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Below you will find all of our past articles to help you with fundraising strategy. It is a long list of articles so don't hesitate to bookmark this page and come back often. If you would like more great fundraising information in the future then please sign up for an email notification whenever we publish a new article.

Fundraising Idea of the Month: Market Research by Doug Nash

What is market research in regards to fundraising? It is the same as if you were running a commercial venture! The principles are the same. Find out what you need to do to make a success of your venture. You do this in two ways. First go out and have a look at what others are doing in the area you want to go. Secondly, ask a lot people a lot of questions. People like customers, donors, helpers, critics anyone that you feel can help by passing on to you their opinions or knowledge.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Parental Support by Doug Nash

The success of any school fundraiser is based on parental support; the more parents you get involved the more successful you will be. Here are a few points for you to consider getting and maintaining this crucial support.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Ticket Considerations by Doug Nash

The tickets you use in your fundraising activities need careful consideration as they are a part of your image. AS such they can be used to promote your organisation and play a role in building they way the public perceive you or maintaining the image you have taken care to build. Below are some thoughts on tickets for your consideration.

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About the School Principal's Role in Fundraising by the AFRDS

Too often, today's busy school principals leave fundraising responsibilities totally to their parent groups and booster clubs. We talked to a couple of principals about this trend and how they view their own role in fundraising.

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Fundraising: Why a Recession Is No Time to Cut Back by Lisa J. Lehr

Fundraising is just like advertising: a recession is no time to cut back.

Actually, fundraising is advertising. But instead of selling a product or service for your own profit, you're selling the satisfaction of helping a good cause - warm fuzzies, if you will. Warm fuzzies are relatively easy to sell in a strong economy, as Americans tend to be generous and like to share our good fortune. In a weak economy, however, warm fuzzies are a harder sell.

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What Fundraising and One-night Stands Have in Common by Sherri Garrity

Dear Non-Profit Organization,

I haven't heard from you in awhile and I admit, it hurts.

I find it hard to believe you aren't answering my letters or returning my calls. I thought we got along so well and we seemed to have so much in common.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Winners and Killers by Doug Nash

While fundraising should be kept simple it does not mean that fundraising is a simple matter. There some fundamental factors that fundraisers should keep in mind when going about their business. These factors have been proven over time in many different ways from personal lives to professional success. Keep them in mind and you will reap the benefits and probably enjoy the fundraising experience more and enjoy the more long lasting success. Like when setting out to learn any new skill you should do your research and be patient - Rome was not built in a day.

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Common Fundraising Mistakes Part 1 by Kimberly Reynolds

Fundraising is both an art and a science. If your fundraising revenues are static or declining, your organization is probably making one or more of these common mistakes:

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Common Fundraising Mistakes Part 2 by Kimberly Reynolds

Another common mistake is doing too many fundraisers. The result is burnout of your volunteers, your participants, and their customers. You know your group is in trouble if you belong to the "Fundraiser of the Month" club.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Goodwill by Doug Nash

Most non-profits run more than one fundraiser per year, probably they each would run several in a calendar year. One mistake that groups can make is to think that each individual fundraiser is isolated from all the other fundraisers that the organisation is involved in. In business terms we are talking about goodwill. Do the public and your workers see you in a favourable light? Will they give you the benefit of doubt - are you an organisation or people worth supporting?

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E-mail Fundraising Best Practices by Nick Gleason

As a lifelong activist, I have worked in non-profits throughout my career and have helped to raise funds for many organizations. In recent years, I have witnessed e-mail marketing become one of the greatest tools available to fundraisers.

E-mail marketing is both effective and cost-efficient - especially in comparison to the other fundraising tools available to non-profit managers. According to AMR Research, well-targeted e-mail marketing campaigns can generate response rates that are 7 to 12 times higher than comparable snail-mail marketing efforts.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Incentives by Doug Nash

Incentives are a great way to improve your bottom line, either by enticing people to pull out their wallets or by motivating even slightly better performances from your volunteers. When it comes to incentives there are many well worn options however if you use your imagination and make the incentives relevant and personal to your situation the effects can really pay off not in money but in the groups atmosphere and long term performance. A warning though, be vary careful that a rewards system does not adversely affect your bottom line. A badly thought out or poorly implemented incentive scheme can do as much if not more damage than no incentive scheme at all.

