If you’re new to charity work, find yourself in need, or want to help a group or individual become fully funded, you’re probably thinking about the effectiveness of fundraisers. You may also wonder what exactly a fundraiser entails, what it helps, and how the heck you pull one off.
Here are a few quick thoughts on fundraisers, and companies that help people run them.
What is a Fundraiser?
Simply put, a fundraiser is an event, action, or campaign that is used to help a non-profit, not-for-profit, individual or group of individuals in need.
Fundraisers, typically, are events like a gala, banquet, or school bazaar, or an online campaign that asks for donations from a broad spectrum of readers. Each fundraiser is designed to reach a general population, or specific group of potential donors.
The need of a group is presented by the fundraiser, including specific financial needs and intentions, and what the raised money will fund. Some fundraisers give goal amounts and state what each increment will pay for, leading up to the ultimate goal.
There are a variety of fundraisers that you can conduct, including:
- Silent Auctions
- Online Auctions
- Flea Markets
- Service Based Events — like car washes
- Entertainment Events
- Product Sales
- Online Fundraising Campaigns
- Email Campaigns
- Direct Mail
- Telethons and Telemarketing
Of course, all of these different types of fundraisers can be organized by an individual, a group of individuals, or a company hired by a group to assist them.
Best Fundraiser Companies
To make things a little easier as you embark on your own fundraiser, we’ve compiled lists of the best fundraiser companies. These each have high success rates for groups or individuals.
Online Fundraising Campaign Sites or Companies
Each of these sites or companies has a high success rating, with thousands, or even millions, of groups and individuals using them annually to achieve varied fundraising goals. None promise any guaranteed amount of funds, but depending on how you use them, you could find great success.
- Go Fund Me
- You Caring
- Go Get Funding
- Network for Good
- First Giving
- Donors Choose
- Just Give
- Virgin Money Giving
- Given Gain
We highly recommend reading up on each site and any tips that they offer for running a successful campaign.
Physical/Offline Fundraiser Companies
Of course, if you think a gala or ball will more appropriately reach your target donors, you may wish to engage the services of a physical fundraiser professional or company. These companies will help with everything from planning your fundraiser to running the actual event.
Typically, for a large affair, you will hire an event planner and form a committee, as well as use fundraising software to track donations and taxes, budget items, et cetera.
Most of the common fundraising companies are more geared towards small fundraisers, like sales fundraisers, with popcorn or candles. Some of the most well-known national companies include:
- Great American Opportunities
- Effective Fundraising Solutions
How to Set up a Fundraiser
The precise steps will vary from company to company, but the basic principles involve:
1. Determine your Fundraising Goal
Before you can succeed at fundraising, you need to understand exactly what you’re raising. Your donors won’t know what to give, or how to give, without a strong definition of your goal.
Try using S.M.A.R.T. goal setting.
2. Determine the Type of Fundraiser You’ll Run
After you know what you’re raising, you’ll need to determine the type of fundraiser to run. Classy fundraisers should be used to attract larger donations, while smaller, more heavily volunteer based fundraisers, like selling chocolate bars, may be more appropriate for a low-budget fundraiser for a smaller goal.
3. Find the Right Company
Use simple internet searches, or talk to friends who’ve run their own fundraisers. There’s a host of information out there on sites around the world. Just be sure to verify their validity through a scam adviser site or group.
4. Follow Instructions of Company or Site
Once you’ve established your goals and found your company, just follow the instructions given by the company. They’ve been doing this a while and know how to succeed in fundraising.
5. Run the Campaign
From here, it’s pretty straight forward. You run the campaign, whether that’s an online donation project, like a Facebook fundraiser, or a physical event like a gala.
Let the Fundraising Begin
Now that you know the basic process of starting a fundraiser, be sure to check into the various sites and fundraising companies available. Remember your target donor audience, the volunteer base and resources you have available, and keep the ultimate goal in mind as you press forward.
Your fundraiser will take a ton of work, and probably many late nights of planning, but your cause is worth it.