March 2015 – Fundraising Tips

At our March 27th meeting we explored fundraising tips – do’s and don’ts.

Mar 2015 MtgEach member took a moment to share what they learned about another organization by having a one-on-one with other community leaders or Shaping Clay members since the last meeting. For those that didn’t have a one-on-one meeting during the month, he or she shared a surprising thing about his or her organization, something we may not know about.

The topic of fundraising had a stellar introduction from Lee Sacket with CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm and Allie Munch with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida. Thank you to both of these community leaders for taking the time to share their wealth of knowledge with the group. Some general suggestions were to have everyone prepared before the fundraising effort and make it fun.

Know your organization, your story, and your organization’s needs.

  • What is your mission, vision, current goal(s)?
  • How did you start? What do you physically do? How do you impact the community? What are your successes?
  • What do you currently need (monetary and non-monetary)?

Who do you know? It’s important to continually nourish relationships.

  • Get your name AND face out there! You are part of your organization’s mobile branding.
  • Be involved, make connections, share resources, volunteer and serve.
  • In-person contact is invaluable! Set coffee dates, lunches, and after hours informal meetings.
  • Gain trust and confidence before making a big “ask”; Build friends before building funds.

Identify the ways we can connect with contributors, not everyone will give cash.

  • We all need more than just money!
  • Individuals can give money, time (volunteerism), skills, and services.
  • Small businesses can give in-kind donations, goods/services, small sponsorships.
  • Large corporations can give large scale donations and sponsorships, employee involvement, and publicity.
  • Make giving easy! Involve more people with fun and creative activities!

Mar 2015 MtgUse fundraising approaches such as “friendraising”. Have a planned small, 20 minute talk about your passion, and ask if the person knows anyone who you should meet or could help. They may even raise their hand to support your effort.

Don’t be boring or predictable. Have a signature event with flare that people can talk about and share. Make it special and exciting, something people really want to attend or support.

When asking for donations, follow up and follow through. Partner with the community and meet with people who have experience in event planning or fundraising.

Make sure that your event is consistent with your mission. In Lee’s case he wouldn’t serve meats (hamburgers / hot dogs) since he rescues cows and pigs at his farm.

Don’t say we “need”, rather look for support. Every word matters in the mission and vision statements, so stay simple and clear.

Mar 2015 MtgSomeone asked, “Is there a fundraising season?” It depends, there are key times to host an event such as with a holiday. Do not conflict with other major events which could limit turn out. Pick a date that can be anchored for longevity and give yourself ample time to plan the event.


Peace and Joy

    From your Shaping Clay Team

Karen Wintress        Samantha Bane            Doug Greenberg         Jackie Kujala
609-933-2666           904-881-6697                904-272-5988             904-449-4957