Fundraising does not have to be hard, nor should it feel like a burden. In fact, fundraising can be “fun” and may present a nice opportunity to get together with friends and family as well, whether that is in person or virtually.
There is more to fundraising than putting your hand out for money. You can also choose to hold your own fundraiser in your own way throughout the year — whether it’s a trivia night, workplace event or jellybean guessing competition at your school.
Remember, the number one reason people donate to charities is because they were asked.
TOP 10 FUNDRAISING TIPS
1. Personalise your online fundraising page
When you fundraise on behalf of the CTF, you will be asked to create an online fundraising page. Aside from being an easy way to collect donations, it is also the perfect place to share your story, update your supporters with your progress, and thank them for all of their help! Don’t forget to update your profile picture – people want to see who they are donating to.
2. Set a realistic goal
Without a fundraising target, there is no benchmark and less chance of raising money. If this is your first-time fundraising, start small (maybe around $250) and work your way up. You can always raise the target again if you reach it. If you are a seasoned fundraiser, why not set the bar a little higher. Perhaps $2,500 for the 1 in every 2,500 people who are born with NF in Australia.
3. Make the first donation
By making the first donation, you are setting the benchmark for others and “putting your money where your mouth is”. The higher the first donation, the higher the average donation will be – so give BIG and show your supporters that you’re serious about raising money.
4. Understand your networks
Like any successful venture, it requires planning. In this case, it means mapping out your networks. Remember, a cash donation may not be the only thing you seek. It could be raffle prizes, venue sponsorship or an introduction to someone who can help you.
We recommend you split these people into three main groups and make sure you're thinking about what they want to hear, not what you want to tell them.
People who you're at least 80% sure will give. (family, friends, work colleagues).
Personalised email followed up by a Facebook message or SMS and then a phone call.
People who have wider reach to a relevant audience than you, for example, corporate partners, bloggers, celebrities who are interested in your area or issue, or well-connected individuals in your personal networks.
Personalised email for those you know, and a direct message via Instagram or twitter. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-timed comment to catch their attention.
People who are more loosely connected to you or your organisation.
General email to your full email list or database, post or event invite on your Facebook page.
5. Launch with everything you have
The first five days of your fundraising are critical, so here’s what we recommend that you do:
- Kick off on a Monday or Tuesday. Donations are generally lower on the weekend, so make sure you take advantage of as many weekdays as you can in those first few days.
- Work from the inside out. Contact your core supporters before targeting your wider network. It's important to build credibility using people who know you – no one gives to a campaign by someone they don't know that's sitting on $0
- Celebrate milestones. Update your supporters via email when you hit all the smaller milestones (10%, 25%, 30% etc) and your full email list when you hit major milestones (25%, 50% etc). We'll automatically send emails from the CTF to your supporters who've already donated when you hit these bigger milestones too.
6. Matched Giving
Many workplaces actively encourage their employees to get involved in local charities and will match the fundraising efforts of their staff. So, don’t be shy, talk to your boss, CSR or HR team about how to make this happen.
7. If you hit your target early or are close to reaching it – increase it!
If people think you are close to reaching your target, they may not donate the $200 they were going to if you are only $75 off your goal. Strike while the iron is hot. There is no reason you can’t increase multiple times. It’s a good story to tell.
8. Try Fundraising directly through Facebook
Fundraising has never been more convenient; you can now receive donations through Facebook! There are three options you can try:
- Create a campaign fundraiser
- Post with a donate button
- Fundraising during Facebook Live
HOW TO SET UP YOUR FACEBOOK FUNDRAISER
9. Race to the Finish Line
The last week of your campaign can be magical, but it's easy to lose hope. Don't. You need to always maintain and communicate the belief that you'll hit your target - if you don't believe it, no-one else will. People respond to a deadline, so it's not uncommon for people to raise half of their campaign funds in their final week. Here are some tips on things to do in your last week:
- Post a daily countdown on Facebook. Keep the sense of urgency up by posting images with "X days left" and the percentage still to raise.
- Follow up on all those promises. During your campaign, there are normally a bunch of people who said they were going to donate, but just haven't gotten around to it. Now is the time to send them an email, message or call to get them to act.
- Message all the people who've already donated by tagging them in a post and thank them for their donation. This personal, but very public recognition of their support will be an unexpected bonus and may inspire them to share your campaign with their friends.
- Thank everyone when you hit your target. People love to celebrate success, so make sure you share the celebrations with them.
10. Follow up post-event
Did you know that 20% of donations come in after the event is over? Don’t forget to thank everyone who made your event possible, show off photos from the day, and sneak in a final ask to help you hit your target.