2018's 3 Best & Worst Fundraising Practices

It's time to reflect: How can you host better fundraisers and rake in even more donations? Every single year, over $50 BILLION is given to 1.5 MILLION nonprofits in the USA alone. How can you stand out from the others and help your generous donors give more? Here are 3 Good and Bad fundraising practices to help your nonprofit make 2018 the best year yet:


Best of the Best


⭐ Ask Local Businesses for Help, Not Just a Check!

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Local businesses love to give back to the community, but sometimes can't afford to shell out a huge check. Much more often, they are willing to ask their customers, or even their employees, to donate. Local banks specifically are eager to give back to their community, just ask Chris Stout of Veterans Community Project how he raised thousands.

(Right) Chris Stout of VCP asks over a dozen local and nation-wide businesses in his community for help.

 

⭐⭐ Keep Volunteers Engaged and Involved

Every event should be genuinely fun and entertaining. You want people to think "Wow that 5K was a blast! We HAVE to go again next year." No matter how good your cause is, you will have less people attending each event if they don't get anything in return. Get a DJ to perform at a lower cost, ask family and friends to donate items for a raffle, and have free food with a recommended donation amount.

⭐⭐⭐  Be Straight to the Point and Keep People Informed

Use clear, precise information to tell donors where their money is going to entice them to give a little extra. Instead of "Feed a Homeless Person for a Week," try "$7 = A Week of Meals; $30 = A Month of Meals." You'd be surprised on how much MORE people are willing to give when they know what they're getting out of it. DipJar and The Greater Boston Food Bank raised almost $100 in an hour by being straight to the point. Give someone the joy of knowing all the good they are doing with their donation. And don't forget to say thank you!

 


Worst of the Worst


💩 Empty Donation Boxes

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Make donors think their choice is a popular one. Instead of starting a fundraiser with an empty donation box, fill it up to halfway with cash (but not all the way!) to let people know they aren't alone. A failing fundraiser can look bad on your nonprofit, turn away donors, and stick out like a sore thumb. People will start donating faster, and once people start trickling in, you'll hopefully have to empty out that donation box at least a couple times!

💩💩 Only Having one form of donation available

Whether it’s cash, change, credit card, or even bitcoin only, stop this! Give donors options on ways to donate to make them feel comfortable, and to maximize the amount they give. If someone has no cash or change in their wallet, have a quick and easy way to accept credit cards. Donors are likely give more with their credit cards; so always make that option available; those carrying cash can still empty their pockets for a great cause. Flexibility with donations is key!

💩💩💩 Don't be afraid to reach out and promote your cause

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A failing nonprofit is one that isn't working hard enough. Go out and get those donations! Be proud of your cause. Make sure to have big and bold signage, and as much branding as possible. Find ways to stand out and don't be afraid to get out on the street and ask for money for a good cause. People will thank you for the good that you're doing and worst case scenario, you'll raise awareness to a large amount of people.

Give yourself a little self reflecting and see if you fall into any of these categories. If so try something new this year so give your fundraiser a fresh new face!

Chad Kahn