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Raising Funds? What to Know About Hiring a Professional From the Federal Trade Commission

If your nonprofit organization is planning a fund-raising campaign, you may be thinking about hiring a professional to do the work. Professional fund-raisers conduct the campaign for a fee; often it's a percentage of the money they collect.

Because the fund-raiser will be representing your organization to the public, it's important that you investigate every firm you're considering hiring. Inappropriate behavior can result in negative publicity, fewer or smaller donations, and possible legal action involving you and the firm if the law is violated.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Parallel Aims by Doug Nash

A basic aim of all fundraisers is to match their fundraisers to the needs of their members and clientele. By this I mean have a look at what these groups are doing and see if there is a fundraiser there that you can make the most of. Do it properly and not only will you have a successful fundraiser you will be thanked for be so thoughtful.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Planning - Your Best Tool by Doug Nash

What is the best way a non-profit group can spend it's time and effort at any time of the year? Whether or not you have one last fundraiser to go or you are enjoying spending the funds you have worked so hard to raise - one of the most valuable activities you can now invest your energies in - planning for next year.

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Fundraising Efforts Strike a Patriotic Chord by the AFRDS

From Miami, FL, to Seattle, WA - and hundreds of cities, villages and townships in between - local papers this fall chronicled their citizens' fundraising efforts to relieve the families of victims of September 11 and workers at Ground Zero.

Most poignant were the stories about American school children responding to President Bush's call to focus their fundraising efforts on helping the children of Afghanistan.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Sell the Benefits by Doug Nash

Sell the benefits - enjoy the success!

If you deliberately set out to sell the benefits of what you do, why you do it, what you are offering to raise money and the benefits of assisting groups like yours you will be pleasantly surprised at your success.

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Desperate Measures Or Inspired Insanity by Vickie Mabry

Leaning across our exhibit at the National Association of Elementary School Principals' Annual Convention last April, the Washington school administrator looked me square in the eye and told his story. "It's yellow. It's slimy. It's about the size of a banana. And I kissed it ... for the cause."

It was just another confession from a well-meaning principal - that special breed willing to stop at nothing to motivate student participation in fundraising drives, reading programs and other important school activities. But this was a first. I've heard of pig-kissing and cow-kissing. I've even heard of frog-kissing. But a banana slug? How far will they go?

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Parental Support by Doug Nash

The success of any school fundraiser is based on parental support; the more parents you get involved the more successful you will be. Here are a few points for you to consider getting and maintaining this crucial support.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Time Saver by Doug Nash

One of the most valuable resources a fundraising group needs to manage is time or the time of their volunteers. The number of volunteers willing to put in huge hours are diminishing at a rapid rate for numerous reasons, so is there an answer to this problem? One answer is to seek out the services of a professional fundraising organisation. This resource can be a very effective tool.

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Memberships And Named Gift Opportunities by Tony Poderis

In the nonprofit world, when it comes to "memberships," we seem to be of two minds. On the one hand are memberships that convey benefits in exchange for a fee, and on the other, those that recognize donors for gifts made.

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Five Rules for Preserving Donor Expectancies from The Major Gifts Report newsletter

It’s a major accomplishment every time you learn of someone who has included your organization in his/her estate plans since many donors choose not to share that information during their lifetimes. But once you’re aware of an expectancy, what are you doing to maintain it or even solidify the relationship?

These five precepts will help ensure the donor won’t reverse his/her estate plans ....

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Three Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills from the Successful Fund Raising newsletter

Those who are most successful at soliciting gifts possess a key quality: the ability to really listen to prospects and key in on what most matters to them. Being sensitive to every word a prospect utters ultimately plays into the way in which a gift is solicited and the type of request that is made.

To hone your listening skills, follow these three suggestions ....

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Raising Money Through Bequests by Kathleen Brennan

Kathleen Brennan of Emerson & Church, Publishers interviews David Valinsky and Melanie Boyd, authors of Raising Money Through Bequests: How Your Organization Can Profit from the Biggest Intergenerational Transfer of Wealth in History.

When we’re talking about bequests, we’re talking about death. Isn’t that a touchy subject to bring up to prospective donors?

Boyd: In an old standup act, Jerry Seinfeld talks about public speaking being our number one fear, even before death. So he suggests that if you’re at a funeral, it’s better to be in the coffin than delivering the eulogy. But we’re not talking about death or public speaking here, we’re talking about an individual’s ability to create a legacy.

Certainly, we don’t suggest sitting down with a relative stranger and saying, “So, how about leaving us in your will after you’re gone?” Fundraising is all about relationships.

