There's an undeniable truth to the cliché: "Money makes the world go around." Children and teenagers learn the value of money when they splurge on a special toy or gadget on their own for the first time. Exchanging money becomes such a commonplace practice by adulthood that most don't need to reconsider what they spend or save. For passionate and committed individuals looking to launch a fundraiser, raising money isn't easy. The act of asking others for financial support shifts into a detail-oriented venture that must be examined from a variety of angles. When someone is inspired to raise funds for a significant cause, questions spring up about how to handle a fundraiser. This guide reviews the process of fundraising by discussing the purposes of a fundraiser, choosing a cause, and basics steps on how to start.
Purposes of Fundraisers
From animal shelters requesting supplies to teenagers in a corner parking lot washing cars, everyone has encountered a fundraiser in one form or another. The purpose of managing a fundraiser is to receive financial or material support in an effort to aid a specific cause or a group of individuals. Fundraisers are launched to offer relief to cancer or natural disaster survivors, provide opportunities for young individuals, or as part of a philanthropic endeavor to a successful business. Churches, sports teams, celebrities, animal shelters, charities, academic groups, clubs, non-profits, and so much more use fundraisers to host events, attend conferences or provide a personalized service. The sky's the limit as to who or what organizations receive support from.
Choosing a Cause for a Fundraiser
The first step in fundraising is choosing what organization or who the cause will give aid to. Answering this will articulate what the fundraiser aims to collect, how the money or goods will be spent or donated, and the key demographic of donors and sponsors. Selecting a specific cause defines the purpose of the fundraiser from addressing too many concepts at once. There are several ideas to ruminate when selecting the type of fundraiser that best serves its leader's needs:
- Inspired by personal events or business-driven? Meaningful experiences and inspiration behind the fundraiser influence a substantial connection as to how the fundraiser will be operated.
- Is it for a local or global cause? Deciding if the fundraiser will support a local community or a global organization can determine the potential impact that will need to be achieved.
- Short-term or long-term? Some causes need support immediately and rely on one-time donors, while others use business quarters to launch multiple campaigns.
How to Start a Fundraiser
With enough dedication and passion, anyone can start a fundraiser. Fundraisers are not only financially responsible for creating change through their cause but also establishing trust with their partners, sponsors, and donors.Here are important steps to keep in mind during the launch:
- Specify the message - Every creator has a passionate reason for why they established their fundraiser. A clear message prioritizes what the fundraiser wants to achieve from the inside out.
- Create a business and fundraiser plan - Both will help set realistic expectations as well as stay organized with important details such as contacts, appointments or meetings, and expenses.
- Define the methods of fundraising - From social media and online advertising to print media and prize giveaways, it's beneficial to focus on specific areas that will help the fundraiser avoid spreading itself too thin.
- Establish a team - Fundraising takes teamwork, so look into partnering with individuals who will be a marketer, a treasurer, and collectors or volunteers.
- Plan for specific stages - After choosing a cause and laying the groundwork, research the various phases fundraisers rely on to grow including setting goals, marketing, execution, and distribution.
Fundraising is a worthy calling to those who want to transform their communities and make the world a better place. Even though initiating a fundraiser is an elaborate process, those who prepare themselves will attain the success they are ultimately striving for.