Fund Raising Program
Planning a longer fund raising program
A longer fund raising program can bring in more money, but it has its downsides too. With a one-off fund raising event like a sports day or a garage sale, all your energies are focused on one day, and after that day you can just take a deep breath and relax. However, you may have to organise a fund raising program which spans a longer period of time, perhaps because one event won't bring in enough money. Some people actually prefer this method, as it requires less intense bursts of energy. This page is for first-time fund raisers, but our page of fundraising campaign tips gives some advice aimed at professionals.
A chain of events
One way of organizing a longer fund raising program is to organize it as a chain of fund raising events. The advantage is that you get the variety of different kinds of fund raising, like sports fund raising and band fund raising , but you can also link the events together with a common theme. The variety keeps people interested, and the common theme reminds donors just why you are raising the money. For example, if you are raising money for a water project in the Third World, you could hold a sponsored swim, followed by a sports day where people race each other carrying full buckets of water, followed by a video night where you pay to see Waterworld or Like Water for Chocolate , followed by a band recital of Handel's Water Music. If you hold one such event every week or so, you will definitely keep your cause in the public eye.
Produce one flyer that sets out the entire program of fund raising events, with dates, times and locations. Be as concise as possible in your descriptions of the events, but make sure to include a brief explanation of why you are raising the money. Then produce separate flyers for each event, with full descriptions. The first kind of flyer is for information and reference; the second kind of flyer is to remind people and encourage them to come along. You don't have to spend a lot of money getting flyers professionally printed. A simple black and white photocopy will do.
A wall of coins
One excellent way of raising money over a longer period of time is to have a visual marker of your progress, which also acts as a reminder of your ongoing fund raising program. A popular marker is the wall of coins, where a message or picture is created using coins glued onto large wall-mounted sheets of card. This could be put up in the cafeteria at work or at school. How long the message is, and what denomination of coins you use, depends on how much money you are expecting to raise, but don't mix denominations, as this weakens the visual impact.
Don't get discouraged
One of the toughest things about longer fund raising programs is the challenge of keeping up morale. If an event early on in the program doesn't go as well as planned, it's easy for you and your team to become discouraged and think that this means failure for the whole project. Before you even begin the fund raising, put a strategy in place for dealing with exhaustion and demotivation.
Visual indicators of your progress, like the wall of coins mentioned above or even just a wall chart, will help with morale. Being able to color in sections and see the plan slowly taking shape can be a great mood-booster.