It doesn't matter who you are, or what organization you work for. Raising funds and garnering support isn't easy.
Why? Because we lead busy lives and the amount of information we process daily is inconceivable to the 1980s version of ourselves. Old school fundraising efforts worked then, because frankly we had more time and more attention to give.
Where am I going with this you ask? I'll tell you. These changes to the way we live, work, shop, and communicate have had a huge impact on how to run a successful fundraiser. Thus, it's time you evaluated your fundraising efforts and considered the following 10 tips to improve your next fundraiser.
1 — No Upfront Costs
When choosing a fundraiser, be wary of any that require an outlay of cash. Yes, some can work (i.e. Chocolate Bar Fundraisers), but you put your group at risk of having to sell enough to cover your investment. Also, be sure to watch out for the 'little costs' that can start to add up quickly. That's why we provide printed order forms and intro letters for those running a Good Grains Fundraiser Event.
2 — Online Ordering
Paper order forms still work and we do use them in our Fundraiser Events. But, without an online ordering component, you're simply missing out on potential orders and support. You can't easily reach friends and relatives out of state and you limit your total potential. Some fundraiser companies offer an online process, but if it's too cumbersome for you to figure out, it will be too hard for your supporters to do. Our Good Grains Online Order option is just as simple as shopping online at your favorite shops.
3 — Offline Ordering
Although we love the simplicity of ordering online, we know that Fundraiser Events can provide a huge impact to your group in a short amount of time. Thus, a traditional paper Order Form provides for easy offline ordering via our Fundraiser Events. Coupled with our Online Option, you get the best of both worlds.
4 — No Hidden Costs
Not necessarily intentional, hidden costs can creep in. They come in the matter of both dollars and the unexpected time commitment. Be sure you fully understand how your fundraiser works so that you don't have any surprises after the fact. Are there extra costs that come from your fundraiser earnings? Do your supporters pay for shipping? Will the fundraiser require more volunteers and coordination than you might think? With Good Grains, we've simplified the process and we work to be transparent with you on your options and time commitment. Plus, we cover the costs of materials and we cover shipping costs on every order.
5 — Easy Setup
What is involved in getting your fundraiser going? How much time does it take to set up? How many people do you need to effectively run your event? These are all great questions when evaluating any fundraiser. Be sure to ask them and make sure they are in line with your group and the volunteers you'll be able to garner. We provide our Online and Event options so that you can choose which options fit best with the resources you have at your disposal.
6 — Motivate Volunteers & Supporters
The more you motivate your volunteers, the better your outcome. Make sure your fundraiser provides clear direction on how to introduce and motivate folks to participate and reach your goal. At Good Grains, we'll discuss best practices and suggest ideas specific to your group. Proper motivation can lead up to 10 times the results!
7 — Share Online & IRL
As parents ourselves, we've been there - at our neighbors doors while our kids are knocking. I don't know about you, but it's always been uncomfortable to me. I know there is a good lesson in there somewhere, but I think that can be taught in other ways. We certainly don't mind asking close neighbors, family, friends, co-workers, and setting up sales tables in appropriate places. Good skills can be learned from those efforts instead of bugging neighbors you only talk to once a year, when you have a fundraiser to run. Unless you're training your kid to become a solar panel salesman, think twice before running these types of fundraisers. Our fundraiser is impactful because we offer products most people consume daily. You don't have to sell a lot to make an impact. Try it at home, have a family member or two sign up and share it online with some friends. Forget about scouting your entire neighborhood as it's not needed. Instead, focus on getting higher participation levels with a reasonable goal per kid.
8 — Educate
The big question. Why? Why are you raising funds? Do your volunteers and supporters know? Can they clearly communicate it? If not, make sure you've drafted a simply statement on why you're fundraising and where the funds will be used. We also like to prominently share your order goal on the Event order forms and parent letters. This provides a clear goal for all to strive towards. Also, be sure to let your supporters know what to expect. If they order from you, how soon will they get the product and how will it arrive to them?
9 — Thank Folks
At every step of the way, certainly thank your supporters. Make sure you train your volunteers to give a heartfelt thanks for helping them to reach their goal and to make a positive impact for their group. With Good Grains, you continue to earn on reorders. Thus, your gratitude can go a long way.
10 —Remind & Renew
Most fundraisers are one-and-done. Thus, this tip is only good for fundraiser that recur frequently or have an ongoing order option such as Good Grains. Promote your ongoing fundraiser options to your existing supporters and continue to reach out to garner new support throughout the year. Fundraising doesn't just have to be done as a single event. For schools, think of Box Tops. You collect them all year long and you are certain to remind folks throughout the year to keep bringing them in. It works the same way with Good Grains or other ongoing Fundraisers.
Consider how your fundraiser impacts you, your family, your community and your world. If you're offering unhealthy products, we don't mind, as long as it's part of a balanced offering throughout the year. Unfortunately, most fundraisers are unhealthy products that are 'easy' to sell. Are you promoting a healthy and active lifestyle? Does your fundraiser give back in a greater sense? At Good Grains, we donate on every box sold to an international charity. Thus, each box sold supports both your local and global communities.
SO, THERE IT IS...
Yes, it's true. We talked about Good Grains in each of these 10 ways. Well, why wouldn't we. We've worked hard to create a better fundraiser option that we hope you'll give a try. Even if not, we hope you've gleaned some important tips on improving your next fundraiser event!