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Donor List Selling or Exchanging by Tony Poderis

Many non-profit organizations exchange with other non-profits their mailing lists of people served, i.e. their clients, users, patrons, etc. They do this for marketing purposes, especially in the arts and culture world. And it could be said it is a good thing, in the spirit of cooperation and public service. But all too often the exchange, or even the sale, of nonprofit organizations' donor listings is practiced. This is a much different method of mutual support, and it has its consequences.

To many of us, such selling of our donors' names and addresses would, in essence, be a "selling out" of our donors. It's probably safe to say that most of them would take a rather dim view of this practice. And to seek the permission of the donors to allow their names to be widely and randomly distributed would be an exercise in futility.

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Professional Fundraisers by Doug Nash

While most fundraisers like to run their events with little or no outside help or influence, their are times when a little professional help can pay big bonus. Ask any secretary of a not-for-profit if there are any fundraising companies that you can consider approaching and they will show you a cupboard full of literature. Each of them extolling the virtues of their particular product or line of products. Add to this the internet also has blossomed as a repository of fundraising options. You are no longer alone and you have more choices than ever. Now you can choose from a range of fundraisers and fundraising products that can be overwhelming.

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To Consult, Or Not To Consult - That Is The Question by Tony Poderis

To consult, or not to consult - that is the question. Or at least it would be if Hamlet were to ask it. Hamlet's "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" make me think of fund-raising goals too great and resources to meet them too few. His "sea of troubles" sounds like an ocean of red ink.

In fact, think about a scarily challenging fund-raising campaign too long, and your mood is likely to mirror the melancholy Dane's. Just like him, you may begin to contemplate traveling into an "undiscover'd country."

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A Campaign Deferred Is A Campaign Defeated by Tony Poderis

Disasters and crises can occur anywhere, at any time. Hopefully they won't have the impact of mega-disasters such as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks or of 2005's hurricane Katrina. However, even disasters of considerably less magnitude can impede the fund-raising efforts of non-profit organizations located in areas where they occur.

Flood, drought, storm, and other natural disasters are obvious candidates to impact an organization. Major accidents, industrial or otherwise, can hit hard too. On top of these gloomy possibilities there is always the crisis that could result from change. A key supporting industry moves away or closes. The local economy enters into a general malaise. Add to all those, the results of bad publicity hitting a non-profit organization or the impact of what happens when a well-known national charity is embroiled in scandal.

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Board Fundraising Agreements by Andy Robinson

A big barrier to successful board fundraising is the tendency to require all trustees to participate in the same activities and meet the same benchmarks: identify 20 prospects, sell 20 raffle tickets, apologize 20 times when asking for money, and so forth. Since we all begin with varied interests, abilities, and levels of commitment, a regimented approach like this is bound to fail.

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Make Money or Make a Difference by Doug Nash

I have been asked by a fellow volunteer to write an article on the following statement: are we here to make money or to make a difference? I was quite perplexed that this needed an article or an explanation. To me the answer is as obvious as it is simple. However let us take one part of the question at time.

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Income Base by Doug Nash

A major consideration of a fundraising group is to know who and what is their income base. All companies need to know where they will make their money so they can develop strategies to maximise this vital resource. If you don't understand this then you will have tough times raising the funds you need. Once you understand that fundraising is exactly like running a business then you will understand that copying what businesses do will benefit you greatly.

For grassroots' or small community fundraisers there are four main levels or areas to address:

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General Fundraising Hints by Doug Nash

THE WHY Keep in mind the three primary reasons for having fundraisers:

  • To raise funds (this allows you to operate and buy equipment that your organization needs to operate).
  • To attract attention to your message and organization.
  • To bring people together (to socialise and have some fun)

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Evaluation by Doug Nash

Who benefits from evaluating? YOU DO!

Planning your event helps to avoid or minimize mistakes and so do the best you can, evaluation can help you avoid making the same mistakes and improve the return on your next effort both in the financial and fun departments. Companies and professional organisations use the tool of evaluation constantly to improve their performances in nearly everything that they do. As said elsewhere in this book, if it works for them then it will work for you and your organisation.

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Non-Profit Fund-Raising Demystified by Tony Poderis

When it comes to fund-raising, there are truths and myths. The truths illuminate the path to success. The myths speak with the dark voice of "conventional wisdom" of what can't be done and won't work. Throughout my career I have had to overcome three myths of fund-raising that would have me give up before I start. My tools have been The Nine Basic Truths of Fund-Raising.

