Tag Archives: Fundraising

More Fundraising Ideas

  • Paper calendars are still hanging on people’s walls. Determine what you think would sell in your market – only get a limited number of calendars printed – take orders now and deliver in December
  • Offer a training on something and collect money from people for attending. Usually, there’s a professional out there willing to train in return for a small fee and the opportunity to sell something during the training
  • Canvas shopping bags work well when you partner with a shopping district. Woodland Park Main Street has cornered the market on this idea in their small town. They include coupons in the bag from participating businesses and then they sell the bags at other events for $10 – $15, woodlandparkmainstreet.org
  • Write a book about the history of your organization – or another popular subject. Self-publish and sell the book. This also works well with cookbooks
  • Find a way to share your mission by including others. The Mountain Top Cycling Club in Teller County has a “Bike the Night” to bring families out for a bicycle ride. People pay for the opportunity to participate, they get a glow in the dark t-shirt, and have a pizza party after the ride – mountaintopcyclingclub.com
  • Host a festive gathering for families. The Made for More project has a colorful pumpkin festival coming up. This is when the community comes together to celebrate the harvest of pumpkins – madeformoreproject.org

Think of your fundraisers as a way to market your organization. Sometimes, a fundraiser takes time to catch on. The first time you do it may not be as exciting because the results were not what you expected but if you keep a positive attitude, plan for the next time, and learn as you go – things always get better.

Training Others to Advance your Mission

First of all – determine your mission. This is usually the top priority of your role with an organization. Let’s just say it’s to raise money since SOAR is all about lifting people up to help them be successful with fundraising.

“Everything is better when shared.” Have you heard that saying? Someone to help you is all that means in this context. A person, or two, or five, or ten to help you spread the word about your organization and RAISE MONEY! It’s easy when you do three things…

  • Who are you looking for? Determine this. What is the role you hope to attain in order to achieve your mission?
  • What kind of acquisition tools are available? Determine this. How can you implement these tools while adding additional tools to make your program special?
  • Bringing a person on board to fulfill your mission includes retaining them. What perks do you offer? Training is a key part having a person feel comfortable in their role. Regular conversation is another.

Training happens monthly when you bring your team together for a meeting. WARNING!!! Meetings are one hour and an agenda, which is done by the facilitator, is followed. Everyone has an opportunity to see the agenda ahead of time and plug in new items as necessary. The facilitator determines how much time each section of the agenda permits. Starting on time and ending on time are key. If there’s additional items on the agenda and it’s time to end the meeting the facilitator classifies the remaining items (can they be discussed via email or can they be summed it up in five minutes…is so, ask permission to go the extra five minutes).

Training is ongoing and it’s helpful to provide a “new hire” packet, so to speak. This packet includes all of the information a person needs to know in writing. It shares the time commitment a person has signed up for and outlines their participation.

Training at meetings are universal and 1:1 meetings are personal. Making sure to cover both is a way to keep people in the know and on a broader scope when need be. The broader scope takes over when you’re wanting someone to cover another person’s role in their absence. It’s easier to do when everyone on your team knows what’s going on behind the scenes.

In summary – share your mission with people who are able to help you expand your market. In the end, market share is fundraising.

Fundraising Grows when you SOAR in a V-formation

Volunteer commitment grows when a volunteer feels they are an important part of a successful program. SOAR works with nonprofits to develop the V-formation of fundraising. The giving back scenario matches the same practice of birds flying in a flock.

Nonprofits save money while building fundraising momentum with SOAR because there are credits available for the services they already have in place. Check your credits – click here

Nonprofits grow fundraising they they work on the “contributor” status of a volunteer. A contributor is someone who gets involved in attending, planning, and coordinating activities. SOAR has developed doable (easy) project plans for anyone to implement to raise more money than they have before. The V-formation is one reference. Birds work together to get from a place of lower resources to a place of higher resources quickly and easily. The principle also applies to people. Giving back provides momentum BUT how you give back makes a difference. It’s all in how you SOAR: Share your message; Offer opportunities for involvement; Accept how people participate; Respect and appreciate others

#SOARwithNetworkFundraising allows #fundraising to become the central focus in everyday activites WITHOUT it being the only thing you talk or think about!

Do You SOAR? Time to do a SELFIE and see!

Time for a self check to see if you SOAR. Do you…

S – share your message

O – offer opportunities for people to be involved in your mission

A – accept the way people participate

R – respect and appreciate everyone involved

SURE – I bet you already SOAR. The depth of how often and how much you SOAR is the determining factor when improving your current status.

