09.08.11 / Category: Miscellaneous

10 Tips to Fundraise Like a Pro

Fundraising for the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation does not need to be intimidating or difficult if you follow these simple fundraising tips that the professionals use.  These are tried and true suggestions to help you successfully raise money for a cause that you believe in.

1. Tell Your Story — Explain why you support the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation.  Facts and figures don’t paint a picture.  Your passion and enthusiasm for this initiative will convince others why they should help you.

2. Pictures Say 1,000 Words — This is particularly effective if you are sending out an appeal to friends via email, Facebook, Crowdrise, etc. Include a short video.  YouTube links to any of The Girl Effect videos are particularly powerful and very relevant.

3. Make Your Own Gift — It is much easier to ask someone else to make a donation when you have made your own.  Make a gift in the amount you want to ask others to give and request they match your own gift.

4. Ask for a Specific Amount — Don’t leave it to someone’s imagination on how much they should give. Most people overestimate how much they think you want. You may want a friend to donate $25.00 but she may think you want her to give $500. Make it clear by asking for a specific amount and she can can then decide if she wants to give more.

5. Make it Easy To Give — Many people are willing to make a gift but they won’t if they don’t know how or it is too difficult.  Present them with a gift envelope already addressed to the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation if meeting in person.  If doing an online appeal, provide a link directly to the giving page.

6. Share How They Can Learn More — You can be as knowledgeable as possible about the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation but many donors will want to check things out for themselves before they given. Share the website and ask them to “like” us on Facebook or follow us on twitter: @CofS_Foundation.  They can also review information on Guidestar.

7. Be quiet — Talented fundraisers know the trick to giving is listening.  Share your story and make your specific gift ask and then stop talking.  Just listen to what the prospective donor has to say. There may be an awkward silence as she contemplates your request and that is ok.  Wait for her response. If you don’t, you may talk yourself out of the gift.

8. Double Your Dollars — Many donors work for companies that will match their gifts. Be sure to ask and see if they can maximize the donation.  Donors can pick up a matching gift form from their Human Resources office and mail it in with their donation.

9. Practice Makes Perfect — Fundraising isn’t as difficult as it may appear. It may just take some practice to make you feel comfortable.  Get a few asks in and you’ll be motivated by the momentum when you hear donors say, “Yes!”

10. Don’t Take “No” Personally — Every fundraiser knows that when a donor says, “No,” she is really saying, “Not yet.”  There may be something else that she has committed to, she may have other responsibilities, she may have other bills, etc. If you get declined, don’t worry. Trust that you have shared a compelling case for support and she’ll give when it is a better time.  Thank her for considering your ask and urge her to learn more about the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation and can give when it is a more convenient time.

More fundraising resources can be found on the Circle of Sisterhood website. Now that you have some no fail secrets that the pros use, go out and there and invite some friends to support the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation.  Leave a comment, find us on facebook or twitter and let us know your fundraising tips!

*This post was written by Bethany Deines,  Director of Annual Gifts at Children’s Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio. Deines is a volunteer for the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation and a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma National Sorority.