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5 Steps to Run Your Fundraiser like a Business

It doesn’t matter if you are managing a fundraiser or a business; you have to do it seriously, like a professional, if you want to have good results. Unfortunately, not many people know how to deal with fundraising and how to organize it, so don’t make the mistake to jump straight into it. You need to think seriously about fundraising ideas to find the best option for your group to earn money.

If you feel ready to start a fundraising campaign, make sure you understand you have to run it like a business, and respect a few simple steps.

Here are the five steps that will help you enjoy a successful fundraiser:

    1. Do some research

It is important to be passionate and to believe in your fundraising idea, but without some pre-fundraising research, you simply cannot know whether your event or product will be profitable or not. Every business needs to get informed before investing money, and the same goes for the fundraising process. Make sure the program you choose is the right fit for your area, for example, ensure that your community is familiar with the product – imagine trying to sell something that nobody knows about on whim!

    2. Find something that people need

In order to be successful, whether we’re talking about a business or a fundraising campaign, it is important to explore what people need or want. A basic rule of business is identifying a market’s needs and wants while marketing should satisfy them. In order to better understand your “market”, you should first identify who you’ll be selling to: will it be high school classmates? Or perhaps you’re selling to adults from your neighborhood? Or maybe you’re selling to your parents’ coworkers? Once you know who you’ll be targeting for your fundraiser, you can then assess what this demographic would most be interested in. Teenagers may prefer a product that is low-cost and - let’s face it – sweet! A good option for a school fundraiser may be lollipops or pretzel rods, as they’re inexpensive and they’re sure to give your supporters a quick sugar fix. If you’re targeting adults, you may want to consider that they likely do all the spending for the household hence may be looking for a bargain. Appeal to them with a scratchcard fundraiser or coupon booklet – they’re sure to enjoy the savings they get out of them!

    3. Develop a strategy

As every business has a plan, you need to have your own strategy for your fundraising campaign. It will be much simpler than a business plan, but it will help you understand how to raise the money, and how much of it you have the potential to raise. Does your fundraiser have any upfront costs? How will you pay for them if so? Once you’ve got your product, where will you sell and when? These are questions you and your team need to sit down and decide on before getting out there.

    4. Respect the legal requirements

There are many rules for non-profit organizations regarding fundraising campaigns, so make sure you read them before proceeding. 39 states and the District of Columbia have legal rules that require a nonprofit fundraiser and professional fundraising organizations to register with the state prior to the nonprofit fundraiser taking place. You can find them on specialized websites such as http://www.lawforchange.org/lfc/State_Fundraising.asp. While you may be excited to fundraise, you should always ensure that you’re not breaking the law!

    5. Save all records and receipts (Especially for the nonprofits!)

You know that saying not to throw anything out? It definitely applies here! Save all your paperwork until the event is well over: it will help auditors easily access and find declarations and dealings of your organization. You need to keep declarations and all records of dealings for at least 6 years in case of an audit. These records should give a clear link between the donations, donor and declaration.

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If you have more questions about how to make your fundraising ideas happen, visit www.fundraising.com or call one of our super-nice consultants at 1.866.826.0944.



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