Having a Fundraiser? Increase Participation with These Tips

Tim Ahern | July 8, 2014

Fundraising is an important part of many organizations’ work, bringing in much-needed money and helping you meet your goals. For schools, it can mean an educational trip to a local historical attraction for students. For churches, it can mean sending members on mission trips overseas, where they’ll help villagers in a remote area. For organizations like the Boy Scouts, these programs may fund essential camping trips.

But a fundraiser is only as effective as its participants. If a program launches and no one steps forward to help out or give money, the program will not only lose money, but it will be a waste of time for everyone involved.

To be the most effective as a fundraising coordinator, it’s important to understand what prompts people to join in. Keeping this in mind, organizers can launch campaigns that bring in dollars and get the entire community excited.

Start Internally

Your organization is your best asset. Any fundraising effort should start with a kickoff meeting, where everyone within your organization is introduced to the program and shown how it will benefit them. For schools and organizations, this means teachers, volunteers, students, and their families should be invited to champion the cause. For a church, a presentation during the Sunday morning service could bring in an array of supporters that build interest throughout the community.

Be Unique

One community could see numerous fundraisers throughout the year. Even within a school system, multiple schools could have fundraisers occurring at the same time. Residents may be bombarded with requests for donations at home, at the office, and at church, leading them to decline to donate or show up for an event due to duplication. By segmenting its audience, an organization can increase its participation. This can be done through choosing a product that answers a need in the community that other fundraisers aren’t providing or through hosting an event that is unlike any other.

Meet a Need

While everyone likes to feel good by giving to others, participation increases when they also get to have fun by doing so. Instead of hosting a standard marathon or expensive banquet, consider having an event that will cater to families throughout the community. Bring in activities to make the event fun for children, since parents are always looking for a great way to entertain children on a long Saturday afternoon. If you’re selling a product to raise money, select something that members of the community would purchase anyway like Christmas wreaths. Make sure it incorporates the “wow” factor as well, which will cause people to tell their friends and neighbors about it.

Invite a Local Celebrity

In a small town, the word “celebrity” can be stretched pretty far. Reach out to a local TV personality or radio disc jockey for an appearance at your event. Many in the community see these professionals as celebrities, and it will provide you something exciting for your event flyers, as well as attract community members interested in having a photo snapped with someone everyone knows.

Fundraisers can be lucrative when done correctly. By leveraging the many tools they have available, organizations can bring money in to support their cause while also being an active part of the community.

Ready to begin your fundraiser? Take a look at our wreath fundraiser product catalog!