Ensuring fundraising success
TIPS FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF FUND-RAISING DISTRIBUTORS & SUPPLIERS
Establish a clear financial goal before evaluating products, programs, etc. - knowing how much money you need to raise will help make these decisions easier.
Don't let your organization's profits be eaten away by "hidden" costs (e.g.for freight, prizes, overruns) - ask questions ahead of time and make the necessary adjustments.
Select your fundraising program early to assure ample time for planning. If the school or community has a planning calendar, be sure your event is included. Stagger fundraising activities to avoid competing with other groups.
Set a specific beginning and ending date for your fundraiser and stick to it- without a clear target date the campaign will drag on, often without direction.
Avoid "fundraising fatigue" among parents and volunteers by conducting fewer programs that are more effective individually.
Rely on your product fundraising company professional for suggestions and advice.
Don't let your program fizzle - some organizers will lose interest once a program begins; stay motivated until the end to assure success. Put a time limit on the sale. Usually 10-14 days is long enough.
Keep energy levels high by communicating before, during and after the program - remind parents, teachers and other volunteers of the fundraiser's goals and deadlines, provide frequent status reports and updates.
Avoid shipping and ordering problems by working closely with volunteers to assure that all order forms are legible and filled out completely.
Keep copies of all forms turned in by volunteers before sending them to the fundraising company.
Assure efficient handling of products by recruiting parents ahead of time to help distribute the products.
Double check the products shipped to your organization against the order forms; check each box or bag for damaged or missing merchandise before sending them home with volunteers for delivery.
Don't forget to communicate with absentees who miss the program's kick-off or other important meetings.
Have fun! With the right approach, fundraising can be educational and enjoyable for everyone.