Tips for Organizing Your Fundraiser
1- Have a written project plan
Run your fundraiser like a small business. Have a written project plan that spells out all roles and responsibilities.
Slot motivated individuals into those roles and equip them with everything they need to do a great job.
2- Use your website
If you don't have one, get one. Use it to communicate goals, thank your sponsors, highlight periodic offerings, recognize successes, honor individual contributors, etc. Promote your web site on all your materials.
3- Review previous records
See what's been successful before. Look for ways to improve upon the past.
What items sold best? Get more of them.
Has your gift-wrap sale lost its luster with declining revenues?
Jazz it up with newer offerings.
4- Set a specific timeline
Make sure that your start date and end date are both firm.
The best selling period is 17 days, including 3 weekends.
Any longer and the drive runs out of gas; any shorter and you limit your prospects.
Avoid any scheduling conflicts.
Plan ahead to avoid overlapping other important community events, holidays, etc.
5- Actively recruit volunteers
Get more and better volunteers by going after them. Don't wait for them to come to you.
Use a calling tree to root out prospects.
Ask for dads, older siblings, and grandparents to get involved.
Advertise for specific help via newsletters and word of mouth.
6- Identify needs and define roles
Do it ahead of time and match your group's needs to each volunteer's skills and availability by including it in each position's description.
7- Use different people
Double up, particularly for key positions.
Fill organizational roles well ahead of time with different people than on the last fundraiser, unless there is a good reason not to switch.
8- Start early to broaden participation
Put the word out early and often about what volunteers you need.
Get plenty of them so no one feels overworked.
Offer a volunteer sign-up sheet for different events at every meeting.
9- Have a master sergeant
Use a strong communicator to help group and assign volunteers.
Some people are a natural for this key role.
10- Set small group goals
Break overall goal down into what's needed from each sub-group.
Set up each unit with their own goal and translate that into what's in it for them.
Reward each sub-group based on their own success. That will reinforce the correlation between funds raised and their own efforts.
About the Author: Kimberly Reynolds writes about fundraising and how-to advice for organizing your fundraiser on her website FundraiserHelp.com. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter at http://www.fundraiserhelp.com