You have the idea, the drive and the motivation – the only thing you are lacking is the capital to lift your venture off the ground. So how do you create a fundraiser that is going to be professional, trusted and enticing?
There are a number of key elements to a business fundraiser that can set it apart. This blog will go through each of them so that you can see where you are going right, or where you may need to dedicate a little more time.
People may believe in the product, but they need to believe in you too. Make sure your photo appears on your profile and if you are able, include a short 1 – 2 minute video. This does not need to be professionally made, but needs to look professional – two different things.
Dress appropriately and choose a neutral background. If you are not a confident speaker, rehearse what you are going to say and re-shoot as many times as necessary. Be passionate about your product – this will have a lasting impression on your donors, but above all, be yourself.
You need to know exactly how you intend to spend their money and how you have calculated the amount needed. Telling potential donors a little about your background, and how you have reached this stage is vital.
Take a look at these two examples:
‘I have a great idea for a cake shop. My family say I would be great at it. I just need your help.’ This tells donors nothing about your professional capabilities, your research, or your personal and financial investment so far.
Saying ‘I have worked in the building trade for the last 15 years and after recently completing a degree in business management and accounts feel the time is right to start my own business. I have researched the costs of starting out and my biggest outlay will be for tools, equipment and a vehicle – something I am not able to do alone…..’
Donors are more likely to donate to the second fundraiser, as there is a clear indication of experience, preparation, investment research and commitment into their potential business.
Create an open relationship by connecting with your donors. Engage them with regular updates about what you are continuing to do while your fundraiser is running. Take the time to respond to any comments they write on your fundraiser.
If you have managed to raise capital elsewhere (secured a loan, sold your car etc), add this to the offline total on your fundraiser page, so donors can see you are continuing efforts.
If they’ve helped you secure that vehicle you need, post a picture of it. Showing them tangible things they have helped you achieve can be incredibly motivating for donors.
Yes, of course you would like to raise all the money you need, to never have to worry about your business. However, if you are expecting people to part with their cash, be realistic. If you have high hopes of having a snazzy website and a high-end company vehicle, this won’t meet with much support. Set a realistic target and a realistic deadline.
What do you really need to get started? Consider breaking your fundraiser up into stages. Is a van the most important thing you need? If so, start with a fundraiser just for that. Once you have achieved that, move on to the next most important thing, and so on.
Your fundraiser is a platform. It may be your first opportunity to expose your business to potential new clients. If you have a website or any social media accounts, make sure they are posted on your fundraiser.
If you choose to set up automated emails, make sure that it includes contact details for your new business.
Offer incentives to donate – we call them rewards – to suit all types of pledges large and small. If you have a service on-line, offer discounts for donations. Offer free advertising space on your website. If you have a product, offer the product for a donation (ensuring you have taken shipping costs into account too) so donors feel like they are getting a good deal too. These are just a couple of ideas to consider.
This title could have also been named ‘be professional’.
Your campaign may be your first experience of managing a project. How you organise your fundraiser could be viewed as reflection of how you manage your business.
So, keep on top of responding to donors. Ensure emails are sent thanking them for their donation (Individual personal emails are always best, but you can set these up to be automated so you never forget). Check all your links and videos are working, test the donation process, spell-check your description.
If you have rewards make sure you dispatch or acknowledge requests as soon as possible.
If you want to own your own business, this is one skill you will need to have. Where better than to put it into practice than in the fundraiser that may well lead you to having your own business?
Start with people close to you to get your fundraiser started, then work to keep your fundraiser in the public domain. Tweet it, Facebook post it, put flyers up in your local area, comment on like-business forums, write guest-blogs for sites that will let you link back to your fundraiser. Host an advice workshop, Skype tutorials, anything that will keep your fundraiser alive.
If you want your Business fundraiser to be a success, use these simple tips and click below to start your business fundraiser today!
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