When you begin the search for a fundraising company to partner with, it can be overwhelming. As a non-profit, selecting a fundraising company is a crucial component to accomplishing your financial goals and perhaps executing an effective fundraising event. With a myriad of fundraising products and services offered in today’s market, how do you know what will be the fit for you? Consider your needs before selecting a fundraising company to assist you. It is helpful to schedule appointments with only two or three companies to allot enough time for thorough interviews. Working with a fundraising company is about creating a situation that provides success as efficiently and effectively as possible. Since every non-profit and fundraising company is different it is important to start evaluating a company by explaining your situation. In order to determine what services will be critical to your success as a non-profit, discuss your financial goals, the scope of the event you are trying to host and provide a history of your organization.
When you’ve narrowed the field to a few potential partners, it’s time to interview the sales representatives by phone or in person. Here are some questions to ask:
Experience: How long has the fundraising company been in business? Size and features of programs are less important than the experience, reputation, and financial stability of the company.
Customization: Will the company tailor to your needs as an organization? Ask them to provide specifics, perhaps even in written form.
Turnaround time: What is the company’s order turnaround time? How does the process of products shipment and delivery impact the fundraising organizer?
Product offerings: If charity auction items are a product offering, ask what products are available, is there an authenticity guarantee, is it possible to return an auction item that does not sell?
Response time: How responsive will the company/representative be should problems arise? What is the expectation level of involvement for the representative?
Damaged Product Policy: What is the company’s policy if damaged or unsatisfactory items are received? Are products refundable?
Don’t ask all the questions. Let the company explain what they will do to make your fundraiser a success and how they can make the work of your host committee and volunteers easier. Allow the companies to demonstrate their expertise and professionalism and listen carefully.
Establishing Trust. The Fundraising Company and your non-profit must work well together. It is important to see how your volunteers perceive the company and its representatives. Does the representative show sincerity, take a personal interest in the group’s goals and concerns, and believe in the products and services offered? Representative who are trusted, admired, and respected will have a responsive volunteer team.
Your host committee places their reputation in the hands of the fundraising company and must know that they will operate with the utmost integrity. But how do you assess integrity? One way to judge a company is to speak with their past charity partners and review their previous work. Ask for three references for the Fundraising Company. A new company may only be able to give you information of who they associate with, such as Better Business Bureau or local chamber of commerce.
A non-profit has the unique opportunity of achieving their ultimate vision and goal with relationships outstretching to every walk of life. Non-profit organizations bring people together with one purpose: to accomplish an endeavor for the good of all. It is indeed a partnership, between the donor and the non-profit. In a fast paced world, it is easy for us to pass by the importance of putting in the effort to build personal relationships and connections between the giver and the charity. Yet in today’s world, that effort means more now than ever.
Thank-you calls may seem cumbersome and unimportant. Yet, research shows that when board members called and said thank you to donors, those donors gave 39% more in their next donation. The power of a call and human voice is lasting. Studies show that fourteen months later, non-profits who called got 42% more financial assistance than organizations that did not utilize a personal telephone call. Without the personal touch, donors tend to think that the value of personal connection and the importance of collaborative appreciation have been lost. Staying true to the purpose of a non-profit does not go unnoticed. People want to work for a common good with an organization that sees the donor as more important to the cause than a paycheck in the mail.
When should you call your donors?
Promptness also communicates the value the donor has to your non-profit. An authentic and genuine staff member is sufficient to communicate your appreciation. If you are a small organization do not hesitate to call all of your donors! If you are bigger non-profit, it is hard to reach out to every individual via phone call. Calling the first time donors who give more then 100 dollars or more is a good baseline. If a donor increases their gift, show them you noticed and value it. With your donors who have consecutive giving thresholds, acknowledge your partnership. Monthly giving program donors are perfect examples of active participants who should be actively recognized for their contribution.
For more tips on How to Thank Your Donors The Right Way, visit our blog at www.charityfundraisingexperts.com/blog.
