Start Your Fundraiser Right By Setting Clear Goals
The first item on your group’s agenda at the start of each fundraising season or campaign should be to set goals. The most prominent fundraising goal will be a dollar figure, but your organization may benefit from setting other goals as well.
Setting clear dollar-figure fundraising goals
It is best if your financial fundraising goal is a definite dollar amount. Even if you do not reach that amount, everyone will have something to strive for, and will be less likely to quit until your group brings in the funds needed. Should the first fundraiser not bring in the necessary funds, volunteers will be compelled to hold another and another until they do. A specific dollar amount will also push your group to clearly define other action items to reach your financial goal.
Tracking progress publicly, such as with a ‘fundraising thermometer’ or weekly progress report, towards your financial fundraising goal provides a great incentive for continuous effort. Goal-trackers keep everyone informed, and show how much more work is needed to reach your goal.
In order to set an accurate dollar figure fundraising goal, your group will need to spend a little time assessing the following:
- What exactly are you raising funds for
- Funds needed for fundraising products or services
- The cost of the fundraiser and needed supplies
- The size of your volunteer group (to determine how large a fundraiser your group can reasonably handle)
- How much time is available to raise the funds
- Increases in program costs over previous years
Other goals for your fundraiser
At least in theory, fundraising should get easier from year to year, and it can if your group sets goals for improvement. When you assess your group’s financial needs, take some time to discuss past successes and failures, as well as what ran smoothly and areas needing improvement. Turn the most important or needy of these administrative-type tasks into goals for the organizing committee.
Some of the areas your group may want to look at when setting administrative improvement goals are:
- Communication – among committee members and with volunteers and sellers
- Organization – including record-keeping, which will make subsequent fundraisers run more smoothly
- Marketing – getting the word out for better profits
- Reception and distribution of products
Fundraising goals help the entire season’s campaigns run more efficiently and more profitably. Setting fundraising goals early helps all involved to see the need and work to fill it. Your group will surely find that it is easier to motivate people when they are working for a clear and defined cause, and continually making progress towards it. Ultimately, fundraising goals set the stage for that final, fulfilling breath of fresh air that lets every participating member of your group say, “we did it!”
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