SOAR in the airstream – 33,000 feet

SOAR at Ground level

To SOAR you have to begin at the ground level before you can take flight. SOAR with Network Fundraising is a book that brings networking into the program to grow market share and raise money. The ground level is based on getting help to fulfill your mission. There’s a way to engage volunteers and build your network.

Establish your fundraising team and begin to host monthly meetings. Determine how you’re going to raise money and what kind of resources you already have and what you’ll need. It is important to include your fundraising team in decision-making and let them take roles.

Elevation to the airstream happens when the team you have is able to fly on their own. This is when you are able to relax, watch, mentor, and make important decisions while your team is motivated to create success for your organization’s mission.

getting into the Airstream

There are ways to get to the airstream rapidly. SOAR at ground level is one way. The reference of birds flying in a v-formation to get from one place to another efficiently is an example. Birds fly in a V because the leader creates an updraft and following behind is easier. Gayle Gross of SOAR with Network Fundraising trains you on leading your team toward successful fundraising. SHE creates the updraft for you and in the end, you create the same kind of updraft for your team. Organizations who SOAR migrate to the place where their organization benefits most. It’s the place of higher resources and lesser resistance.

Do you already have a fundraising program? Add the credits you’ve already earned because of the things you already do in your program – click here!

Nonprofits – Beat the Odds of Fundraising by Being Cooperative

Beat the odds. Fundraising can be difficult, especially in a small community or micro community within a large city. Those raising money as well as those who contribute often view fundraisers as an unpleasant task. How do you make it easier? You already know a person will say yes before you ask for something.

Getting the YES takes time and energy. Many times, in the small community (micro-communities too), there tends to be a fear of losing. This ultimately fractures relationships and makes fundraising a competition. It takes a powerful organization already in the “circle” to say, “We won’t be part of an alliance if we’re not ALL going to be cooperative and work alongside each other.”

24 nonprofits have come together in Teller County Colorado to form the Nonprofit Cooperative. This is an example of how working together benefits all. They are sharing resources and training information. There’s organizations collaborating on events and it is more about helping each other to be successful than it is to be in competition.

To learn more about doing this in your community, send an email to iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com/ Be the organization to bring it all together. Watch success grow as Giving Back becomes reality.

Engage business partners when fundraising to get the best results

Build fundraising into the framework of engagement for local businesses.

  • Meetings and activities for SOAR’s Co-Op happen within brick and mortar business locations to promote developing partnerships and potential sales/service
  • In-kind donation opportunities by a business help to offset the frequent “ask” for donations, which is a common complaint contributing to donor fatigue

Use it as a platform to develop a model for giving back

  • SOAR’s Co-Op increases communication, which promotes being on the same page as well as resolving conflicts
  • The Co-Op becomes a central donation/distribution hub when the right parameters are in place. This relieves businesses from constantly being asked and potentially feeling that if they do not comply they will lose business
  • Communities thrive when people give back in meaningful ways. Meaningful depends on knowing each other’s likes and dislikes and caring enough to always make it a positive experience.

Offer the program as a marketing opportunity

  • Trainings and networking events are built into the program, which promote the development of professional relationships
  • People have an opportunity to “be the trainer” and at the same time promote their business. This is when getting to know the business owner or who they have working in their shop truly makes a difference. Someone operating a cash register may have previous experience in event planning. They can be the experts in the field when it comes to training nonprofits on the topic at Co-Op meetings. It’s shining the spotlight on talents and creating goodwill at the same time

Added Bonus!

  • The fee to participate in the Nonprofit Cooperative is adjustable. The total left over at the end of the year is equal to a fundraiser.

The participation fee does not raise a lot of money although there are ways to expand upon the model to make fundraising more affective. For example:

  • Events have sponsors
  • Activities and increased sales at Main Street business locations develop into positive stories. Use these when writing grant requests

SOAR works with organizations to implement the Nonprofit Cooperative

  • SOAR shares the message of how the Co-Op benefits an organization’s mission
  • An organization chooses to develop a Nonprofit Cooperative in their community, which adds a longer philanthropic arm to their mission
  • SOAR analyzes the potential for success through discovery with key stakeholders and additional research. A proposal is presented when a better than average rating is achieved.
  • A partnership develops between SOAR and the organization, which normally lasts through the implementation phase or up to one year

Check the fundraising credits you’ve earned

Earn credits, buy credits, spend credits

Everyone begins their fundraising program at a different level. For this reason, we give credit where credit is due.

