Looking for ways to fundraise locally? Start with your local politician!
We all get the local politicians flyers and newsletter in the mailbox and see their faces plastered around the neighbourhood. We all know politicians run campaigns albeit for themselves, but primarily we know they are experts at getting their voice heard. Consider it as an option for fundraising and join forces by building a relationship with your local member; it’s often an untapped avenue of resources and ideas. As someone who is campaigning to be the very face of your local community, they will (for obvious reasons) want to be seen to be actually involved in the community.
Here’s how you can get their help to fundraise locally
- Organise a meeting with them and tell them about what you’re fundraising for and what your organisation is aiming to achieve. You never know it may be of personal interest to them and they will likely be happy to become involved. They may also want to come to the school and meet your principal or attend a P&C Meeting.
- Discuss how you can tag your local fundraising campaign onto their Facebook page or be mentioned in their electronic or print newsletter.
- Ask to utilise their seemingly endless stationary supplies and resources for things like photocopying and flyer making. It’s the simple cost saving measures, which may make all the difference to your fundraising effort.
- Ask if they would include a flyer of your fundraising event / initiative in their next circulation of flyers or include an emblem of your organisation on the flyers they put up to show their support.
- Raffle tickets – they may offer to buy or sell raffle tickets. The people they approach on their own behalf may also be interested in your fundraising initiative, so it’s a conversation worth having.
- Ask if they may be able to notify you of any local grants, which may be relevant and they may provide a letter of support of grant applications. Sign up to be on the grants mailing lists so you don’t miss out.
- If you’re having a local fundraising event that needs a Master of Ceremonies or an auctioneer ask if they would volunteer (also a good time for them to spruik themselves and be seen), they also love drawing raffles and having stalls at fetes so they can be seem amongst their constituents.
- If you are having an outdoor event, ask to borrow their marquees.
- If you are holding a Silent Auction ask them to donate an item, you may get a bbq, you may get a scooter or a bottle of wine, every item helps.
- Ask them if they have other ways to fundraise locally that perhaps you hadn’t thought of.
- I’m sure this goes without saying but always be very nice to the people who work for your local politicians. They often have a lot more influence than you think and imagine if they put in a good word on your behalf….
In any event, a meeting with your local member can bring about a range of possibilities to fundraise locally, because remember they’re experts at campaigning so they will have their finger on the pulse of things. They have done all the ground work in gaining access to a huge database of people in the community already, why not try to tap into it and use it to your advantage? The more you can tag your initiative onto the exposure they already have the better! They may offer fresh ideas about how you can get your message across that no amount of brainstorming sessions would have conjured. They may simply offer to make a donation, but basically you just want to explore the possibilities to create a win-win relationship with them.
Don’t forget to nominate your school as a voting venue – how much more local can fundraising get? When the next election comes around you’ll have a ready made crowd descend on your school and you can fill them up with sausage sizzles and baked goods and your fundraising accounts with lots of $$$.
First published June 18, 2014