Kicking off a fundraising campaign can seem like a very daunting task. Where do you begin? What is your first step? Your to-do list could be a mile long and seem overwhelming. Staying organized and starting off with a few key items will set you and your fundraising committee up for success so you can hit your goals. Here are 6 key action items to set up any fundraising campaign.
1. Form a Committee
One or two people cannot do all of the work so forming a committee of five to 10 people who are passionate about the project, you are proposing, will help take the entire burden of your fundraising plan off your shoulders. Ask your committee members what they like to do and assign responsibilities accordingly. Also, establish a regular cadence for the committee to meet, come up with an agenda and make sure next steps and action items are being accomplished. Of the committee be sure to establish who the main decision maker is.
2. Set a Fundraising Goal and Timeline
Knowing how much money needs to be raised gives your committee a goal and gives your donors a baseline that will help them understand how much in their donations are needed to help bring your project to life. A goal will help also you and your team understand how much fundraising efforts need to be accomplished. Establishing a timeline will help you map out how much work and networking needs to be completed each week or month to stay on track to meet your goals.
3. Formulate a Strategy and Communication Plan
This is the most crucial step to establishing a fundraising campaign. Formulating a plan will ensure your campaign is moving forward, your committee understand their roles and responsibilities, your meeting your goals, and, most importantly, will meet the final fundraising goal. Your plan should consist of:
- When and who is reaching out to key donors
- Events that will raise funds, social media campaign to raise awareness, events committee members should attend,
- Speaking engagements where a committee member could conduct a presentation,
- What to do if the campaign looses momentum.
Your plan should also include creating collateral, a campaign name, website, brochure, donor form, and logo.
4. Create a List of Key Donors to Target
Donations need to come from somewhere. Creating a list of key donors to target will help you understand who you know, who don’t know and who you need to get to know. You can also use your list to keep you on track and organized with your communication strategy. Set a goal to reach out to 5 people per day to keep momentum going. According to raise-funds.com, a general rule of thumb is to plan on raising at least one-third of the goal from 10-15 donors, a second third from an additional 75-100 donors and the final third from the rest.
5. Come up with Sponsorship Opportunities
Sponsorship opportunities are how you will get your on-the-fence donors to give money. They will want to see their name or company logo somewhere on the proposed project. The sponsorships should also range in price points from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, , to give your donors options – depending on how much you need to raise. Remember, no donation is too small or too big. You will also likely have some donors who will want to negotiate with you so leave some wiggle room.
6. Develop Case of Support
A case of support for your fundraising campaign will become a key tool for your committee to use in developing materials and for when members are reaching out to potential donors. Your case should include a brief history, your vision, mission, the need for the campaign and your fundraising goal all outlined in simple talking points.
Having an organized and well thought out plan to execute your fundraising campaign will set you up for immediate success. To talk through any roadblocks you may be having or wondering where to start, reach out to our Education Expert, Alex Mielke, by email or give call and she would love to connect: Alex.Mielke@jpcullen.com, 608-563-5412.