Today I want to spend a little time thinking about the most important type of participant in your fundraising event (i.e. Run, Walk, Ride, etc). No, not team captains… I am talking about committee members.
You have Committee Members
Even if you don’t have an event committee, you have potential committee members. You cannot be a semi-established NPO or run a moderately successful fundraising event without them.
It is possible they are hiding from you in plain sight. They are the participants who come back every year. They personally raise obscene amounts of money from their friends and family. They are well connected. They show up early. They stay late. They are the constituents in your database with the segment or constituency: indispensible.
They want to help you
It sounds cheesy, but you complete them. Your mission inspires them. You fulfill something in them that makes them feel better about themselves. Do not be shy about asking them for their time, especially where it can make the biggest impact for your mission.
So, how can you harness the power of your most effective fundraisers? Here’s three simple, though not easy to pull off, tips to get you started.
This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Good committee members tend to be “just add water”, type-A personalities. Make sure to clearly layout the goals of your event committee. This is simple; you have two goals:
1) You want to raise $X dollars from corporate sponsorship from your event.
2) You want to raise $Y dollars from corporate participation within your event.
Remember, X & Y are numbers with at least four zeros. You are putting together an All-Star team; it is ok to expect greatness. Get each committee member to personally commit to a portion of the overall committee goals. It is ideal to get the sum of committee member’s personal commitment to exceed the entire committee’s goal by 25%. For example, if your committee corporate sponsorship goal is $100,000, try to have personal corporate sponsorship commitments totaling $125,000.
Set clear expectations about their timeframe for fundraising. It is ideal to give event committees at least 6 months of time before your event. Set up regular checkpoint meetings. Let the group define the frequency. Meet more frequently as the event date approaches. Use the new committee dashboard feature in Friends Asking Friends for them to record and track their progress. Review the dashboard together every time you meet as a committee or with them individually.
In your checkpoint meetings show passion and enthusiasm when “asks” are made, when “verbal’s” are received and when checks are cashed. Energy is contagious. Excitement motivates. If people don’t attend meetings or don’t show progress, replace them. Replace them early. Go above and beyond in thanking them when the job is done. CEO or executive director attention is mandatory for this group of rock stars.