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Tips to Stay Goal Focused by the AFRDS

  1. Put first things first.
    Never start a fundraising project unless you know why you're raising the money and how the money will be spent.

  2. Determine your wants/needs.
    Poll the students, faculty, administrators and parents to find out what they see as the top funding priorities.

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Sponsorships by Doug Nash

Here is a short list of principles you should keep in mind when seeking or negotiating a sponsorship. Don't just try the obvious list of sponsors, get original! As long as you have something to offer - ask!

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Managing Fundraising Efforts by Sandra Sims

Fundraising does take significant energy and effort. (Some people call this concept WORK.)

Different fundraising programs will need different levels and types of energy and effort, so you will need to compare your organization's resources with what will be required of a potential fundraising program.

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Fun Fun Fun by Doug Nash

People will quickly find reasons for not doing what they don’t like doing, so if your fundraising doesn’t have a healthy element of fun involved then you will be very lonely and your fundraisers short lived, not very satisfying and not very profitable.

If those involved in your fundraisers are enjoying the experience they will exceed their expectations and yours for that matter. Not only this they will come back time and time again. They forget they have come to raise funds, rather they are coming to have fun or a good time.

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Members Resource List by Doug Nash

Not all members can contribute financially or donate their time regularly. Be aware that while you may not know how best your members can help, your members may not know how best they can help either. A great way to cross this lack of knowledge is to have a Members Resource List.

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Is Your Nonprofit Walking Away From Money? by Randy Schackmann

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University recently published the December 2000 Philanthropic Index, a bi-annual report on giving in America. One of the findings looks forward to midyear 2001 as it states, "six months from now the most successful (fundraising) techniques will be major gifts, foundation gifts and planned giving" ....

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And the Band Played On - But not without a serious commitment to fundraising by the AFRDS

On January 1, 2001, 350 million viewers took in the pageantry of the 112th Annual Tournament of Roses Rose Parade. Among the floats, the pretty girls in pretty cars, the high-stepping horses and gobs of rose petals, were 4,000 excited teenagers from sixteen high school bands participating in what was, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to march before the world. Hours of practice, preceded by hours of behind-the-scenes coordination by bandleaders, students and their parents are impressive enough. Add the fact that almost every one of these bands had to first raise the money before they could make the trip. Now, that's a story to tell.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month - Market Research by Doug Nash

What is market research in regards to fundraising? It is the same as if you were running a commercial venture! The principles are the same. Find out what you need to do to make a success of your venture. You do this in two ways. First go out and have a look at what others are doing in the area you want to go. Secondly, ask a lot people a lot of questions. People like customers, donors, helpers, critics anyone that you feel can help by passing on to you their opinions or knowledge.

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Should Your Organization Sell Products and Services to Raise Money? by Tony Poderis

I am made increasingly aware of the conflict non-profit organizations experience when faced with choosing between:

  1. Raising the money they need using a traditional philanthropic process.
  2. Making a profit from selling and endorsing commercial products and services.

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Ten Ways to Say Thanks! by the AFRDS

After a successful fundraising drive, it's important to remember those who helped get you there. Make it personal if possible.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Lessons and Strategies by Doug Nash

Even successful people make mistakes and have to endure learning curves. What makes them successful is that they learn from their mistakes and seem to be able to shorten the learning curves.

The biggest mistake people make is not learning from their mistakes. The second biggest mistake is not to learn from others mistakes. This was told to me long ago. It has taken me a long time to understand the wisdom in these words.

Fundraising is not just like a business - it is a business. Business can not just be financially rewarding it can be rewarding in many ways that has nothing to do with finances. Business can be fun and fundraising must have a large fun element.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You by Doug Nash

Any time spent improving your knowledge and position in regards to the legalities associated with different types of fundraising in your part of the world is time and effort well spent. Please believe that what you don't know may not just hurt you - it can turn your life and those around you into a complete misery!!! Due to the nature of the audience and the myriad of traps for fundraisers, this article can't cover all aspects. However I will try to impress upon you the basic message by covering some of the larger dangers and to encourage you to adopt a better outlook to help be less likely to be taken unawares.

