Homeless youth

Homeless youth
People we don't see.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A new fundraising effort

We recently began a new fundraising effort and in the first month it has been very successful, so I wanted to share some of the strategies with you.

We want to raise $300,000 in six months for a specific project. We want to raise $50,000 per month.

It's important to have a clear goal right from the start of the campaign. It's also important to be able to express how exactly funds raised will be used. We covered these two items before we event started with the planning of the fundraising effort.

Similar to a capital campaign, I believe it's important, regardless of how much money you decide you want to raise, to have several people in mind to help support the campaign. As we were deciding when we would kick off this effort we created lists of who we would make personal asks to and who would be on the list for a direct mail piece. After going over ideas of how to present to major donors, we decided that one third of the revenue would come from major gifts. That would be our goal. That meant that in six months, $200,000 would need to come from all of our other donors and those who are donating for the first time. Every organization will be different in how this breaks down. The important thing is to have the conversations with your team and form a strategy.

We decided to begin on April 1st which as you know is also April Fools Day. It also would be the half-way mark of our fiscal year and give us exactly six months to fundraise.

"No joke - we need to raise $50,000 this month".

You get the idea. On April 1st we rocked it with social media and ensured our direct mail piece landed. We also did an email blast.

Everything we did connected back to the fact that we need to raise $300,000 in the next six months, that we wanted to raise $50,000 each month, and exactly what we were using the money for.

Everything was planned out before we began. We met several times as a team and even brought in some long-term donors. Our strategy was clear. We tried asks out on different people, including ones who knew very little about our organization or our mission.

It's working.

I'd like to add that this is one experience. Every non-profit has their own stories and strategies around fundraising campaigns and efforts. This is just ours.

I hope this benefits some of you!

Thanks for reading!