If you’ve done any advocacy work, you’ve probably found yourself fundraising.
And if you found yourself fundraising, you probably wanted a cookie to go with that.
Okay, this book might not have been written yet, although I will gladly co-author on with . But it is true that one of the best ways we can do something is simply to work with those already doing something by providing them with capital to get stuff done.
If this is such a big piece to understand if we are going to be world changers, it shouldn’t be a surprise I’ve written stuff about it before. But to make is easier for you to sort through what is important, I compiled six tips to help you fundraise like a boss.
Tip #1 Pre-Vet
The truth is, most of us don’t really look in-depth to what we donate to before we give. Maybe this is fine if we are just giving away our personal finances, but if we are fundraising, we need to rise to a higher standard.
Near the beginning of the LBD.Project, I didn’t vet one of the organizations I was fundraising for as well as I wished I had. Although their finances were in order from what I could find online, we never connected via email, nor was a receiving any email updates and I didn’t see anything on their social media. They could have used our money in a great way, but I always have regretted fundraising for them. Why? Because I did a disservice to my friends and family whom I was asking for donations from.
When we fundrise we ask people to trust our judgement. With access to great tools, like GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and social media, we should be able to assure our donors that they are giving well. Now I always spend time researching the organizations I ask people to give to (yes, this includes those in the LBD.Project).
Learn how to vet-well by reading my article on this, 10 Tips To Be a Generous and Smart Donor on Giving Tuesday
Tip #2 Put Your Ducks In a Row
Get your stuff together. This can feel like a chore, but if you want to a good job fundraising, taking the time to do this is well worth it. Create emails to send at the beginning and end of your campaign, have a general plan for what you will do on social media, have a folder open with images ready that you want to use, put up your fundraising page (I recommend Crowdrise), have links ready to copy-and-paste from your phone to post with pictures, get a generic thank-you email ready to go, print your flyers, etc . . .
Check out how we have LBD.Project participants “get their ducks in a row” to apply it to your own fundraiser.
Tip #3 Just Take Fifteen
I need to write “Just take fifteen minutes” on my mirror to prod me forward when I am doing a fundraiser. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like doing the stuff above that helps my fundraising become visible. But the more visible our fundraiser is, the more likely we will raise money.
I tend to procrastinate or drop important pieces, and then kick myself later. Heck, I am three weeks into the LBD.Project 2017 and I still have the first email sitting there ready to send out, but I still haven’t sent it!
When I consider fundraising duty a fifteen minute push-goal I can knock everything out. I just have to commit and remind myself.
Do you struggle with the same thing? But we can do this fundraising unexciting stuff, I’m sure of it! We’ll all smear “fifteen minutes” on our mirrors in lipstick and the world will become a better place.
Thankfully, we can be gracious with ourselves, learn from our past fundraising mistakes, and practice with more excellence the next time ’round!
Tip #4 Lead With Your Why
Why lead with your why? I’m sorry to say, research shows that most of the time you’re just making noise. But your why is like a beacon; it is an immediate question, asking people if they care about what you care about. If people around you hear your why, and they agree, you find your potential world changers to work with and support you.
So, figure out your why, package it into a clear, short paragraph to express why and what. Figure out what your “call to action” is too (how you want people to respond). When socially appropriate, throw that in at the end of your mini-spiel. The people who resonate with your why will want to know what to do next.
Then practice this paragraph over and over while you pee until you have it down-pat. You’ll be surprised at how much this helps increase your confidence, while conveniently, pushing your fundraising into overdrive. (Okay, maybe overdrive is a little bit of an exaggeration, but . . .)
Learn a lot more about this in this incredible *wink* article I wrote about this on Huffington Post–How to Create Human Trafficking Awareness that Actually Compels.
Tip #5 Practice my Fundraising 101 Theory
Five years ago a threw together a “theory” for fundraising success based off of my observations. While liberally practicing these five points since then, myself and those I’ve worked with have raised a minimum $40,000 in donations and goods. Not surprisingly, it turned out that my fundraising 101 theory wasn’t all that original, which I discovered as I began to read from various fundraising gurus and marketers.
Considering, I’m going to bump-up this theory to proven status. These puppies work. Now the only question is what should I call them? Average Advocate’s Method For Fundraising Success? Or maybe, the Five B’s of Fundraising? Too cheesy? Well, here they are:
- Be loud.
- Be legit.
- Be easy.
- Be sincerely passionate.
- Be constantly consistent.
If you want to have a successful fundraiser, continually check yourself against these points.
Get more depth on what these mean and check out what inspired me to write my not-so-profound fundraising 101 theory here.