The Four Pillars of Fundraising
You need cash to make your vision go and grow. To help you understand, find and master the art of funds and raising them, we have summarized the four pillars of fundraising.
Pillar One: Get Help
You need help. Fundraising is not a one-person job. It takes a team. Whether you are raising funds for a one-time event or for an effort meant to last years and longer, you will need lots of help. Volunteers make for great help. First, they come at the right price. Second, they are passionate. They have to be willing to work for free! So, get help first. Tap your closest group of volunteers to help with your fundraising. Even if they can’t help much with technical or even cash needs, they can help with their connections and passion. Most everyone has a network of family, friends and business associates. Between your network and their network – and even better, between their network’s network – you will find most of the help and money you need. Your host of volunteers will become your most passionate advocates. Volunteers are the bedrock or great organizations. They help in more ways than meets the eye!
Pillar Two: Plan Events
Events are critical for fundraising. They provide an opportunity for your constituency to get to know you and your mission better. They allow them to invite others to the event as well. But, these events can be varied. They can be live, in-person events – like charity auctions, golf events, game nights or the like. They can also be less formal online “events” or “events” that piggy-back on other events (that you host or others host (other people, organizations or even corporations). You can and should also use great software to enhance and manage your efforts here. Some of the digital toolsets and strategies you can use for online fundraising events include Online Donations, Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunding, Donation Kiosks, etc. Online events are faster, cheaper and have a propensity for “higher margin” for your organization. Also, you get great data and build your constituency faster and with less effort.
Pillar Three: Sales
Consistent revenue is important. Many groups are finding success using a “sales strategy” for fundraising. Basically, this means sell something. Sell a product or a service. And, get help when doing this. You can get really creative and partner with others (even for-profit companies) in doing so. Your constituency is your customer. And, they have to buy things anyway. They want to buy from you. Selling them something creates a win-win. Schools clubs and church groups have used this strategy in the past. And they probably haven’t used it enough! All organizations and efforts should tap into this idea and start enjoying the same success – or even more. It’s a fruitful. Consider these ideas for product sales: chocolates, candies, cookies, muffins, popcorn, candles, t-shirts, swag, music – or even insurance products, banking products, and other service products. Also, consider partnering with software companies to do the same – or becoming their affiliate to generate passive income. Both VolunteerMark and WonderWe have such programs.
Pillar Four: Membership
Memberships have advantages! Create a subscription or a membership method to fundraise and to engage your constituency. With a membership program, your constituency pays a monthly membership fee. This fee is meant mostly as a donation, but in return, the member receives benefits. Get creative. Considering a membership that exchanges a monthly fee for something like special tickets or access to member previews, recurring events, book shows, movies, blogs or written content, educational content, music content and so on. Form business partnerships with for-profit organizations to supply value. Or, create and distribute the content or produce it yourself
Wrapping it up!
The Four Pillars mentioned above are essential for fundraising by helping to build consistent cash flow. But it’s not easy. It takes work and creativity – and the right software. So go out there and make it happen!