Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holding a Fundraiser, Lots of Fun but even more Work

This past weekend my group for our classes fundraising event held two off campus fundraisers to complement our on campus fundraising efforts for the United Way. Our events were held at McMaster University's 1280 pub and at the Hamilton Bull Dogs game on Thursday and Friday last week. Both events went well but no event goes without a hiccup. As it was my first time ever organizing a fund raiser all I can say thank god it was group project with a great team who all made it easy, I can only imagine what it is like for people fundraising all on their own. Here a few observations and tips to anyone else out there holding a fundraising

1. Always get all commitments in writing. Whoever your partnering with when fundraising they are probably not as excited about your client as you are so make sure you get them to commit in writing before you make more plans.

2. Asking for money is hard so set the bar low. Whether its asking students for a buck or two for raffle tickets or raising money for something bigger asking for money is always hard and giving it away is always harder, so do no expect large sums from a few donors or everyone to make small donations. Setting the bar low may come across as being unsure of your fundraising ability but really its just managing expectations.

3. Last but not least always remember that you are not the only charity asking people for money, especially around holiday times. Target your fundraising with the knowledge that another charity may already be operating a similar event near by or on the same night. Competition for donations is fierce and you do not want to set yourself up for an event no one will show at because they are giving to another charity.

If you keeps these things in mid your first fundraising should turn out all right. If you do it right you wont even realize how much work it is until all the fun is over.

Rob Thompson

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