ADD UP THE TOTAL CREDITS YOU’VE EARNED:

We have a volunteer program (7+ volunteers)2
We host an annual volunteer appreciation event3
We have volunteer job descriptions and we distribute them5
We have a volunteer training program5
We have a system for tracking volunteer hours8
We have a social media presence (2+ networks)8
We schedule regular posts on social media (3+/week)10
We have regular events scheduled for fundraising 10
We have a fundraising plan10

DID YOU EARN ALL 61 CREDITS?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO EARN MORE CREDITS BEFORE YOU SPEND THEM? TRY THIS FOR 24 ADDITIONAL CREDITS:

Talk to 3 people you meet today about your organization’s mission8
Invite someone to visit your organization for a tour of services; schedule the date8
Call a major donor to say hi; keep the call short; don’t ask for a donation8

HOW MANY CREDITS DO YOU HAVE NOW?

Combine the credits you’ve earned (on your honor). If you earned all the above credits, you now have 85 to play with. Credits are spent on services listed below. Your “earned credits” actually lower the cost of SOAR’s programs. See the services along with the credits needed:

20-minute fundraising call to discuss tweaking your program for greater success61
Newsletter or Social Media Assessment61
50-minute fundraising call to discuss 3 initiatives to help you reach your $ goal85
Donor Letters – SOAR provides templates and feedback on three types85
Marketing Design (flier, rack card, postcard)105
Social Media Training (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)105
Training for Setting up and Using Facebook for Events & Fundraising105
“Your Nonprofit Story” – SOAR helps you create a powerful message250
Fundraising Plan (one year)250
Fundraising Plan (three years)450
Volunteer Program Development (three months of coaching)450
Annual Leader’s Program  – One Year of Coaching on Your Fundraising Program950

YOU CAN PURCHASE CREDIT TOO. JUST REMEMBER TO SUBTRACT YOUR EARNED CREDITS PRIOR TO BUYING!

Contact us with questions: iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com

NEW Fundraising Ideas Help You SOAR!

People get tired of doing the same old things. It’s time to get innovative with how you raise money. We have creativity in abundance at SOAR. We suggest you base your next fundraiser on the things your community likes to do. If you’d like advice on an idea, email iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com. We are happy to provide feedback!

SOARful ideas:

  • Run a contest on social media to engage your current donors while increasing your donor base. A photo or video contest will have participants sharing their work while bringing more traffic and attention to your cause. Make it a public vote to determine the winner and now you’ve increased traffic to your page. People pay a small fee to participate and then they pay to have their photo/video posted with you for a number of times. 5X is free, 10X – small fee, 20X – higher fee, and so on. Make a menu of opportunities you can offer for a fee and watch how fast it grows.
  • Develop a puzzle describing your mission. Then, sell the puzzle to people who love the work you do. Offer a competition so the puzzle buyers bring friends/family together at their home for putting the puzzle together. They take a photo when beginning the puzzle and at an allotted end time. At the end of the contest period, the group with the most pieces fitting in during the allotted time wins the prize. The benefit: your message is shared over and over again to the groups putting the puzzles together! You could also sell “clues” ahead of time. These clues will help the people put the puzzle together.
  • Sell an experience. People living in a mining district sell an SUV trail ride to visit an old mine. If there’s a racetrack near you and someone you know has a cool car – make it about being a passenger for a couple of laps around the track. This is also a great opportunity to partner with another business in your area actually in the business of providing “experiences.”
  • Parade coming up? A person could buy their spot on a float your organization is entering.
  • This is fun. Get some friends together and go on a mobile scavenger hunt. The first one back with all things on the list wins! Add a price to participation and prizes.
  • Have a digital scavenger hunt. Think of creative, funny pictures you could take with people in the community. Make a list and share with those who pay to participate. Add prizes and a closing event…fun, fun, fun.
People love puzzles and a competition makes a great fundraiser.

There are many ways outside of the traditional fundraiser to raise money. It could be a “new” activity that hangs on for a couple of years because you continue to expand on it. In fact, allowing an activity to grow naturally is the best way to create a sustainable program.