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Spotlight on Online Fundraising by the AFRDS

The latest form of fundraising to emerge is an online version of the retail mall with schools and other non-profit groups receiving rebates based on online purchases made by their supporters. This new twist on product sales is attracting attention and raising new questions for schools and non-profit groups who must make fundraising decisions.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Good Goals is the Goal by Doug Nash

One of the critical keys to successful fundraising is proper goal setting yet most fundraisers do not know how to go about setting goals. Goals should be relevant, realistic and meaningful. By having relevant, realistic and meaningful goals, you will find it easier to find volunteers, keep them for the duration of the fundraiser and have them looking forward to the next fundraiser.

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Ideas to Boost Teacher Fundraising Support by the AFRDS

We asked a number of parent groups, principals and product fundraising professionals how they motivate teachers to participate in school fundraising activities. Here's a sampling:

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Not the Usual Donors by Doug Nash

One the major hurdles a non-profit faces is acquiring donations to help ensure the profitability of an event. The more donations you can get, the more profitable the event as the costs are kept to a minimum. However asking for donations is one of the toughest tasks to perform. Here are a few ideas for you to consider when approaching your next donation drive.

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The Principal's Fundraising Hat by the AFRDS

Big or small, it's in every administrator's wardrobe.

I once slept on top of the roof for eight days and then gave myself a mohawk," recalls former principal Dr. Donald Lemon. It's not a fraternity hazing the North Dakota professor remembers, but rather a voluntary escapade to reward his elementary school students and parents for raising $10,000.

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I Went to a Garden Party by the AFRDS

A Case Study on How to Say "Thank You"

It's a small school — only 320 students — in the modest community of Grass Valley, California, a few miles East of Sacramento. Yet, last year Pleasant Ridge Elementary successfully recruited 147 volunteers, including 21 grandparents, to participate in a fundraising campaign to build an outdoor learning lab. That's a student-to-volunteer ratio of 2:1.

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Corporate Fund Raising In Transition by Dr. William F. Vartorella

In today's fast-paced, ever-changing corporate culture, you may have only minutes to make your nonprofit's pitch for company donations of cash, equipment, or volunteer services.

Sure, you've done your homework. Made sure your programs meet the company's marketing mission and corporate goals. Not requested more than the company's "average" grant/donation based on research and experience. Maybe even kept the request below $5,000, just to keep it out of the jurisdiction of a lengthy review process.

Problem is, who do you approach for the final pitch?

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Troubleshooting a Fundraiser! by the AFRDS

When choosing a professional fundraising company, it's important to look for someone with a successful track record offering quality products and useful services at a fair price. The fundraiser should be familiar with your school and extended school community and come with excellent references. Hiring a pro is your best choice for a successful, headache-free fundraising program.

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Where to Find Your Sponsorship Dollars by Sylvia Allen

If you are involved in sponsorship sales, you often feel like you are looking for a needle in a haystack. Many times you don't have a contact name nor do you know what department has responsibility for sponsorship, so you start cold calling. Don't despair. You can find sponsorship dollars if you are persistent and consistent. Sponsorship dollars can be found in a variety of departments within a company and under a range of corporate titles. Of course, when you initially contact a company, the first person you will ask to speak to is the person in charge of sponsorship for that organization.

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Why I Kissed a Pig and other Confessions of a School Principal by the AFRDS

I once slept on top of the roof for eight days and then gave myself a mohawk," recalls former principal Dr. Donald Lemon. It's not a fraternity hazing the North Dakota professor remembers, but rather a voluntary escapade to reward his elementary school students and parents for raising $10,000.

Lemon today provides leadership training for new school principals at the University of North Dakota. He believes that fundraising, like so many tasks a principal performs, is most effective when done in "partnership" with the entire community. Lemon, for example, found private donors to match funds raised by his former school's PTA. "If a PTA fundraiser brought in $2,000, then I had someone ready to write a check for $2,000," Lemon says.

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Guaranteed Sponsors for Any Event by Sylvia Allen

Sometimes it's hard to know where to start when soliciting sponsorships. Here is a list of the top 20 potential sponsors you can approach for almost any event.

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Fundraiser Product Quality Counts by the AFRDS

When selecting a product fundraising program, the first and foremost consideration should be the quality of the product because:

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Factors Affecting Sponsorship Decisions by Sylvia Allen

First and foremost, sponsorship participation is a business decision. Yes, the CEO still exerts influence on sponsorship involvement but no longer is it done emotionally but, rather, on a business basis with measurable objectives.

