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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.

In general, large event fundraisers take much more work than small events. It takes more time to prepare for the event, and much more labor on the actual event day itself. In fact, some large events take place over an entire weekend, leaving the event staff to work 16 hour days, 3 days straight.

While large events can raise large amounts of funds, they can also leave volunteers and staff drained and burned out. As financial expert Suze Orman says, "People are more important than money." You don't want to raise a large sum at the expense of the goodwill of your supporters.

Large events generally require a lot more financial investment upfront to pay for facilities and other costs. It is possible to find corporate sponsors to underwrite an event, but this pursuit also takes considerable time and effort to win over sponsors, especially for a first time event.

Striking a balance is needed. If you have enough volunteers to staff an event so that they can take shifts, then you'll be better off. But if you literally have 3 people to run the whole show, you will be best advised to seek fundraising programs that naturally don't require as many workers.

Leveraging the talents and interests of your supporters is also important. This could be as simple as asking someone what they want to do to help. You'll be amazed how willing and enthusiastic people are when you care enough to ask them what they want.

If you know of someone who has a certain talent or is in a position to help you, suggest specific ways that they can lend a hand. This goes for business people as well as already enlisted volunteers. For example, if your Aunt Suzie is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, ask if you can come and give a brief speech about your event/charity. If your next door neighbor is the manager of a restaurant, ask if they will give you a good deal on catering for your dinner fundraiser.

With a little creativity and efficient planning, you may realize that managing effort and energy for your fundraising is not as difficult as you may have thought.


About the Author: About the Author: Sandra Sims has been participating in walk/run event fundraisers for over 10 years. She is the author of the new book, "A Beginner's Guide to Fundraising." Visit to find out more.
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