Fundraise: How to Fundraise Effectively

When it comes to fundraising, it's important to set realistic goals and maintain a positive attitude. Here are some tips on how to make your fundraiser a success.

Start early!

The sooner you begin your fundraising efforts, the more likely you are to reach your goal. Starting early gives you time to try several methods and work at fundraising gradually without the stress of approaching deadlines.

Make your donation requests personal

People are much more likely to support you if you let them know why you want their support. Whenever you ask for donations, be sure to tell people why joining the Buds to Blossoms program is important to you. You should also personalize your fundraising webpage so it covers at least some of the following points:

  • why you want to participate in the volunteer program
  • what you expect to get out of participating in the program
  • what you believe the children will get out of your joining the program
  • what kind of updates you plan to provide your supporters during or after the program (such as Facebook, Twitter or blog postings; letters; or in-person presentations)

Kick-start your fundraiser

As soon as your fundraising webpage is set up, make the first donation. Ask your immediate family members to be among the first to donate as well. Having these first few donations listed on your page lets others know your fundraiser's active and encourages them to contribute.

Let everyone know

Make your donation requests as widely as possible, and you'll be surprised who responds and how much they give. See Who to Ask for Support for inspiration.

Try several fundraising methods

Spend some time deciding what you intend to do to have a successful fundraiser. You'll probably need to try at least a few ways of seeking support from several different groups of prospective donors. This could include holding fundraising events, sending donation request emails to your contacts, and reaching out to local businesses for sponsorships. Check out our Fundraising Ideas for more tips on how to develop diverse streams of funding.

Frequently call attention to your fundraiser

Make brief but regular Facebook or Twitter posts about how your fundraiser is progressing toward your goal and what you've been doing to prepare for the program. In every post, ask for donations and include your fundraising webpage link. You might also want to include one of the photos from past Buds to Blossoms programs that touches you.

Once the volunteer program has begun, continue to provide your supporters with Facebook, Twitter, blog, mail or email updates. When you share your experiences, your supporters feel the impact of their help. You give them a chance to take this incredible journey with you and have their own heart-opening experience of service. Your updates may inspire them to donate again during or after the program.

Publicize your fundraising webpage

Your webpage offers your supporters a very convenient way to donate quickly, so display the link to your page wherever you can, including on your fliers, posters, emails, invitations, cards, social media posts and newsletter and newspaper articles. Edit your personal and business email signatures to include your fundraising webpage link so your contacts are reminded about your fundraiser every time they receive an email from you.

Seek support at your workplace

Use the Donation Matching Request Template to ask your employer to match the funds other employees donate. Matching funds double the amount you raise! Also ask your coworkers to donate and help get the word out about your fundraiser. And after providing services to your customers, ask them to donate to your fundraiser instead of tipping you.

Follow up on pledges

Usually people who say they'll donate to your fundraiser genuinely intend to do it. If they don't donate promptly, they may have just forgotten, or they may be waiting for you to ask again when it's a good time. Using the Pledge Tracker, keep track of who's promised to support you. Then let them know you remember their offers, and give them opportunities to follow through.

Finish strong

When you're within sight of your goal but not quite there, people who've already invested in your success by donating once will be even more eager to see you cross the finish line. If you call attention to how far you've come, let people know you need their help now more than ever to reach your goal, and remind them why your fundraiser is important, some of your supporters will donate a second or even a third time, and new donors will come out of the woodwork.

Thank donors promptly

Remember to thank all your donors as soon as possible after they contribute. You can use our Thank You Certificates for this purpose. Also, after the program ends, send them thank you letters (or emails, if you can't send letters) to let them know what the program has meant to you and how important their support has been. Showing your appreciation makes it likely you'll be able to count on your supporters again the next time you need help.

Have any questions? If you'd like advice on how to get started or need help along the way, contact us anytime.