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Work through our steps and you'll find that bringing a fundraiser to fruition can be a manageable and satisfying process.

How You Can Organize a Fundraiser

Organizing a successful fundraiser can be a colossal task, especially for an inexperienced planner. You'll need to plan every detail of your event, build a team to help you realize it, figure out your finances, and plan every part of your logistics and advertising. However, if you take the time to work through each of these steps beforehand, and bring on good help, you'll find that bringing a fundraiser to fruition can be a manageable and satisfying process. Though each fundraiser will be different, use the following steps as a general guide for your own.

Planning Your Event

1 Set Objectives.

Your objectives are what you hope to achieve with your fundraiser. This may seem obvious, but your first step should be to answer exactly why you are doing the fundraiser. Are you spreading awareness for a cause? Are you trying to raise money for a certain type of research or project? Is it some combination of objectives? Define in the clearest possible terms exactly what you hope to achieve with your fundraiser.

  • For example, imagine that you want to hold a fundraiser to raise money for cancer research. It's best to identify a specific type of cancer, research facility, or charity that you will donate money to. This can help target your efforts from here on out.
2 Identify your audience.

Decide who will be the focus of your marketing efforts. That is, what group of people are likely to want to donate to your cause? You can define your demographic by age, gender, interests, or anything other criteria you can imagine. The important thing is that you clearly define who this group is. This will allow you to tailor the rest of your planning and organizing to meet their needs.

Your target audience can also be groups, like families, or simply include everyone.

3 Decide on a fundraiser type.

First you need to decide what general category of fundraiser yours will fall into. Are you simply raising money for a cause through soliciting donations? Or will there be an event along with your fundraiser? An event can be anything from a dinner to a concert or race. There are virtually limitless options for what type of fundraiser you can organize.

  • Choosing a creative and different fundraiser will improve the amount you raise. Bake sales and car washes work, but aren't that original. Completely original fundraisers will attract more people.
  • Another fundraiser type to consider is online crowdfunding through a platform like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Campaigns on these websites are relatively easy to set up and can give you an easy way to offer rewards for different donation levels. In addition, sites like Causes and Crowdrise focus specifically on crowdfunding campaigns for non-profits.
  • Your event should be specific to your audience. It may also reflect your own experience as a fundraiser and the cause you are supporting.
  • For example, you could choose to organize a 5k run for your cancer research fundraiser. From here, you could add creative elements like making it a donut run or a paint run.
4 Identify a deadline.

If you are holding a fundraising event, you will have an obvious deadline in the date of the event. However, if you are organizing a fundraising effort online or soliciting donations in another way, you will have to set a deadline. This will motivate your team and donors to get donations in quickly. This will also inform other efforts, like getting rewards to donors (if applicable).

  • Consider creating multiple deadlines that correspond to different steps in the organizational process. This will create a sense of urgency that will help your team get motivated to reach each goal in time.
5 Study other successful fundraisers of a similar type.

Look back at other fundraisers in your area. Think about where they succeeded and what they could have done differently. Try asking around for others' thoughts on this matter. Make a list of what you come up with and use it to improve your own fundraiser design.


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