Second, sponsorship decisions are not made on the spur of the moment nor are they made based upon someone sending a proposal to a prospective sponsor and having that person, just based on the proposal, making a decision to go to a sponsor. In sponsorship solicitation and sales it is very much like a courtship where each party wants to get to know the other better before joining together.

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Where to Place Sponsorship Dollars (From the sponsor's point of view) by Sylvia Allen

Whether investing in local, regional, national or global markets, sponsors have some basic questions that need answering before they can make a decision on their participation. Here are eight questions that can help narrow the choices of where to place sponsorship dollars:

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The Importance of Setting Realistic Goals by the AFRDS

Her son's school needed two new baseball fields and Kim Whittemore didn't have the patience to wait for the glacial pace typical for most school acquisitions. So her first move as the brand new PTA president for the Cumming, GA, elementary school was an obvious one. She went to the the local county parks and recreation department; found out how much money it would take to build the fields; and took her proposal to the school's PTA and principal.

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Ten Tips for Choosing a Fundraiser by Ralfie Blasius

It's early September, and you've just had your first Booster Club meeting. As Treasurer, you're in charge of fundraising. Your group needs to raise $5000 for band uniforms and equipment. This has to be accomplished by December. You have twenty-five other parents and students available to help. What are you going to do?

The details will vary, but at some time many of us are faced with the daunting prospect of raising funds. It may seem overwhelming at first, but if you break it down into a series of questions, you will discover the best project(s) to help you raise the funds you need.

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Parental Support by Doug Nash

The success of any school fundraiser is based on parental support; the more parents you get involved the more successful you will be. Here are a few points for you to consider getting and maintaining this crucial support.

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About Percentage of Fundraising Profits by the AFRDS

Too often percent of profit becomes the decisive factor for choosing one fundraising program or company over another. Some groups flat out refuse to do business with companies who offer percentages beneath a certain level. Is this a wise practice? We asked a couple of product fundraising professionals just how important percentage is when making sound fundraising decisions.

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How to Start Evaluating Your Property by Sylvia Allen

In order to be effective at sponsorship sales, you have to ask yourself some questions before you can prepare a good inventory of "saleable" items. These questions will help you develop sound sponsorship offerings. In many instances these are the same questions your sponsor will ask so going through this exercise will help you be better prepared during the sales call.

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Selecting the Right Fundraiser Incentives by the AFRDS

Answers to the following questions will help when evaluating the quality and appropriateness of fundraiser incentive programs:

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Sponsorship Sales Fact Sheet by Sylvia Allen

When preparing your material for submission to potential sponsors, keep in mind that they are overworked and understaffed. And, if they are a Fortune 500 company they are deluged with sponsorship requests. The total can be intimidating ... as many as 2,000 a year ... and more! How do you cut through the clutter? How do you get, and keep, their attention? Simply, make your material easy to read and understand. The following page contains a sample one page fact sheet that can help you achieve this objective.

This simple form can be used for events from 100 to 1,000,000 people. It provides an easy way to summarize the highlights of your sponsorship opportunity, offers the potential sponsor a simple, easy-to-read overview, and facilitates the decision making process. Try it ... it works!

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Fundraising Idea of the Month: Less for More by Doug Nash

One of the major problems facing fundraisers is the sheer number of fundraisers that are competing for the same dollar. Ask around and you will hear the frustration of parents and the general pubic alike, they feel that there is an unending line of organisations asking for their money or support. There is only one tactic that you can adopt to counter this: "Do a few and do them well!"

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Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmatic: Lessons found in Fundraising by the AFRDS

When fourth and fifth graders from a Florida elementary school wanted to raise money for a Christmas charity project, their teacher saw it as an opportunity to illustrate real life lessons in citizenship and business management.

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Grassroots Fundraising: Gifts in Kind by Doug Nash

Gifts in kind is the term used when donors give goods or services instead of cash. There are numerous reasons why some donors prefer this method. From distrust in the giving of cash to this method being better suited to both the receiver and the donor, i.e. donation of precooked or prepackaged food.

Asking for gifts in kind instead of cash gives you extra dimensions when fundraising. This kind of donations is a real boost when running auctions, raffles, handing out rewards and other similar activities. You will rarely be offered a donation of this sort that you can't use to your benefit. Although some may require a little lateral thinking and imagination to achieve the advantage.

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PTO Thank You Ad

A PTO thank you ad in the newspaper after the fundraiser.

