My Best Advice on Fund Raising
Page 1 of 3 by Randall Tomaras
Having raised over 20 million dollars for non-profits and not kept a cent, I am often asked for fund raising advice after I have turned down their request to be their chairman. Advice is what this article is for. There are certain things a good fund raiser should be to be successful. Let’s get started with my Top Ten in no particular order. When you look at these 10, you will see that this advice is good for any business success. (5 and 7 are organization destroyers)
1. The biggest stumbling block is FEAR. Everyone is afraid to ask for money. Afraid to sell. Afraid of being turned down. Even the best fund raisers you will receive more NOs than YESes. Make it a game, because that is what it is - a numbers game. The two factors are how many people you ask and how many you get to donate or buy. The latter is based on technique, sincerity, enthusiasm, knowledge honesty and presentation. Always ask questions – it gets them involved, and you lose your fear. Questions put the responsibility on them and not you. Plus you do not feel as bad when they say NO to a value question. Do you think sports are good for kids? Is the mind a terrible thing to waste?
2. It should be FUN. Be goofy, joke around, tell stories - ANY thing to get a smile on sellers or donors. Don’t be afraid to draw attention or a crowd. I have seen people dress up their dog; have puppets, in uniform or costume. People rarely donate if they have a frown on their face. Winning is FUN. People want to be a part of something much bigger, but they want to have fun doing it. ALWAYS look for the FUN and share it.
3. Make it UNIQUE. People like something different. They get tired of a car wash so why not make a Guinness World Book of Records Car Wash. Sometimes it is in the name or presentation, other times it is the uniqueness of the event or product. You want people to say that sounds like fun or I want to be a part of that.
4. VALUE for sellers and donors. You always have to answer that question “What’s in it for me?” If you do not want to do the fund raiser all by yourself there has to be something for the sellers. Sometimes they are the end recipient of the fund raiser and other times it is for a cause or organization they believe in. The more prizes the more sellers. Now for the donor they are looking for fun, a product they would use normally, something unique, recognition in the community, a cause they strongly believe in, advertising, and name recognition. Only family members donate because they love someone. Not to say that a person does not consider an organization part of a family, but not normally.
Now check out page two with 5, 6, & 7.