There is no better way to raise money than to use basic fundraising techniques. Fundraising gives you the ability to get your message out to donors, builds relationships with these donors and delivers the money you need to keep building your business for the future.
Direct Mail Campaigns
You might think that sending mail is a lost cause, but it is not. Most organizations that send direct mail receive at least enough money to cover the cost of the mailing, and then some. For donors who have given in the past, direct mail is even more successful. If you choose to send a direct mail appeal, make sure you keep your message clear and simple. Keep your letter short but sweet. Send one piece of paper that includes a tear-off form at the bottom of the page with a return envelope. Give your form a code that identifies the mailing. By using a code, you will be able to tell which letters are more successful than others.
Consider hosting an event, maybe a wine and cheese tasting. Many vendors will even donate all the items you need for your event for the tax write-off. Invite donors who support your cause, and ask them to attend and bring friends who may consider supporting your efforts. Make sure that all your best staff members with communication skills are at the event to gain trust with the donors. Give a short but direct appeal to your audience. Make sure your speech includes how you will use the money they are donating so they feel compelled to give. Have someone on your staff collect names, addresses and phone numbers of attendees so you can follow up with each individual. Let your donors know that you are taking donations and where they can go to give their donation before they leave.
Depending on the age of your target audience to donate, telemarketing can be a very successful way to gain donations. Telemarketing for fundraising is not as aggressive as appeals made by telephone or television companies. Make sure your telemarketers are friendly, not aggressive, and equipped with a script that clearly communicates your mission statement. If you are a smaller organization, consider having staff conduct your calls. If you are a large organization, several telemarketing companies, such as Comnet or Calls Without Walls, exist that can assist you with your fundraising efforts.
No matter which method you decide to use for fundraising, it is very important that you have a database that is holding all of your existing donor names. This database should also be able to store the contacts you have with each donor, and contain up-to-date contact information. If a donor decides he can’t give you any money at the moment, it does not mean he won’t ever give you money. Make sure you keep the names in your database of donors who give you money and of those who don’t currently but might in the future.
Tanya Watkins is a software support technician, software trainer, documentation specialist, fundraising consultant, and first-time mom. She has written several articles geared around technology, home improvement projects, and lessons learned by a new mother. Her 12 years of experience in computer software and support, mold the content of her articles.