What is it that makes running a fundraiser so intimidating?
Most of us have done them. Most of us have given to them. And yet, when it’s time to put on a fundraiser for your school, church or sports team, you might still feel a rush of anxiety.
I don’t want to be pushy, you think first. Then, It’s going to be so much work! And finally, Why do so many of these fundraiser products feel overpriced? How many people will actually buy them?
But holding your next fundraiser doesn’t have to fill you with dread. It really is possible to hold an enjoyable, successful fundraiser — and you don’t have to become an extrovert to do it. You just need the right tools and mindset to overcome your fear of fundraisers.
Change Your Fundraising Mindset
Science has shown us over and over that giving to others makes us happier.
A survey of over 600 Americans found that people who spent more on others were happier than those who spent more on themselves. And MRI scans show that the pleasure centers of our brains light up when we voluntarily give money to charity. It literally feels better to give than to receive.
What does this mean for you?
When we think about fundraisers, we often see ourselves as asking people to do us a favor. But the reality is, you are doing them a favor, too. You’re giving them the chance to do something they genuinely enjoy.
So, stop approaching people with the sense that your fundraiser isn’t worth their time. Ask yourself:
- Why am I excited to be part of this cause?
- What will this fundraiser accomplish?
- What kind of impact will my friends and family get to make through this fundraiser?
Once you have answers to those questions, go out and share them. Invite people into your organization’s story, and watch them get excited!.
Build Your Fundraising Team
Can you lead a fundraiser on your own? Absolutely — but you probably don’t have to. Find the people in your organization who enjoy the elements you don’t.
Who in your group is good at communication? Ask them to be in charge of emails to volunteers and any publicity needed in the community.
Who loves logistical planning? Let them find your location and handle set-up.
Has someone been especially successful in fundraisers before? Ask them to share tips on how to sell effectively and stay energized.
The point is, your organization and your support base are full of people with a variety of skills. Instead of carrying everything yourself, figure out what people’s skills are and put them to work doing something they already enjoy.
If your fundraiser is for an individual rather than for an organization, you can still find helpers. Talk with the other people who care about this cause and ask how they would be willing to step up. Before you know it, you’ll have a small team that’s capable of big things. And once you’re working as a team, your fundraiser anxieties will likely fade.
Pick a Fundraiser You Can Be Proud Of
There’s no getting around this one. Maybe fundraisers make you anxious because you don’t think the product or service you’re selling is worth the money.
The product you’re selling needs to be profitable for both you and the company providing the product. In order to do this, companies have you sell their
That’s why you may have found yourself selling 5-ounce bags of trail mix for $8 each. Companies have to dramatically overprice their products so the fundraiser will be worthwhile for you.
If this is your struggle, it’s important to remember that the product isn’t the point; your cause is. But it also doesn’t hurt to find a product you know your community will love. Knickerbockers portrait fundraisers are a great example of this.
Knickerbockers provides portrait certificates, which entitle buyers to a portrait session and a package of prints. You sell the certificates for $10 each and keep 100 percent of the money you collect. When families schedule their portrait sessions, Knickerbockers earns its profit through any additional prints the families buy. You get to sell something that is truly a good deal, and your buyers end up with beautiful portraits they will cherish forever.
Look for fundraisers that can become a cherished tradition in your community. If it brings you joy, it will likely bring joy to your community, too.
Ultimately, putting on a good fundraiser is about believing in your cause, your people and your product. If you’re looking for a fundraiser you can be proud of, give the Knickerbockers team a call at 800-332-1066. We’ll help you craft a plan for success and overcome all your fundraising fears.