One thing I’ve noticed in the age of social media is that there seems to be a plethora of people who think that they can just send out a couple tweets, make a Facebook page and link it up to any type of merchant account and ask for money for some type of cause. I’ve been involved in a number of nonprofits and fundraisers and there’s one key thing that can make or break your fundraiser. Simply asking for money because you believe in your cause isn’t enough. People want something they can grasp on to.
Establish a Goal
No, I don’t mean just a financial number. I mean a specific goal. Donors want to know where their money is going, so merely posting what your charity is for won’t do it for them. For example: If you’re running a charity that deals with military families, running a fundraiser that says “We’re raising money to help military families in need” isn’t going to inspire the people you’re reaching out to to pull out their wallets and give money. You need to make it personal. Pick a specific family to raise a certain amount for, or a group of families. Include videos, and interviews (if they’re willing of course) and make it really hit home for the people you’re trying to inspire to pull out a credit card and make a donation.
Think about it. How often do you just give away money to something you don’t relate to, or don’t understand the meaning of?
Establish a Mantra
Simple defined, a mantra is a series of words put together that inspire change. This should be what your charity revolves around and what every single one of your fundraisers makes abundantly clear. Project (RED) has a very basic mantra, but it’s one that is inspiring, and it only takes one sentence. “Fight for an AIDS free generation by 2015.” Lofty? Of course it is. But it gets the point across. What is the foundation centered around? Freeing the world of a deadly disease by 2015. Everything they comes back to that one phrase.
What does that mean for you as a donor? It means you’ve got something to cling to. Something to remind yourself of as you’re giving; whether it be time or money. And what does it mean for the organization itself? It keeps you motivated. It keeps you on the right track. It provides focus.
Don’t just run out and start a charity and say “I want to save the children in Africa” and ask your friends for money. Spend some time and map out what your goal is, and create a mantra for your foundation. Do that, and your fundraisers will always be more successful because you’ll connect with your target audience in a way that you wouldn’t have been able to.