Animal Shelter Fundraising
There are dozens of little mistakes people make when they are fundraising – and each one of them takes away from the overall amount of money raised. Since we are in the business of raising as much money as possible for a cause or goal, then we need to make sure that we limit the mistakes (no matter how hard we try, they are going to happen) so we can maximize our fundraising. Check out the following list and see if you spot some room for improvement.
Not Articulating the Need
Get to the point. Make sure fundraising prospects understand your project, organization, initiatives and why you need their funding help. Make sure explanations and materials are not so ambiguous or academic that they get lost. If they have to guess, or it’s not clear, they will not give, it’s that simple.
Not Thanking Donors
Donors give your vision and dreams life. Without them, you would not be in a position to fulfill your goals. They need and deserve to know how much you appreciate them and that they make a difference. Be sincere, tell them often and find creative ways to demonstrate your gratefulness for their involvement.
Not Communicating Regularly
Be committed in this area. Discipline yourself to communicate on a consistent basis. People are too busy to keep up with you, so you need to spell it out and stay in front of them. Where you’ve been, where you’re going and how they can partner with you. Always follow up promptly with gift acknowledgments and project updates.
Watch your messaging. Fire alarms! Crisis! “The sky is falling!” “Help, we’re sinking!” People gravitate to a positive message, one of hope. They don’t want to feel threatened, emotionally jolted or turned off by a negative whirlwind every time they hear from you. What is your positive hope-filled message?
Not Knowing Your Prospects
If you are asking for something as personal and valuable as someone’s hard earned money, don’t you think you should get to know them? Show that you care about more than just their checkbook. Take the time to invest in who they are, what interests them and why they are passionate about your vision. How do you show value and nurture donor relationships?
The right audience can make the difference between success and failure. Are you reaching people who are passionate about your cause? Do they also have the ability to fund your cause? You need financial supporters, but also those who will beat the drums. Keep in mind that some people might not have the financial means, but they are excellent door openers for those who do!
Are you correctly identifying trigger points? Take the time to be thoughtful and accurate on this one. We can sometimes get so caught up in trying to make something unique, that we lose sight of the core or the heart of the need. What moves you? Why should someone care about your cause? What is the right Ask? What Ask is the best fit for your target audience?
Who are you? Brand awareness is critical. How would people fill in this blank about your organization: “They are the people who _____.” You need to make an impression and then repeat that impression many times over. And whatever you do, don’t keep reinventing yourself or readjusting your vision and goals. The idea is to build awareness, confidence and long-term loyalty.
Thе mоѕt іmроrtаnt thіng to kеер іn mіnd аbоut fundraising mіѕtаkеѕ is thаt thеу аrе рrеvеntаblе. If organizations know whеrе thе ріtfаllѕ lіе, plan саrеfullу, аnd wоrk diligently tо meet thе nееdѕ оf dоnоrѕ, еvеrу fundrаіѕеr can bе a success.