A Foray into Fundraising

Posted by on Feb 21, 2011 in ComLead, Managing Not-For-Profit Organizations

For the past 5 years the Communication and Leadership program has been able to successfully establish an endowment and disburse partial scholarships to several students enrolled in the program. With each year of the annual event, the Night of Class evolves and lessons are learned on what goes into making the fundraiser a success. As the coordinators plan the event, I have gained some insight on the challenges of fundraising and lessons on what makes planning an event of this nature a bit easier and less stressful.

1. Don’t go it alone- Delegation is important. It is also important to use  the people around you as resources. It can be diffucult to distribute tasks to those around you when an organization has so much invested in the success of the event. Bringing people together under the goal of raising money for a good cause generates more committed supporters and gives you more hands to work with.

2.  Never underestimate the power of the personal. Making an ask face to face is undeniably the best way to secure a donation. By establishing a rapport with potential donors, it makes the likelihood of a gift stronger.

3. Remember what you are fundraising for.  Amidst the stress of securing entertainment, decorations and donations, it can be difficult to keep in mind why you are doing it. Think about the people you are benefitting. In our case, it is the recipients of the scholarships. Without the fundraiser, no money would be available to offset the cost of attendance.

Fundraising is challenging and  situational. Each person I talk to agrees that it is a dynamic environment. No matter what field your career is in, fundraising somehow finds a way to pop up. What tips do you have from your experiences with it?

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