Advice for Individual Fundraising

Raising Awareness and Support for Individual Fundraising

Whether you are funding your travel to do volunteer work in a Third World country or raising money for a local cause, you need to attract supporters. Australians are generous givers – but they don’t (generally) give without good reason. Individual fundraising is often more difficult than fundraising for a charity, or a school/club. People are suspicious of people asking for money without an established group behind them.

TIP Be careful how you frame what you’re doing. 

Adopt a line and stick with it. Be able to show that: 

  • This is not a luxury. 
  • This is not indulgent. Others will benefit from your involvement. Good communication throughout the fundraising — and afterwards — is essential.

Spread the Word 

You want as many people as possible to know that you’re fundraising for a cause and what that means. 

  • Establish and maintain a blog or Facebook page specifically for your cause.
  • Include information about what you want to achieve and why – videos are also more likely to be popular than written blurbs.
  • Emphasise the benefits to others 
  • Don’t be afraid of using emotive imagery 
  • Provide information about upcoming fundraising events or activities 
  • Include a running tally of how close you are to goal — and to your deadline
  • Thank supporters — particularly businesses 
  • Keep blogging when you set off on the ‘dream’. Provide details and pictures to confirm that supporters’ faith in you was well-placed. 
  • Email all your friends, work mates, and family. Invite them to become ‘fans’ of your Facebook page or subscribe to updates. You are creating a database of supporters. 
  • Local weekly newspapers may be interested in what you’re doing. You will need a ‘hook’ – something that makes you stand out from others who may have similar causes. That ‘hook’ may be a gimmick linked to your fundraising efforts, or it may relate to your destination (are you the first from your area to ever do this or go to this place?). Once you establish a ‘name’ for yourself with a journalist, keep that contact alive by providing updates on progress. Talk to your local radio station too. 
  • Ask local businesses, the library, and your council member to display a poster promoting your fundraising. 
  • Contact your local community group (such as Rotary, Lions, Zonta, Sorpotomist or Country Women’s Association) and offer to be a speaker, talking about your cause and what you hope to achieve.

Kick off your fundraising effort – and drive it home 

Successful fundraising drives have a beginning, a middle and an end.  Launch your individual fundraising drive with some publicity such as local newspaper.  Maintain the momentum over the next couple of weeks with posters, reminder announcements and a midway progress report via your web presence.  Drive it home in the last few days.

Share the outcome with your community 

Too often, a fundraiser just fades away. Share the result with all who took part. Partly so people know that you aren’t sipping caipirinhas in Ipanema with their hard-earned money. Use your Facebook or blog to post updates. If a local journalist has shown interest, follow it up. And when you are off pursuing that dream, don’t forget your supporters, let them live the dream with you through your updates. Raising support for individual fundraising is hard, but getting a couple of people will make the effort so much easier for you.

Good luck!!

Originally published on 14 September, 2015

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