Better Fundraising for Non-Profits

For many non-profits, fundraising represents the only income they have, it’s essentially their livelihood. And for others, fundraising provides them with the additional income they need to expand services and provide more. Regardless of the non-profit’s situation, one thing remains clear; fundraising plays a big role in keeping these kinds or organizations functioning, and giving back to others, communities, and the world as a whole.

Given the importance of fundraising in the non-profit sector, there are quite a few concepts that have been identified as good practice. When planning fundraising efforts, keep these things in mind.

People give to people.

It is no secret that people are more likely to give to other people, rather than indirectly to a cause. This means that the non-profit, especially the management and directors, need to make a very conscious effort to make relationships with the community and entities they seek funds from. If people recognize an individual for working on behalf of the organization, they may be more likely to give to that person. A great example of this is the director of a women’s shelter. If she is a great director, she is known by the community, local government, and local businesses as an individual who works on behalf of women and children in need. People are more likely to give to people they trust working on behalf of agencies or causes they care about.

Always be gracious and thankful.

No matter the size of the donation, non-profits should always be gracious and thankful. A $1 donation is just as important as a $1,000 donation.  Firstly, every non-profit should be honored that an individual is donating their hard earned money to support their agency. Even $1 is money that that individual doesn’t HAVE to donate, or that could be donated else where. Secondly, a donor is not typically going to drop $1,000 on their first donation. They’re far more likely to donate a small amount, but as they see their dollars at work, may increase this amount.

People want to be recognized when they help. A simple thank you note or even a verbal “thank you so much, this will really help out ____”, will go a long way. The donor feels good about giving their hard earned money to your cause, and they’re likely to do it again.

Keep in touch.

Non-profits should keep records of every individual or household that attends/participates in fundraisers, or who donates in any way. This provides the agency with the opportunity to reach out to these individuals to show them exactly how their funds are being put to work. It is also a great resource to send a holiday card, a year-end thank you note, or invitation to another fundraiser. Keeping in touch with your previous donors keeps your cause and agency at the forefront of their mind. Then, maybe if they’re feeling generous they’ll remember that nice Christmas card you sent them!

Fundraisers

There are a lot of different options for fundraising within the nonprofit sector. From fundraising events to the solicitation of individual donors and businesses, there are a variety of ways to connect with the community and gain financial support.

Community fundraising events are a great way to connect with individual donors, businesses, and important people within the community. Events can be expensive, and the event itself may not bring in large dividends. The importance of a fundraising event is building a relationship with those who attend, talking to them and telling them about what your agency does and how impactful it is in the community. The establishment of these relationships can set up a non-profit for years of giving in the future. Some fundraising event ideas include; high end dinner and dancing, casino night, or night at the races. The combination of food and fun provides a nice night out, with the opportunity to talk and get to know the attendees.

Capital campaigns are fundraising efforts that are targeted towards the achievement of a specific project or goal. These types of projects might include a new building or the addition of new services. Capital campaigns may involve a variety of fundraising efforts. The sale of promotional products like wrist bands, candy, or even candles are all methods that have been used for non-profit capital campaigns. Other efforts include working with the community; for example, collaborating with a local restaurant who agrees to donate a percentage of totals from that evening towards to agency.

Non-profits should make use of the technology available to them. A donation platform should be available on the agency’s website. There should be multiple calls-to-action, “Donate here”, “give today”, “help here”, etc. Using technology makes the giving process for your donors simple, and simple is good!

Wrap up.

Fundraising for non-profits represents a really important source of income. This income source starts with a relationship, and progresses with the kind, appreciative and respectful treatment of all donors. Regardless of the fundraising route, the most important thing non-profits can do is connect with their donors and engage them in their cause.

Lauren Hill Will No Longer Be a Statistic

Lauren Hill was a normal teenager when her life was turned upside down over a year ago. Diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, DIPG, Lauren, at the ripe age of 18, was given the most terrifying news imaginable. She had an inoperable brain stem tumor that would eventually take her life.

You may have seen Lauren’s story on the news or on Facebook, but the reality of her situation can hardly be realized through any of these outlets. Lauren and her family are coping with the most difficult challenge they will ever face in their lives, and while doing this they are selflessly giving up time and energy in an effort to give a name and a face to childhood brain cancer.

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Lauren is a leader and provides an example to everyone encountering a challenge. Passionate about basketball, Lauren continued to play even through her radiation and chemo treatments and the growing weakness on the left side of her body. On November 4, 2014 Lauren’s dream came true as she was able to play college basketball for the very first time, even scoring 4 points (left handed!) from the floor; all of this just two months after her doctors had given her only a few months to live. Lauren’s game gained national attention, even being noticed by LeBron James, who coined her as an inspiration. Lauren is absolutely an inspiration, and is even more than that to other victims of childhood cancer. She represents hope for the future.

Lauren has willingly broadcasted her battle to raise awareness of this cancer and to raise money to fund the research for its cure. The Cure Starts Now Foundation was founded by the parent of a child lost to pediatric brain cancer. Lauren has partnered with this foundation in an effort to raise more money than the organization has ever seen. Just last week, Lauren reached her goal of raising $1 million dollars to benefit The Cure Starts Now Foundation. She continues to raise money for the foundation by operating the Layup4Lauren challenge.

Every day in the United States, 9 children are diagnosed with brain cancer. Cancer is the number one disease killer of children and 1 child out of 5 diagnosed with cancer dies.

Lauren repeatedly states that she has committed herself to this cause so that she, and other children diagnosed with brain cancer will no longer be a statistic. Lauren Hill is courageous, compassionate, and self-less…she is far more than a statistic.

Donate to help children like Lauren, to help find a cure for this heart-wrenching illness.