Overcoming Fundraiser Reluctance

What causes fundraiser reluctance?

There are times when even the most committed fundraising committees lose their oomph and have fundraiser reluctance.

Some common causes are usually at play:

  1. Bitten off more than you can chew syndrome
  2. Burn-out (especially the month or two after the fete)
  3. Hard economic times (also known as ‘hip pocket nerve tightening’)
  4. Government funding decreases and now it seems everyone needs to have a fundraising committee!

How to overcome fundraiser reluctance

Reviewing three key components of your fundraising would help you find what’s needed to put the FUN back into fundraising.

  • Do you have a SMART goal? Redefining it into manageable milestones can make your efforts seem achievable.
  • Is your fundraising calendar asking too much of you, your committee and supporters?
  • How strong and willing is the volunteer pool? Are the same people always being turned to, to work their magic? “My kids’ school has 620 families with only three of us on the Fete committee. I am so sick of people saying ‘I’m too busy.’ I have a life too!” wailed Fundraising Directory fan Karyn. Encouraging new volunteers tips can help you here.

Additional Tips

Avoiding hip pocket nerve tightening

Even when money’s tight in a community, successful fundraising can be achieved: the trick is to change where available dollars are spent.

“Focus your fundraising on products that your supporters will need to buy anyway like books, toys, sunscreen, toothbrushes,” recommends Marisa. “That way day-to-day purchases that would happen anyway aren’t burning a hole in the pocket.”

Look at products currently “hot” in the shops. Fundraising ideas like the current Fidget Spinner trend are sure to get a few extra fundraiser dollars.

Align your product drive with occasions when gifts are being bought e.g. Father’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Easter.

Choose a fun themed event (with very affordable entry) for a family night out (e.g. Trivia Night) or parents’ ‘date night’ (e.g. Casino). Discretionary spending inside (such as refreshments and raffles) may add up but patrons will be having a good time too!

Reigniting that ‘feel good’ feeling

There’s more to reigniting that ‘feel good’ feeling than a fun themed event. Maybe your committee and the broader community have lost sight of why you fundraise.
Perhaps your volunteers—and supporters—have forgotten what’s been achieved already; how facilities or equipment didn’t ‘just appear’. Use social media as a way to communicate to your community – capturing fun images of the Fundraising team hard at work at a Bunnings BBQ or at a Movie in the Park night are ideal ways of showing these events can be fun. Capturing pictures of the item/s paid for by the Fundraising venture are a fabulous way of showing where the dollars were spent.

Remember, communication is key—and amid that communication are two little words that go a long way to making all involved feel so much better: thank you!

Originally published May 29, 2012

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This article is referred to on the ‘2 Months to Go‘ page of our Fete in a Box Countdown Planner