Good luck! Reach out if you have questions: iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com

Creating Positive Experiences

A positive experience begins with the right intent – an opportunity to offer something meaningful to another person. Only 4% of people voice their complaints to you about something you’ve done. Are they voicing their dismay to others? You bet. Begin by recognizing how you feel. If there’s any feeling you have that maybe, just maybe, you offered bad service to someone or said something, which may have been taken the wrong way? The first step is to ask, “Is everything alright? Is there anything I can do to make things better?” If the person says, “Everything is fine.” You have to take their word for it and then, create positive experiences. It takes 12 positive experiences to delete one negative.

Positive experiences to think about:

  • Asking “Is everything alright? Is there anything I can do to make things better?”
  • Sending a personal note letting the person know you value your relationship with them
  • Add a benefit for them related to what they value. A person with a business would like to know you sent someone their way
  • Invite the person out for coffee or lunch to get to know them better
  • Ask this person to share their expertise by offering an opportunity to do so
  • Communicate openly
  • Show appreciation
  • Make interactions simple and easy
  • Understand expectations and then go above and beyond
  • Recognize efforts they make
  • Listen and acknowledge their ideas
  • Watch your body language during interactions to make sure you’re open and friendly
  • Always say something positive to this person
  • Add this person’s name into conversation with them
  • Draw attention to personal connections
  • Tell this person a “secret” so they know you better
  • Be as transparent as possible
  • Remain caring, professional and polite
  • Be yourself
  • End conversations in a polite way: have a good day, have a nice night, see you soon, talk to you later…
  • Be positive and create positive feelings
  • Invite this person to join a club, experience, event
  • Anticipate and be attentive
  • Find an emotional connection – a common bond
  • Empathize

Customer service has reached a new level, and in fact, has entered into the realm of being more personal. Our lives have become much more of an open book because of social media. Maintaining positive relationships are most-important for keeping your life in tune, on a positive note, so to speak.

Taking it Easy on Donors

Donors have a giving heart. They are asked more often than not to consider giving. Ask a donor, “What can I do for you?” and they will probably sidestep the conversation. It’s not something they’re comfortable discussing. It’s not supposed to be about them in their mind because it’s about others.

Understanding how a donor feels is important. You show a quality mindset when you take time to understand their intent and then provide opportunities for them to benefit. It is a nice way to “give back.” These six powerful words, “what can I do for you,” have the ability to transform a situation. It’s a way to shift the discussion and put the energy back on making someone else happy. In this case, it is your donor.

Consider this – more than half of all people who visit a nonprofit’s website do so from a mobile device according to Mobilecause.com. This is an old statistic so the numbers are much higher now. What does your website look like on a mobile platform? Check it out on your phone and make sure it is user-friendly. Is there a donor button? It’s not just about having a “donate now” button because a “donor” button is more about the emotional component of why they give. A donor button is about telling your story, and also about sharing with donors the benefit of why giving to your organization is important. The button explains what’s in it for them? This is that uncomfortable situation again. But, it’s true. What’s in it for them? They can feel good about giving to a cause and get a spiritual kudo just about anywhere. They can get a tax benefit for specific kinds of donations. Sure, this works. But, they can also GIVE to any organization to get the same rewards. Why would they give to yours?

Setting yourself up for success begins on the backend. It’s your opportunity to set the stage first. Begin by doing this:

  • Check your mobile platform for your website’s format and message. This is the the way most people are seeing you. Connect with your website designer as necessary to update for mobile changes
  • Be up to date on social media, other online sites, and with phone messaging systems. Call yourself and your answering system through the office. What message do you hear? Do you have recent posts on social media and on your website? It takes time and is often put on the bottom of the list. Dedicating a couple of hours each week to this process, or finding a volunteer to do it, makes the world of difference in the end
  • Make a list of the ways you’re giving back to donors and add to the list while remembering, each donor is different and it takes some time to discover the intricacies of what’s most important to them. This is about taking the time for discovery and then taking the time to establish a plan to let your donor know they are your most important asset.

The people you serve are most important to your mission. The people who help you serve are your greatest asset. An asset is the people volunteering, working for you, or those who provide a means for your service. A donor, a sponsor, or a foundation provide the means by giving money for your mission to continue. Taking it easy on donors is key to your success.

For additional information on coaching through the fundraising process – connect with SOAR with Network Fundraising. The programs are cost-effective and focused on your mission. There’s not a cookie-cutter approach to taking it easy on donors, providing the right message or opportunities to be involved, and engaging the public. Each situation is different. SOAR coaching offers the training and then the follow up. The Leader’s Program creates sustainability through a year-long program. Click Here!