The Book On Fundraising Chapter 7 Do’s & Don’ts
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The Book on Fundraising was created by the team at DonationTo.com. Today we announce The Book on Fundraising available 100% for free, in blog form. As the months progress we will work quickly to make these pages available on our blog - DonationTo.com/blog. Below is Chapter 7 – Do’s & Don’ts - This is a key element to know as you start any type of fundraising!
Do’s & Don’ts
First and foremost, don’t be afraid to ask! We’ve touched on this in the past, but it’s so important we are reminding you again. Fundraisers often feel embarrassed about asking others for money. They feel like they’re bothering people, but most of the time this just is not the case.
The beneficiaries of your cause are relying on you to get out there and communicate the importance of your cause to other people. But even if you’re successful at convincing others of the merit of your cause, many of them still won’t take the initiative to give . . . unless you ask.
It’s your responsibility to make the first move and ask outright for a contribution. On a related note, make sure to highlight the fact that every dollar counts. Many people assume you have to give a lot to make a difference; show them this isn’t the case by sticking to our original recommendation of starting off with a small goal amount.
Rest assured, there’s absolutely no shame in asking for money. But this rule doesn’t just apply to asking for donations; it also covers asking for promotion, volunteers, and basically anything else.
If you want help, don’t just sit back and wait: you have to ask for it.
The next tip to remember is don’t spam people. Email is a great fundraising tool when used properly, but it’s easy to overdo it. If you’re constantly contacting your supporters with solicitations or updates, they will quickly become overwhelmed. This applies to other forms of communication, but email is the most prone to being overused. Keep the frequency of your communication with supporters at a reasonable level.
Finally, don’t get emotional. If you’re passionate about your cause (which any good fundraiser should be), it’s easy to let negative emotions get the best of you. However, getting upset about people saying “no” won’t get you anywhere.
Know that even when you’re doing your best to help your cause, many others simply aren’t in a position to give. If you’re not reaching your goals, don’t beat yourself up. Try to keep everything in perspective and keep pushing on. Stressing over things you can’t control is a waste of energy.
Remember, even if you don’t hit your goals, anything you bring to your cause is better than nothing.
Now, let’s move on to the do’s! Here are a few basic but effective tips for your next fundraiser.
DO take advantage of the free resources available to you on the web. In most cases, fundraisers have little to no budget. This definitely makes your job harder, but it doesn’t make it impossible. With the advent of the Internet, we now have unlimited access to a wide variety of effective information and resources. With blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and email, you can easily launch an effective fundraising campaign with little or no capital.
DO put one foot in front of the other. Commitment is crucial for effective fundraising, but you have to make sure to not get ahead of yourself. An effective fundraiser requires completing a mountain of tasks. If you try to tackle everything all at once, you’re very likely to get overwhelmed and give up. If you start to feel like there is too much to do, find a partner that is willing to help you with day-to-day tasks.
Instead of approaching everything at one time, take a step back, set realistic goals, and outline a plan for achieving those goals. Take your fundraiser one step at a time, and you’ll reach your goals before you know it.
DO give your donors a variety of options for giving. We often focus on collecting donations online, but it’s important to remember that this is just one piece of the puzzle. Many people still prefer to mail contributions, or even pay in person.
Getting people interested in donating is the most difficult task, so don’t let your hard work go to waste by making it difficult for interested donors to contribute. Be sure to offer a variety of options for giving to maximize the amount of donations you receive.
Do focus on micro before macro. In many cases, the old-fashioned way still has its place. Even if you plan on launching a global campaign, the best place to start is often your own community.
Knocking on the doors of local businesses is a great way to gauge responsiveness, test your pitch, and refine your approach. There is a lot to be learned from the immediate feedback of grassroots face-to-face promotion, and local businesses thrive from PR opportunities like supporting your cause.
Succeeding on the local level provides a solid foundation for expanding your campaign.
DO be passionate. Passion attracts passion like a magnet. If people see you’re devoting your time and energy to a cause, they’re naturally more likely to feel compelled to do the same.
There’s no better way to convince others to help than absolutely radiating passion and commitment. You need to live, breathe, and drink your cause, and be ready and willing to discuss it with anyone.
People have a natural ability to see through artificiality. As a result, they tend to recognize and appreciate genuine passion. If you’re not passionate about your work, you might want to consider channeling your effort to a different cause.
If you’re doing all of these things, fundraising success will come in due time.
Looking for additional fundraising tips check out these other links: How to Ask for Help in Fundraising, How to Raise Money Online with the Book On Fundraising, How to Avoid Fundraising Mistakes, How to Receive Online Donations in 6 Tips, How to Write Emails for Fundraising, How to Plan Your Cause to Fundraise Better
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