Sunday, September 7, 2008

How to Create a Successful Fundraiser with Free Advertising

Do you need a creative fundraising idea? No you have one, okay, now how can we make it successful? First of all we need to create a buzz around what you are doing. What about it makes it great? Use that thought and build on it. Why will other people be interested in supporting it or care. Do you have a deadline or a certain dollar amount you need to achieve? Make this known it helps in creating the buzz.

Okay, keeping those things in mind use the power of the press... Local TV and radio stations will advertise your non-profit fundraising event. TV stations usually need 6 to 8 weeks where radio stations need a little less 4 to 6 weeks. Have some one in your fundraiser designated to take care of publicity for you notifying all the local TV and Radio stations in your area. Your local and community newspapers will also need to be notified. Have them put you in their community section or whats happening locally. These are all free.

Also, have fliers made put them at post offices, supermarkets, gas stations, convenience stores, Laundromats, hand out at town meetings ( getting permission for all these of course). If your group has a website get it posted on your website. Word of mouth works tremendously talk it up. Email it out to all friends and family members. Let people know the importance of your fundraiser.

Here is a great way to give your fundraiser an extra boost. Try to tie it into a holiday or seasonal happening . Also if there is something going on in town that many people are interested in tie it in to that event.

The year before last, I was co-coaching a Destination Imagination team, our children had won not just one of our teams but two teams from the same school in the same town. They had won the regional and state championships. We were on our way to the Globals that was 1500 miles away in 52 days wow that was great! We were so proud of our teams!!! BUT, we needed to raise $35,000 in 42 days in order to get there, UGH!

What did we do??? EVERYTHING! We did everything above that I had mention. Soon people who knew nothing about Destination Imagination were talking about it. We had created a buzz and a genuine interest. It just so happened, we had called a reporter at the local newspaper and he did a little article on the teams. From there, the governor of our state just happened to becoming to our local town meeting to discuss budget issues in education. Yes, we put a few calls into his office and the children got to meet him as well as have a picture taken with him that landed on the front page of our daily newspaper.

This buzz that we had created helped us in raising money, people knew who we were, what we were doing, why we were doing it, when we were going and were more than willing to donate something...With all this said, yes we did collect all our money needed. Let me tell you, we had no corporate sponsors there really isn't any here. The town we live in has about 22,000 people and quite a few are snowbirds and go south for the winter. Was it hard? You bet! Would I do it again? In a heart beat!

So, it doesn't matter what kind of fundraiser you are doing, whether you are collecting ink cartridges and used cell phones, collecting cans or store receipts, an Avon fundraiser, Tupperware fundraiser or if you are having a black tie or golfing event. In order for your event to be really successful you need to get the word out.