by Joe Garecht - The Fundraising Authority
Quick fundraising usually isn’t good fundraising. Most of the time, non-profits are well advised to spend time getting to know their prospects and donors, cultivating them, and executing a well-written fundraising plan to raise the money they need to operate.
Of course, there are times when every organization, no matter how well run, comes into financial difficulty, whether it be caused by a downturn in the economy, a major donor leaving the fold, or a need to rapidly expand your programs or physical plant. When that time comes, your church, school, or charity will need to come up with a fundraising strategy – and fast. Here are the 5 best quick fundraising methods you can use to help you get back on track:
1. Reach Out to Current Donors
The people most likely to give money to your organization are those who have already done so. That’s right… your best new donors are your current donors. Figure out a way to go back to them to ask them to give again. Hold an event, send out a mailing, make calls. Tell your donors why you need them to be generous once again.
2. Run a Mini-Campaign
You’ve heard of major fundraising campaigns, right? This time, hold a mini-campaign. Decide how much you need to raise, then structure it just like a major fundraising campaign. Have a campaign chair and vice chairs, do a small booklet explaining your revenue needs on the office copy machine, hold a kick-off, and track your progress during this short-duration quick fundraising campaign.
3. Pre-Sell Future Events and Activities
This is one of the best quick fundraising tactics. If you’ve got a major fundraising event coming up later in the year, or some other activity like a walk-a-thon or raffle that you know about in advance, pre-sell tickets for a reduced rate or in return for additional recognition as a “charter” or “early” sponsor. Raise money for your current needs using future events and activities.
4. Hold Viral Fundraising Events
If you need money quick, chances are you won’t have time to pull together a major fundraising event. Instead, talk to your best supporters and ask them to host small viral fundraising events on your behalf. Using this strategy, you hold lots of little fundraising events in supporters’ homes, with them inviting their networks and paying for refreshments. Lots of little events can add up quick. If your group needs to raise a quick $10,000, all you need using this method is to find 10 people to each host a $1,000 event in their home… doable for most organizations. And since the event hosts do most of the work, you can pull this off very quickly.
5. Cut Costs
OK, so this isn’t a quick fundraising method per se, but cutting costs around the edges can really add to the bottom line. Every dollar you cut from your expenses is a dollar you don’t have to raise. Many organizations have been able to cut 2-5% from their budgets relatively painlessly, and without laying off staff. Take a good hard look at your expenses and see what you can cut, at least for the short term.