Your organization may do a lot of work to help the community but without enough funding, you won't be able to help people. Through soliciting donations from individuals in the community, you can raise the money that you need. However, you have to realize that you are competing with other charitable organizations. To successfully get donations, you need to convince people they should donate to your organization over others.
Explain what your organization does. If people don't have a clear idea of the benefits you provide, they are unlikely to give you money. Discuss your organizations goals and services on your website and in your fundraising materials.
Connect donations with a specific benefit. When someone donates money, she wants to know what her money can do. Tell her exactly what happens with her money. For example, you could say that a $25 donation buys all of the school supplies that a child needs for a year. This will make her feel that her money is doing more than covering administrative costs.
Make donating easy. Establish a number of ways people can donate to your organization. For example, you could have a donation button on your website that allows people to pay through PayPal, you could accept checks and you can establish monthly memberships, making a donation more affordable.
Offer something in return for a donation. Some companies will send a free item, such as address labels or stickers, when requesting a donation. This makes the person feel obligated to the organization and prompt him to send a donation. You could also give gifts like a reusable shopping bag or a DVD set after the person makes a donation, with better gifts for higher donations.
Create a list of supporters. Those who support your organization one time may be more likely to support it again. Start your fundraising efforts by appealing to the people who have already made a donation.
Ask for small amounts. When you make a plea for donations, ask people go give a small amount of money--less than $10. This is within reason for most people, which can make them more likely to open their wallets. It's better to get $1 from 10,000 people than it is to get $100 from 10 people.
Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.