Homeless youth

Homeless youth
People we don't see.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Can you fundraise for free?

This is my first official blog and I am stoked to be part of this world. Of course I'm not sure if anyone will even read this, yet will be thrilled if someone does, and actually is able to raise money for their passion, without having to spend money.

I work as the Director of Development for a small HIV/AIDS agency in Boulder, CO. Our budget is under $1 million. I am always chatting with my staff about ways we can fundraise with little or no cost. Many will read this and immediately think "well, I have wanted to do the same thing with no luck". My experience is one that includes raising money without having to spend money. Not always. Of course if you do direct mail that will cost you. If you have an annual gala event, you will most likely spend money.

In the bigger picture of spending I began looking at all agency expenditures that related to development. If you are like me and come from grassroots fundraising, please know that fund-raising and development are one in the same. I don't say this to sound pious or even arrogant, but say it as to this day I am asked what I develop when I tell people that I am the Director of Development.

So here we go!

Working for a small non-profit I am always trying to increase our donor list and decrease the amount of lapsed donors. A lapsed donor is one that gave a couple of times or more, yet in the last year or so has not given. Different agencies probably have different amounts of time that put a donor in the lapsed category. For me, if a donor gave up until 2008 and did not give in 2009, they are a lapsed donor.

A great idea to make a little money, add donors, and work at decreasing lapsed donors is to have a Dining Out Night. Most likely you have been to one of these: a non-profit you support invites you to dine at a local restaurant and a portion of your meal ticket goes directly to the non-profit.

Can I really do this for free?

Tune in next time!

Thank you so much for reading this. I look forward to getting to know many new people as I commence my journey into the world of blogging.