Nonprofit fundraising can take on all shapes and sizes. Whether your organization opts for a donation appeal letter, in-kind contributions, silent auctions or raffles, or event sponsorship, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help in launching a successful fundraising campaign.
For the last three years, I have helped Falls Township’s Touch a Truck event committee not only organize the annual community event, but also brainstorm and execute sponsorship initiatives to benefit various nonprofit organizations, most notably The Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation. Touch a Truck event sponsorships generated $20,200 for the Foundation in 2022 alone and more than $50,000 over the last three years. The event continues to draw interest from a pool of returning supporters, as well as new businesses interested in getting involved. The common thread each year is that organizers register new sponsors literally until the day of the event. It’s a good problem to have.
So, how can you grow a rabid interest in your organization’s fundraising efforts? I have included a few tips to help you kick your fundraising drive into high gear.
- Define a Goal
While raising the most money as possible may be your ultimate goal, outlining your objective for the given campaign will help businesses determine if your cause is a good fit. Once you set your goal, chunking it down into smaller actionable steps makes it easier for would-be sponsors to see how they can make a difference. For example, if your group is raising funds to provide a week of overnight camping for disadvantaged youth, share how many kids could benefit from their donation in real numbers: “For as little as $500 we can send two children to summer camp.”
- Know Your Audience
Which businesses or organizations align most closely with your nonprofit’s mission or goal? Which industries are most likely to refer or use your organization’s products or services?
If you’re raising funds for a library, groups that promote literacy and education may be most likely to offer support. Get to know folks from these companies or groups. Identify reciprocal promotion efforts or opportunities to work together in addition to your fundraising.
- Speak their Language
Businesses – and the people behind them – donate to charitable causes because the nonprofit or its initiatives resonates with them. In tandem with knowing your audience, in your outreach it’s important to drive home why they should give to your charity. Remember, businesses are constantly being asked to give. Be sure to share why your cause stands out.
- Make it Personal
While donors give out of kindness, recognition goes a long way in showing gratitude. Besides signing a check, what’s in it for your prospective supporter? Think about what give backs would be most beneficial for the types of sponsors you are seeking. While some organizations include contributors’ names on banners to thank them during events, others may offer a company rep a speaking engagement in front of their ideal customer base. Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines to find the most worthwhile way to give your donor something in return.
- Thank them
Everyone likes to be thanked. Your donors are no different. Be sure to thank them for getting behind your cause. Did their funding assist you in reaching a milestone? Tell them. Incorporate anecdotes or real-world facts and figures to illustrate the impact their support made. If their contribution led you to break a fundraising record, let them know how thankful you are.
Still unsure how to get your nonprofit fundraising off the ground? Katalinas Communications can help! Email us or call Theresa at 215-519-8833 for a no-cost consultation.