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Children and Fundraising: Where Do We Draw the Line? by the AFRDS

Defining the Child's Appropriate Role

When 11-year-old Kiernan Fox sold cookies for her girl scout troop a few years ago, she also sold cookies for her older sister Caroline. Now three years later, she's helping little sister Bridget perfect her pitch. "Just be polite," she encourages. "Don't, like, try to bother people. If they tell you they're on a diet, they really mean 'no.' "

With her determination and easy smile, it's hard to imagine anyone saying "no" to Kiernan. For her, fundraising has always come naturally. "Kiernan's one of those industrious kids - always wanting to do her best no matter what," according to her mom, Susan. "As a child I never liked fundraising, but she seems to really get a charge out of it."

By the time she was eight, Kiernan had sold magazines, gift wrap, tee shirts and candy for dozens of worthy causes. The money she raised helped pay for camping trips, playground equipment, softball uniforms, library books and scores of "extras" to support her education and busy lifestyle outside of school. For Kiernan, and so many other children her age, fundraising is a fact of life.

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Ideas to Boost Parent Support by the AFRDS

We asked several principals, parents, parent leaders and fundraising professionals to share their ideas for boosting parental support. Here's what they said:

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Easy Photo Sharing Helps With Fundraising by Matt Smolsky

The Internet has really made a huge difference in how fast you can get the word out about anything and everything. That's a wonderful thing, and one area where easy photo sharing really comes in handy is with fundraising.

As long as you have an email list that people have opted in to (given you their permission to mail), there are so many different, creative ways you can tell folks about an event. If you've never considered easy photo sharing as a way to spread the word, here are a few tips on how you can.

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Creative Fundraising Activities by the ARCH National Resource Center for Respite and Crisis Care Services

This fact sheet includes a list of fundraising events which have been successfully implemented by other crisis nursery or respite care programs. These events are examples of both short and long-term activities which may be an additional source of income for your local program.

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Lessons in Fundraising: Sales Techniques for Teenagers by the AFRDS

Today, just as it has been for decades, thousands of American teenagers are fundraising to pay for their extra-curricular activities. But, getting teenagers enthusiastic about fundraising, or any school-related activity, can present a challenge. Here are some fundraising reminders to help motivate teenagers:

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How Fundraising Flows from Strategic Planning by Beverly R. Hoffmann

"We need to raise money for these three programs and for general operations! How do we do it?" That question is the typical beginning of an odyssey that usually must go backward before it can go forward.

Fundraising does not begin with recognizing a need for money. It starts much earlier with the actual structuring of a charitable nonprofit organization:

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So You're the New Fundraising Chairperson are You? by Robert Palmiter

How did this happen? All you did was take an interest in the running of your organization. You showed up for a couple board meeting and when you opened your big mouth the board somehow misinterpreted your comments as a show of leadership and unanimously elected you Fundraising Chairperson.

Now what are you going to do? You are charged with the sole responsibility of raising the entire working capital requirements of the organization, with or with out the support of the membership. The bad news is that, if you succeed, you'll probably be stuck with the position forever!

There are many different ways to raise funds but chances are that you'll probably be doing some type of a product sales fundraiser. Well here's a little advise from someone who's been there and spends a great deal of time helping others in your position.

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Donors Are More Than Wallets by Gerry Reeder

Fundraising is about converting potential donors into actual donors. However, in the attempt to convert potential donors to actual donors you must realize that donors are more than wallets! This is something that all successful non-profits and charities have realized. Not only have they realized this fact, they have also begun to implement the necessary processes that ensure donors are treated better than a wallet waiting to be exploited.

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Hiring a Fundraising Professional is Serious Business by the AFRDS

It's that time of year when many non-profit groups evaluate their fundraising goals for the coming year and make decisions about how best to meet those goals. Often the process involves selecting a professional fundraising company, a decision that many compare to choosing a business partner or hiring a new employee. "You want to make sure you find someone you can trust - someone you believe will deliver," according to one school principal.

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Foundation Equals Self-Help by Martha L. "Marty" Leibhart

Community or county foundations can help plug the local monetary gap as federal and state funds continue to shrink. The foundation can help provide financial support for community development efforts and assist charitable organizations. The money stays within the community and supplies funds for improvements and repairs that otherwise fail to happen when tax monies and other government funds are not available. In the long term, a foundation provides some assurance that improvements can be made, making a more attractive quality of life for its community residents.

A community or county foundation also can have a positive influence on bringing people together in a common cause. If a county foundation exists, all parts of the county and its communities benefit.

