10 Simple Fundraising Tips Guaranteed to Improve Effectiveness | npENGAGE

10 Simple Fundraising Tips Guaranteed to Improve Effectiveness

By on Jul 28, 2011


Top 10 Fundraising Tips

Looking to be a more effective personal or peer-to-peer fundraiser? Or, do you work for a nonprofit and need to find ways to equip those who fundraise on your behalf?

If you’re an individual raising money for a cause you care deeply about or a nonprofit organization looking for ways to equip and motivate your supporters to raise money on behalf of your  fundraising event, these tips will give you just what you need.

Here are 10 simple fundraising tips guaranteed to improve your effectiveness:

1. Form a List

Put together a list of friends, family, co-workers, work out buddies, etc… (i.e. potential donors).

Think creatively here. Do you have neighbors, doctors, sports club members, etc. that might support you?

Remember, it doesn’t hurt to ask so build the biggest list you can by including everyone you can think of!

2. Set a Fundraising Goal and Continue to Raise It

Make sure you set a goal.

Having something to aim for always helps. And 9 times out of 10 you’ll end up doing better than you originally thought so aim high!

Most supporters will set their personal fundraising goal very high to inspire themselves and their donors (i.e. friends and family). Normally, you set your goal when you register, but don’t forget, you can go back and raise your goal as you start to see the fundraising dollars come in.

Remember, you’re raising money for a cause you care about. Push your self to raise more than you ever thought you could.

3. Send Hand Written Letters First, Not Emails

Email is faster and can return instant results, but good old-fashioned had written letters show a personal touch.

Think about making your initial requests via hand written letter. Deliver it personally if possible!

It is unlikely that your friends will throw out your hand written snail-mail letters before they open and read them, but even friends with the best intentions can easily lose or forget your email in an overcrowded “inbox.”

Use emails as a follow-up to those who don’t respond to your letter.

4. Remember Your Inspiration

There’s a reason why you are supporting this cause. Make sure to remember that and bring that same energy to your fundraising efforts.

As you go about setting your fundraising goal and sending out personal appeals to your friends and family try including a personal message about why you’re supporting the cause and what the fundraising efforts mean to you.

The more personal you can make it the better.

5. Use Online Fundraising Tools

It goes without saying, but using an online tool will help you manage your fundraising efforts.

Blackbaud’s Everydayhero  gives you the ability to setup your own fundraising page complete with the ability to set your fundraising goal, write a personal message, send email appeals and track progress.

This is an invaluable resource, not just for your donors (i.e. the friends and family you’re asking to support you), but also for you as you keep track of your fundraising campaign. You should direct all your contacts to visit your personal web page.

6. Get Face to Face

When you’re fundraising make it a point to ask the friends and family you see on a regular basis to support you by donating.

Dinner parties, soccer games, church, family reunions, etc. They are all great opportunities to make in person asks.

Remember, it’s difficult for people to say “no” if you speak with them in person. 🙂

Consider creating simple “fundraising cards” that have your personal fundraising page URL (for example: http://www.nonprofitname/event/frankbarry) on them.  That way when you see people in person you can hand them a card and ask them to make a donation online when they get home.

7.  Make It Personal

People will donate because YOU are asking them to. Simple as that.

They like you and respect that you’re supporting a great cause.

You have the space on your fundraising web page and in your emails to tell them why supporting this cause. Communicate your passion to your friends, family, co-workers and other potential donors. It’s a critical part of your fundraising success.

8. Follow Up

It’s very common for people to put things off. We all live busy lives and have a lot of other responsibilities on our plates. A little reminder nudge never hurt anyone.

If someone has indicated that they want to donate, but hasn’t, don’t hesitate to follow-up with a phone call or reminder email. Especially as the time you have to fundraise for the event runs down. People respond to deadlines!

9. Form a Team

There is nothing like the camaraderie of doing an athletic event with family, friends and co-workers.

A team will be able to raise more money faster and the team atmosphere will help foster friendly competition, inspiration, encouragement and participation.

Teams Rock! Create one if you can.

10. Send Thank You Notes

It’s a simple thing to do, but also one of the most powerful.

Make sure to say thank you to everyone who supported you. Send emails, write personal notes and thank people in person. Do it every opportunity you get.

Now it’s Your Turn …

OK, there’s 10 Fundraising Tips to get the creative juices flowing. What else would you add?



Frank Barry, formerly worked at Blackbaud helping nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter – @franswaa or Google+

Comments (7)

  • John Wesley says:

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you so much for these meaningful thoughts on fundraising.

    It is very much appreciated.

    God bless.

    With regards and prayers,

    John Wesley
    Navjeevan Seva Mandal
    Vellore, India

  • Rev. capt. Joel Soti says:

    It seems the blog cant help me when in Africa. The charities that are on choice are only American.

  • Eddie McKeon says:

    sorry but that was pretty basic and somewhat repetitive. I have been fundraising for ms for 17 years, this is all old info most of which no longer works for me 🙁

  • ponciano m. cudiamat says:

    thanks a lot for sharing your expertise.. God bless..

  • Gary Miller says:

    Know why you are raising funds. People are more likely to contribute if they know what the money will be used for and you are more likely to bring enthusiasm to your fundraising efforts if you are passionate about what the money will provide for your community.

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