Harnessing Support – getting volunteers

Harnessing Support for Fundraising

Support for fundraising comes in two key forms:

  1. financial support made by purchasing products, attending an event or through sponsorship;
  2. volunteer support

Don’t assume either of these will just happen. Your fundraiser needs to be on people’s radars.

Facts to Think About (especially if you’re fundraising for kids):

  • We’re all busy. There’s a lot going on. Sometimes we need to be reminded what day of the week it is!
  • Parents’ time is precious.
  • Many more families are dual income.
  • Children are likely to be involved in organised activities outside school or the club you’re fundraising for (such as sport or music or extra tuition) meaning ‘Mum’s taxi’ is in overdrive.
  • Siblings of different ages can divide a family’s energies away from supporting your primary school, childcare centre, sports club or high school. That’s why fundraising – and volunteering – needs to be made EASY.

Of all the lessons I’ve learnt in fundraising, the most important boils down to COMMUNICATION. Let your supporters know why this fundraiser is needed – and how they have a role to play. Remember the SMART goal? In pre-publicising the fundraiser, directly link the action to the big picture goal.

The Handbook also looks at harnessing volunteer support. From my experience, primary school parents are the most willing to give their time to support a school cause. Even so, here’s my hot tip :

Break down tasks into manageable chunks. Think micro-tasks.When people see the task as a whole, they tend to get overwhelmed. Offering one hour slots (and knowing it will be time well spent) is manageable. 

TIP: During your fundraising efforts, allocate a ‘volunteer of the week’ car space in the school car park. Reward a different helper each week.

Take a look at communication in the next article: Spread the Word.

Originally published 14 September, 2015

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