Every philanthropic or civic organization must face the reality that there is a need to raise revenues, if they are to effectively conduct the business of their group, as well as have the ability to assure their mission and vital, vibrant vision has the best possibility to succeed and move forward. However, many of the most committed philanthropists, often avoid the money-related aspects and focus on their essential plans, as well as the actual needs, priorities, and concerns, they wish to address. The reality is that since fundraising of some sort is a necessity, those involved in philanthropy (and related causes) must become more effective at raising necessary funds. With that in mind, here are my primer-type, six steps to more effectively do fundraising.
1. Understand, and clearly state your mission: This must be done in an interesting, brief, way, where the interest of others is peaked in 45 seconds (or preferably less). Get to know what others are concerned with, and explain how supporting your group, will address their priorities. Understand that there are many ways to raise revenues, and many types of individuals, and that one’s approach must be custom-directed to the specific niche. Large donors may care about a naming opportunity, but regular ones might be more interested in how their contributions will be used effectively, to address something they truly care about.
2. Show how you address it: Transparently, and in as much detail as others seek, explain how you will address the issue, and do so, in a meaningful way! Those donating money want to feel reassured that they are making a good decision and that their monies are being well spent, towards a good cause.
3. Indicate the benefits. needs: One of the errors made by many well-meaning, involved and concerned individuals, is they automatically assume that others have the same information, are as well-informed, and therefore feel the same way. Those less involved generally want you to explain the benefits of supporting your cause/ group, and what needs are addressed. Avoid the tendency to get bogged down in the minutia of operations, nor to be overly vague, as well.
4. Wisely and judicially expend funds: How well does your organization handle the monies they raise? Whether the group is a membership-oriented one, where dues are a primary source of revenues, or if it is donor, or event-oriented, it is essential to judicially expend funds. In today’s digital world, potential donors have the ability to evaluate the ratios related to how monies are spent, so it is essential to do so in a fiscally responsible, prudent way!