Top 5 fundraising tips
The best ways to kick start your campaign
Despite having all the best intentions, it’s not uncommon to face fundraising obstacles – but don’t let that put you off! Let each hurdle motivate you that much further: excel in the face of adversity and do your charity and sponsors proud! Whether you’re starting your fundraising campaign from scratch or looking for inspiration, let our top 10 fundraising tips guide you to sponsorship success.
To really maximise your campaign – plan, plan, plan! Fundraising is all about selling your project to anyone and everyone who’ll listen. Imagine you’re on Dragon’s Den and your sponsors are the dragons. You’ve a tough pitch ahead, but once you’ve got the ball rolling and secured that initial ‘investment,’ the sponsorships will start flying in. Dig out the pen and paper, and start brainstorming!
- Know your goals
First, be clear on your project and your goals. Encouraging others to sponsor your efforts is easy when you’re well versed in what your charity stands for. Be ready to detail the hard facts: who your charity is, why you’re fundraising for them and what you ultimately hope to achieve. If you don’t believe in what you’re fundraising for, no one will. To start, simply get to know the ins and outs of your fundraising campaign.
- Know your audience
In the planning stages, it’s important to think about who your campaign is targeted at. Don’t focus on specific groups of people; instead, concentrate on creating a narrative that’s accessible and relatable to all. What aspects of your project strike a chord and will persuade people to get involved? Think about language, tone and projecting the right tone of voice.
- Call on your team
If you’re struggling to put you campaign into words, call on the help of friends and family. Having a great support network from the off can be just the motivation you need to push your campaign to its potential.
Set an ambitious sponsorship target
Ask any fundraiser, the physical challenge or organisation isn’t the toughest part, asking for money is. But don’t let that deter you from setting an ambitious target – the sky’s the limit! Here are a few ways you can make it less stressful.
- Be specific
Ambiguity is a no-no when it comes to requesting sponsorships. If you want to persuade the public to part ways with their hard earned cash, you need to be pretty convincing. Being specific helps, for example, explaining that the target you’ve set can ‘buy a dialysis machine’ is more likely to generate interest than a vague description of your campaign ambitions.
- List your sponsors in order
By listing your sponsors in order, with the most generous donation at the top, you set the bar. Potential sponsors tend to be unsure what to donate at first, so let them see what other people have already contributed – it can have a massive influence on their final pay out.
- Break it down
If setting a huge sponsorship total is too daunting, approach it week-by-week. Smaller, more manageable targets can still highlight your amazing progress.
Be aware of tax incentives
If you’re able to/eligible, boost your donations even further by encouraging sponsors to say yes to tax incentives. Tax incentives are available for both corporate (in 77% of counties) and individual donors (66% of countries) across the world – an effective way to increase donations and promote global philanthropy.
An illuminating study made by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) back in December 2014 unveiled the true value of tax incentives on world giving. According to CAF, ‘the percentage of people donating money to charity is 33 percent higher in nations offering tax incentives to individuals than in those that don’t.’
Be aware of tax incentives and make the most of them. It varies country to country; in the UK for instance, there exists a Gift Aid scheme in which registered charities can reclaim tax on a donation made by a UK taxpayer, whereas in France, individuals and corporate donors are offered tax credits.
Check out the ‘Rules To Give By Country Reports and Downloads’ made by Nexus, who outline which of the 193 countries provide tax exemption for nonprofits and what tax incentives are available.
Use social media
We can’t stress the importance of social media enough. It gets the conversation started between you and your sponsors, worldwide. According to a study published by Black Baud “event participants that adopted integrated social media tools increased their fundraising by as much as 40 percent compared to their peers who weren’t using the available online tools.”
In addition to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the likes, create a blog that documents your every move – it brings a face to your campaign, whilst also generating further support.
That’s not to say you should ignore traditional methods completely. All media types offer potential; contact your local newspaper and let them spread the word too.
There are no two ways about it; fundraising is hard. It takes an incredible amount of effort and perseveration and yes, sometimes it will feel like your enthusiasm is falling on deaf ears. But don’t be disheartened! The highs always outshine the lows.
When you catch yourself feeling down about fundraising, picture the end results: how amazing you’ll feel, how impressed your sponsors will be and the difference you’ll make to your chosen charity.
As Nelson Mandela said, “it always seems impossible, until it’s done.” Don’t feel fazed and keep up the good work!