Starting a fundraiser takes a lot of hard work. If you’re new to fundraising, then there’s much to be learned. In order to have a successful fundraiser, you must know the common fundraising mistakes and avoid them.
Because there’s so much that goes into creating a fundraiser, it’s best to do some research ahead of time to fully understand what it takes to create a successful one. Between understanding the donation processing system, talking to donors, and building fundraiser websites, there’s never a dull moment.
As long as you take all the necessary steps to create a fundraiser and avoid all common mistakes, you should find success! In the guide below, you’ll find all the most common mistakes to avoid. Continue reading to find out more!
1. Lack of Preparation
As mentioned before, there’s a lot that goes into starting a fundraiser. Lack of preparation can land you in a difficult spot. Plan all your fundraising goals and objectives accordingly. Create an outline that details every objective and how you plan to reach each one.
What checkpoints can you put in place to ensure you’re working in the right direction? Prepare for it as much as possible. Failing to properly prepare for the fundraiser will leave you with more obstacles and challenges.
Plan for everything, even the worst-case scenario.
2. Not Saying Thank You
When your donors don’t feel appreciated, they may not continue to donate. Don’t forget to say, “thank you.” A simple thanks can go a long way.
Anyone who’s helped with your fundraiser should receive a thank-you note, letter, or email. This is a great way to keep donors and donations. If possible, you can even consider sending a small gift to your donors.
It’s also a great idea to ask them for their feedback about the fundraiser. Create a survey or ask for general feedback. Be sure to review this feedback and apply it where necessary as well.
This shows the donors that you appreciate them and listen to them.
3. Non-Quality Content
The content you create for your fundraiser should be high-quality content. You want to capture the reader’s attention and keep it. Things like bad grammar and spelling and punctuation errors can cause some readers to lose interest.
It’s also essential to write easy-to-read content. If your writing is difficult to read, then that might also lose some readers. Be sure to keep in mind who your target audience is too.
Who are your main donors? Get as much information about your donors to determine where they live, their age range, gender, and more! This information will help you write content that appeals to them and things they’re interested in.
For example, uScore Fundraising sells laundry detergent as a way to raise money. They understand who their audience is and know what type of items they’d be interested in buying. Then, they can write content that appeals to their target audience.
Check your work by having someone else read through it for you. There are also websites available to you free of charge that’ll proofread your writing for you.
4. Failing to Add Images
To add impact to your fundraiser, don’t forget to add an image. An image will help people understand what the fundraiser is for and will grab their attention. Think about your fundraiser and what you’re trying to achieve.
If you want to raise money for animals in the shelter, then consider how much of an impact a sad animal inside a kennel would have on your fundraiser. You want to pull at your donors’ heartstrings and images are a great way to do so. The image you choose should relate to your fundraiser, so avoid placing a picture of an abandoned animal if your fundraiser isn’t directed towards abandoned animals.
The image quality needs to be high as well, so images are clear. You may need to look into copyright laws regarding specific images if you don’t plan on using your own personal photos.
5. Forgetting to Post Sharable Links
Social media plays a role in successful fundraising. Social media is a great way to reach a large audience. However, don’t make the mistake of forgetting to post a sharable link for your fundraiser.
You want to make it easy for anyone to share your link and spread awareness to your fundraiser. Make sure your link has an easily accessible share option to share to multiple platforms including all social media pages and even text or email. The easier it is to share it, the more it’ll be shared.
6. Asking Incorrectly
Sometimes the easiest way to collect donations is to ask the correct way. Asking incorrectly could cause you to lose potential donors. For starters, don’t make the mistake of not asking at all.
Although it can sometimes feel awkward asking individuals, organizations, or companies for donations, it’s important to still ask. You can hand them all the information you have about your good cause, but if you don’t ask for the donation, then they might not understand that you’re wanting donations to begin with.
Before you ask, do give plenty of information about the fundraiser and address the reason why someone should want to donate. Then, you can ask for a donation. You want to be direct to prevent any confusion, but you want to refrain from coming off as rude or too pushy.
It’s ultimately their decision if they want to donate or not. If you do a good job of explaining the fundraiser and reasons why they should donate, then your hard work is done.
7. Not Instilling a Sense of Urgency
If you’ve ever come across a fundraiser of some sort, then you’ve most likely experienced a time or two when you planned to donate, saved it for later, and then never revisited it. Life is busy and people forget. It’s not always intentional, but it happens.
To prevent this from happening, do your best to instill a sense of urgency in your donors. Why do you need donations sooner than later? What makes immediate donations so important?
Find the answers to these questions and be sure to communicate them with potential donors.
8. Not Giving Details About the Money
No one wants to give money to a company, campaign, fundraiser, or anything else without knowing exactly where their money is going or how it’ll be used. To help your donors feel more comfortable donating their money, you need to give them as many details as possible about how their money will be used.
It’s one thing to explain what your fundraiser is, but a whole other thing to explain how their donations will help the cause. For example, if your fundraiser is to help animals in the shelter, then what will you do with the donations to help these animals? Will you use the money to purchase blankets or beds for the animals?
Will the money go towards setting up an adoption event to help get some of the animals adopted? Let them know all the specifics so they can make an informed decision about their own money.
9. Only Asking for Money Donations
When you only communicate with donors to ask for money, you may lose their interest. A fundraiser isn’t always about asking for money. You can ask for other items that’ll help the cause as well.
If blankets are what you want to purchase for the animals at the shelter, then you can even ask for blanket donations. If you need help setting up an event, then you can ask for people to volunteer their time and labor to help set up and run the event. There are so many other ways people can help with a fundraiser other than giving money.
Don’t get too caught up on the money idea. You can also keep in touch with the donors by sending updates about the fundraiser, success stories, brochures, and much more. Then when needed, you can send out your request for money donations.
When you break it up this way, the donors won’t feel as though you only want their money.
10. Not Making a Noticeable Donation Button
If you want to get the most donations possible, then you need to make sure the donation button is visible. If you hide the button or make it too small to notice, then people might overlook it and eventually give up. They don’t want to have to visit your website or go on a search to find out how to donate.
If they have to do this, you risk losing them. Make the donation button large enough for everyone to see. It should also stand out from the other writing.
Once you create your donation button, be sure to have a friend test it out and let you know if it was easy to find and donate.
Avoid These Common Fundraising Mistakes
If you want your fundraiser to be successful, then you must do your best to avoid these common fundraising mistakes. When you take the time to plan your fundraiser and avoid making these mistakes, you’ll reach your target audience, grab their attention, and inspire them to donate.
For other posts on topics similar to this one, be sure to keep checking back here on a regular basis!