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Humane Society Wish List

A newspaper advertisement for a humane society wish list. What they want (and what they don't want).

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Non Profit Fundraising: Creating Benefits For Donors to Increase Giving by Kristy Hall

Over 80% of all philanthropic giving in the U.S. comes from individuals, according to Giving USA. That means that less than 20% of financial support for non profit organizations comes from foundation or corporate grants or government funding.

The question is how can you reach more individuals and motivate them to give to your organization? The answer: identify benefits for your donors. Here are five (low-cost) benefits you can create for your donors.

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Grassroots Fundraising: Fundraising Tips by Doug Nash

Keep in mind the three primary reasons for having fundraisers.

  1. To raise funds (this allows you to operate and buy equipment to that end),

  2. to attract attention to your message and organization and

  3. to bring people together (to socialize and have some entertainment).

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Holland City Mission Newsletter Appeal

The Holland City Mission newsletter appeal for fundraising, donations, volunteers, and a wish list.

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Grassroots Fundraising: Written Plan by Doug Nash

Always have a written fundraising plan.

This is to include:

  1. the amount you want to raise,
  2. how you will raise it (the activity),
  3. who will perform which tasks,
  4. an exact time or date for each task is to be completed by to ensure you meet your financial goal.

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Tips from Corporate Funders by Judith Rothbaum

Recently I attended an interesting forum that included presentations by corporate funders. I thought I'd share some fundraising tips related to corporate giving. Building relationships with large and small businesses should be an integral part of your fundraising plan.

Corporations support nonprofits through company-sponsored foundations and corporate giving programs. Keep the following tips in mind when you approach corporate funders.

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Grassroots Fundraising: Donor First Contact by Doug Nash

The first contact a possible donor or member has with your organisation is critical. The experience can determine if the relationship will be brief or a long and mutually satisfying one. There is no point in putting a lot of hard work in getting noticed only to sabotage your efforts when the people call in to offer help. Here are a few points to consider converting the attention into tangible rewards.

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Belding Band Booster's Annual Fundraising Plan

WOW! This year we have the largest band ever in BHS history- 171 members! This is a direct result of the history of high quality instruction, time and the dedication of Mr. Stiles, Mr. Rousseau, Mary Sage and now Mr. Schnicke. With such large numbers also comes added expenses. This letter is to inform you of some of the exciting and hopefully profitable fund raisers that we are going to attempt this year. You nor your band student is obligated to participate, but it is strongly encouraged. Everyone working together will help raise the funds that we so desperately need.

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Should Your Nonprofit Use Premiums in Direct Mail Fundraising? by Sandy Rees

A premium is a small gift used to encourage donations. You might think of it as a bribe to get someone to make a donation now. Some nonprofits think that a premium encourages donations. Unfortunately, premiums can have the opposite effect.

People who give to get a premium aren't really donors. They want the premium, not the warm fuzzy from making a gift.

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Editor's Picks

Fundraising Booklets
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Recommended Suppliers

Constant Contact
The gold standard in nonprofit email newsletter delivery. Custom newsletter templates, funding appeals, event updates & more. 20% nonprofit discount!

Recommended Books

7 Essential Steps to Raising Money by Mail
Learn with practical examples, detailed checklists, writing helps and other tools. Sample letters for different types of solicitations and for different nonprofit groups. A step by step guide to writing fundraising letters.

Silent Auction Guide & Toolkit
Learn how to create a successful silent auction fundraiser. Silent auction strategies, timelines, auction items and how to organize and display them, how to close an auction and take payments, and other add on fundraisers to boost the bottom line of your silent auction.

Let's Raise Money
The inside scoop about small group fundraising. Learn from the founder of a national fundraising company as he reveals secrets observed over nearly two decades of fundraising.
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The Ultimate Guide to Planning a 5K Run or Walk Fundraiser
Plan a successful race from scratch. Proven marketing strategies, find and manage volunteers, maximize revenues, recruit and motivate teams. Checklists, forms, speadsheets, worksheets all included.

Secrets of the Charity Auction Experts
Learn from the experts! Discover the best selling auction items. How to get auction items donated. How to boost attendance. How to get more bids and higher selling prices. How to coordinating volunteers, staff and auction consultants.

Grant Writing for Beginners
Learn how to quickly and easily establish relationships with regional foundations and build a strong base of grant support for your nonprofit.
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