Fundraising isn’t as easy as it used to be. In a struggling economy, everyone holds their wallets a little tighter, especially high school students who have small or unstable income streams. Creating an effective and successful high school fundraiser that allows students to participate can be tricky.
To execute a successful high school fundraiser, several ideal conditions must be met:
- The workload must be easily split and divided.
- The expected profit margin must be worth all the time and expenses.
- Ideally the fundraiser engages students, parents, staff and the community at some level.
- The fundraiser should be enjoyable for both hosts and participants.
The Idea: A dance-based event for high school students and members of the faculty. Though this is not an uncommon event at high schools, a bit of creativity can transform a traditional high school dance into a successful fundraiser. Inviting the community, families and students to the venue and spicing up the traditional dance with some unique ideas can drive ticket sales and increase profit.
3 Profit Generation Ideas:
- Ticket sales, both prepaid and at the door.
- Raffling off dances with community or school leaders: mayor, superintendent, favorite teachers.
- Selling glow sticks & related dance accessories.
- Provide a photo booth or professional photographer for guests to capture their memories.
Creative Thoughts to Consider:
- A themed dance: Feature a time period and invite guests to dress from that era, serve food that was popular during that time and be sure to have lots of music and decorations representative of that time period.
- Dancing Lessons: Hire a professional to offer dance lessons. Consider line dancing, square dancing, swing, traditional ballroom dancing and the like.
- Create a fast-paced dance off. Offer prizes for a variety of categories like costumes, creativity, best skill, etc.
- Partner your dance with another event like a silent auction. Offering memorabilia that is interesting to high school students can drive bidding for unique auction items and increase profit for your school.
The Holiday season is a time of love and a time of family. The Holiday season brings out the spirit of generosity. Everything about giving has excitement in it: the search for the gift, the wrapping of the gift, and the anticipation of giving the gift. But nothing quite beats the feelings when you give the gift to your loved one. The smile on their face and the warm embrace that follows is really what giving is all about.
Many non-profits this time of year receive donations for that same reason. However, it is hard for organizations to extend a warm hand of gratitude to their donors in the same way. This is never truer than when donors give online.
How should you thank donors who donate online?
Three things you should do –
1) Targeted Campaign ‘Thank You’ Page
We live in a technology driven era. But that does not mean that we have to loose all elements of personal connection. After the donor makes a gift, they should be taken to a landing page that thanks them. This page should be tailored to the campaign to which they responded. Imagery, content and even a video thank you can add a personal touch.
2) Personalized ‘Thank You’ Email
Every donor should receive an automatically generated email response. It will be shorter then a letter, but each email should include all the basic elements of a great thank you letter. Include personal fields: their name, the purpose of the gift, and the amount donated.
3) Physical ‘Thank You’ Letter
Finally, but most importantly, follow up the email in the very near future with a letter. Otherwise, non-profits start to treat their online and offline donors as two separate classes. The people who happen to send a check will get a hand written letter with informational inserts. Online donors might not feel personally involved without a physical ‘Thank You’ letter, and consequently, they also might not be as involved. Every person who gives a gift wants to know that his or her gesture impacted someone. Additionally, it is always nice to have confirmation you’re your gift has been received. Without that knowledge, why would a donor want to give again?
Giving a gift is showing love towards one another. In the world of technology, let us not get caught up in the efficiencies the Internet offers us, but instead, let us hold on to the purpose of giving this Holiday season.
Buzz Aldrin Signs Autographs For Charity Fundraising.
Buzz Aldrin was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing in history. On July 20, 1969, he was the second human being to set foot on the Moon, following mission commander Neil Armstrong. He is also a retired United States Air Force pilot. Aldrin is currently the earliest living moonwalker, following the death of Neil Armstrong in August of 2012. He is also the oldest of the 12 astronauts to walk on the moon.
To learn more about the authenticity of Charity Fundraising autographed items visit our authenticity page.