Economic uncertainty can cause wallets to close and purse strings to tighten, but it does not mean your fundraising efforts will grind to a halt. Remaining sensitive to the hardships and obstacles facing your audience is important, and will allow you to determine the best method for your communication and approach. We know the difficulties you may be facing, so we have compiled six helpful tips for organizations that need to boost donations at an upcoming fundraiser!
- Listen to your audience and understand their perspective
Take the time to hear what people are saying through social media platforms or directly to your organization. If someone who has previously attended your fundraising events appears hesitant, find out why. Is the ticket price too high? Do they feel they have given all they are willing to donate to a specific cause? Ask them what you can do to address their concerns, and look for trends you can tackle.
- Make changes that reflect your understanding
When money is on the mind, value becomes a major component of decision-making. Seek out donations for lifestyle services such as matchmaking, yoga or life coaching for your live and/or silent auction. If your audience is comprised of working parents, consider including home cleaning or childcare gift kits. Some bidders will find experiences more valuable than individual items as experiences can enrich time spent with family or friends. Choose from our selection of memorable “local experiences” to round out your auction items through sought-after escapes from the daily drain.
- Clearly indicate the benefit to your audience
If your attendees see the fundraiser as an opportunity to have a fun night out on the town or as a unique date night, the perceived value of attending will also increase. Be creative with a theme or concept to stand out from the crowd. It’s all in the details; consider including elements of your theme in the invitation for the event, the music selection, the activities or the food. A few subtle details will give your event a polished look and a sophisticated feel.
- Choose a specific goal
If the fundraising goal is vague, it will be difficult to convince a wary audience to support it. Find something tangible and relatable in order to establish the worthiness of your cause. Focus on raising funds to provide new jerseys for a children’s soccer team or to fund next year’s research grant rather than to support an organization in general. Our Fund-A-Need service is successful for organizations that have specific areas where donations can make a big difference.
- Don’t ignore the elephant in the room
Address the difficulties your audience has faced. Are you speaking to a crowd who has experienced recent layoffs or cutbacks? Has their business been effected by poor sales? Address their experience, but don’t dwell on it. Offer positivity and encouragement to those who have continued to support you despite personal setbacks.
- Celebrate your attendees
It is more than saying thank you. Consider writing a feature article or blog post on winning bidders that highlights what they loved about the item they bid on and why they support your cause. Your stories can be comical, emotional and even informative to your followers. Use social media to capture moments among attendees and highlight sponsors whenever possible through pictures and video. Don’t feel that you must shower your guests with trinkets or swag – they might perceive that as a misuse of their donations. Instead, take advantage of your existing resources to showcase your audience. Not only is it free, it will be greatly appreciated by those who participate.
Want more information? Give us a call at 403 287 8439 – we would love to help!