpose:
Before doing anything else, you must decide what the purpose of your fundraiser is.  Is this truly a fundraising event?  Or does it have other goals?  Figuring out the details for your event will depend on knowing what goals you are trying to achieve.

2.  Fundraising Goal:
You must decide what amount of money you plan to raise at the event.  If this is truly a fundraising event, then everything in the event plan will be geared to raising this specific amount of money.  The amount you choose should be what you hope to net, that is, the amount you plan to raise after expenses are deducted.  In the case of a brick campaign, determine how many bricks you need to sell to reach your goal.

3.  Budget:
Every fundraising event plan should contain a complete budget listing all of the expenses that will be required to hold the event.  Your budget should include staff, invitations, space rental, catering, entertainment, transportation, security, utilities, and anything else that will be required to make the event a success.  Your budget should take into account your fundraising goal, ensuring that you raise that amount above and beyond all expenses.  Be sure to leave a little extra room in your budget for unforeseen costs.

4.  Target Audience:
Who is the target audience for your event?  Is this a general fundraiser where everyone will be invited?  Or is this event geared towards a specific group like business people, parents, or young professionals?  In short, you must decide whom you will invite to your event.

5.  Marketing:
Just like a new product, your event needs to be aggressively marketed to your target audience.  You need to convince your supporters that your organization and event are worthy of their time and money.  Draw up an entire marketing plan for the event.  Possible methods of “getting the word out” include: using your non-profit’s fundraising network, mailed invitations, direct mail, phone banks, word of mouth and the event host committee.  In case you are doing a brick fundraiser, Brick R Us offers a unique array of free services, to help you achieve your marketing and sales goals.  To view a detail of all the available services, please visit: http://www.bricksrus.com/services

6.  Sales:
If you are selling engraved bricks, once you market your event, there must be a procedure for people to purchase their bricks, paying and keeping track of all that.  As part of our effort to make this process easier for the staff managing the campaign, we have designed our Online Ordering System.  By using a password protected secure log-in, this system allows you to enter the bricks as they are sold, print detailed reports, proofs and invoices at any time.  You may also input your donor’s full information such as address, phone number, e-mail address and how much they donated for each brick.  All of this information will appear on the donor information report.  When you are ready to send the order to us, all it takes is one click.  In addition, since all of your order will be stored on-line, you may review or re-print them at any given time or place.  You can also check the status of your order, track the shipment and even pay for your order online.  When placing your order, you get to pick your own shipping date!

7.  Thank – You:
Make sure that your organization takes the time to send thank-you notes to everyone who is involved in your event, including contributors, volunteers, staff and vendors.  To make this process a lot easier, those of our customers who use our Online Ordering System are able to automatically send custom “Thank You” letters to all their donors.  The point here is, always keep your donors happy.

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