Creating a personal fundraiser is an exciting yet daunting task. There are many who seem to have a natural flair for making fundraising seem effortless. But, for the rest, the process of setting up, promoting, and managing a fundraiser can be a challenge in itself.
To help, we have created a list of the five most common personal fundraising mistakes. We also explain how you can use this information to ensure you create a fantastic, appealing fundraising campaign.
1. An Unrealistic Target
Many fundraisers believe that by setting a large fundraiser target, they are more likely to receive more donations, when in fact the opposite is true. Many donors are actually discouraged by large targets as they feel their donation will not make much of a difference. Smaller targets fair better, as donors can see their donations really make a difference.
To deal with this, if you do have a large target, divide your fundraiser into phases. These smaller targets will appeal to your donors, and will also provide a more defined explanation of what each phase is aiming to achieve.
Also, try to develop a commitment from friends and family to donate in those all important early days.
2. A Vague Description
Your fundraising story is your one chance to appeal to your donors. Telling your donors that you need ‘X’ amount to buy a car, means nothing. Telling your donors that you need ‘X’ amount to buy a car that is specially adapted to enable you to take your disabled daughter to her special school 50 miles away, suddenly throws new light on your appeal.
Explain to your donors why you need the funds. Help your donors understand that their donations really can make a difference.
3. Photos or videos not relevant to the fundraiser
First impressions really do count when creating a fundraiser, so take the time to consider which visual images best suit your fundraiser.
Imagine you are raising money for a volunteering trip. What do you think your fundraisers would rather see? Lots of photos of you in your home environment, or pictures of the destination you are going to, the people you are going to help, the lives you are hoping to change with their money?
4. Failing to test run your fundraiser before you share it
There is nothing worse than creating your fundraiser, asking everyone to donate and then in those all important first few days or weeks find that your donors are not able to donate, because you failed to ‘road test’ your campaign.
Apart from your potential embarrassment and frustration, this will reduce their faith in your fundraiser. It will also mean that your initial drive for donations will be somewhat diluted, as you have to go back to them and ask again for donations. The simplest way to avoid this is to make minimal test donations yourself, before sharing your fundraiser.
5. Not considering your strategy once your fundraiser is live
Don’t fall into the trap of believing your fundraiser will promote itself. You may get an initial rush of donations, but once that has passed you need to consider what your next tactic is. No-one ever said fundraising was easy. You need to keep it fresh and interesting, find different groups to appeal to, and find ways to keep it in the public domain.
Social media has always been a good way to do this but consider waiting to announce your fundraiser to the social media world until you have a number of donations already. No-one likes to be the first to donate, but if they can see it is already under way, they are more likely to.
And, what about approaching your local radio or newspaper? They love to run community stories, which could be just the boost your fundraiser needs when the initial interest wanes.
These are five simple ways to help you keep your fundraiser, realistic, relevant and most important, appealing.
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