10 Dos and Don’ts for running a fund raiser
By Randall Tomaras
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1. Have the goal written out to what you are doing and have a budget. Complete with what you expect to raise and how. Be conservative so you go past your goals as scheduled.
2. Have and follow a refund policy. What happens to all the money you accepted in good faith if you do not reach your goal? Don’t spend money that is not yours. All labor and time is volunteer until you can prove this project will reach it’s goal. That also means you have a way to re-contact donors. Otherwise you are just stealing
3. Have a deadline. Don’t expect to carry this project forever. The chances of it succeeding are determined in the first two years for long term projects. You can’t expect to keep the excitement up longer than that. People lose faith. ALL projects have a shelf life.
4. Have a targeted audience and a way to reach them. If you don’t have an audience, you’ll never have a successful fund raiser.
5. Don’t mix projects you are involved with collecting money. Not cool if you have two projects going at the same time and you mix the message it is a non-profit. Either it is a non-profit event or it isn’t. Now you can have another non-profit organization working at your non-profit event or event (like Boy Scouts, or Cheerleaders). Be straight up. You can’t offer say Tax-deductible balloon rides when the money goes to the balloonists. Ethically you cannot even charge for parking at a non-profit event when the money goes to the organization’s directors. It contaminates non-profit guidelines. It does not mean you have to lose money, but you have to deposit the money in a non-profit account and disburse money for expenses.
6. Have the proper paperwork, file the proper permits, and if you run an event make sure you have event insurance. This is different than the property owner having insurance or the participants having insurance. Most permits require this in cities and counties.