Top Fundraising Tips

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1. Publicize Early

“I wish I had known you were doing a fundraiser, too.” Have you ever heard these words? You can help ensure your friends and loved ones don’t miss out on your fundraiser by making inclusion part of your strategy. As soon as you have a sense of when your fundraiser launches, put a bug in your community’s ear. This heads-up lets them plan their time and budgets accordingly. Look no further than the film industry for inspiration: if they can release previews for movies before they even come out (all the while drumming up excitement and anticipation), you can give your community a head’s up, too.

2. Be Transparent About Money

The more specific you can be about what the profits from your fundraiser will go toward, the better. If you know any actual numbers up front, pass that knowledge along. X amount of toe shoes, Y books of sheet music, Z trips to nationals.  Remember, the more specific you can be about fund allocation before, during, and after the fundraiser, the better.

3. Utilize Your Mixed Bag Designs Sales Reps

How often do you check in with your Mixed Bag Designs rep? They are your direct connection to Mixed Bag Designs at the corporate level. Remember: your success is their success, and they want to see you knock it out of the park with your fundraiser. Your sales rep may be able to give you some tips of their own for successful fundraising based on their professional experience and offer a perspective that you can’t really get from other sources. Take a moment to nurture this potentially valuable relationship. Send them a quick email thanking them for their help and ask a few open-ended questions about fundraising and what they think are key pieces that make a fundraiser great.

4. Don’t Forget the Grown-Ups

Rare is the fundraiser where one adult holds responsibility for the entire experience from beginning to end, especially when it’s a fundraiser for a program involving kids. Often, there is a coach, teacher or facility director that is close to the process, simply by virtue that they are the prominent adult figure in this part of your kid’s life. You already have some kind of rapport with these key people who are involved with your child. Why not talk to them and see what kinds of incentives would work best as motivators? Being so intimately connected to the activity that you’re fundraising for, they probably have some valuable insights.

5. Talk to the Media

At first, it might feel a little intimidating to talk to the media about your fundraiser. Something to remember is that media professionals like to hear about stories as well as tell them. If your fundraiser has a unique or slightly unusual storytelling element to it, be sure to emphasize that. Is your fundraiser solving a problem, or helping a specific segment of the community? Is it especially relevant to current events? If so ,be sure to include that in your brief pitch emails.

You can start at the local level by reaching out to local papers. They probably have general email addresses for sending in tips on their websites. As far as social media goes, journalists tend hang out on Twitter. Often, they have their work email address in their bios, so you can use that as a source to send them your pitch. Wait a day or two before following up, and if you still don’t receive a reply, move on—these folks have especially full inboxes. On to the next!

6. The Power of an Image

With the invention of the camera (not to mention the invention of the camera on our phones!) we’ve become an very visual culture. While that may have drawbacks in some areas of life, we hope you see how much of a boon it can be for your fundraiser. How? It’s all about storytelling.

Using photos to inform your community how your fundraiser benefits your cause can be a very powerful tool. Think of images that reflect life before, during, and after the fundraiser. How will life be different? For example: a classroom with spartan art supplies is transformed into a haven of creativity. Or, orchestra students practicing in their normal rehearsal space and then later performing on a big stage at a regional competition. Photos also help people visualize exactly how their money will be used. The power of images packs a punch.

7. Fundraising on Facebook’s Newsfeed

Creating a post on Facebook is an easy way to get the word out about your fundraiser that costs no extra money on your part. Here are some easy ways to use Facebook’s Newsfeed to your advantage. Just so we’re clear, Newsfeed is the main page of Facebook where everyone’s posts are all seen together.

  • Include at least one image. An image specifically related to your fundraiser can be effective in helping people visualize your fundraiser’s goal. Posts with images are usually ranked higher in Newsfeed, which means more people will see it.
  • Tag people in your post. Did you know you can tag up to 30 people in a single Facebook post? If you choose to do this, be sure that you’re tagging people who would truly want to be reminded about your fundraiser – it could come off as pretty spammy otherwise. You can also tag people in comments if you’d prefer to keep their names out of your main message.
  • Don’t forget to include your link! Have your link take them directly to your sales page for maximum impact.

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