This will save you hours of time compared to finding all these fundraising auction item sources on your own. When requesting items for your charity auction, be prepared to provide your non-profit 501(c)(3) number. You should request item donations at least six weeks ahead of time, but some businesses want to hear from you at least 90 days before your event. Many companies also limit their donations in various ways, so it’s best to apply as early as possible. Links are to each company’s donation page. Remember that when requesting any kind of donation, you should always explain “what’s in it for them”. For the company, this would mean explaining the publicity & promotional opportunities their donation provides, the demographics of your event, estimated attendance, amounts raised in previous years, and how the funds that are raised this year will be used.
Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. And no matter how deep their pockets are, most people have been faced with a situation where they’ve had to raise a large sum of funds before. If you’ve ever had to do it, you know that sorting out how to raise money as well as the fundraising process is no walk in the park.
So for all you first-time fundraising organizers, or anyone who just feels lost or overwhelmed with figuring out how to raise money, we’ve come up with some steps to successful fundraising.
1. Define a goal
You don’t have to get carried away with setting a specific monetary goal, but it’s good to think about what you hope to achieve with your fundraiser. The main purpose of this is to give your potential donors a clear idea of where exactly their donations will be going. Setting a goal is also a good way to keep you focused and motivated in your fundraising efforts.
2. Know your options
The fundraising well is deep, friends. Depending on what your goal is, there are vast and varied ways to raise those necessary funds. To list just a few, there’s loans, grants, restaurant fundraisers, trust funds, nonprofit partnerships and online fundraising. It’s important to research all your options before starting your fundraiser, to be sure the method you’ve chosen is really the best way to reach your goal.
3. Choose a platform (or platforms)
Once you know all your options, you have to choose which platform is best suited to your needs. You can host your fundraiser either online or in person, with a whole trove of specific fundraising ideas in each category. We recommend using a combination of tactics to raise more money. Many of our most successful fundraisers combined both on- and offline efforts to maximize their reach and total money raised.
4. Organize your campaign
We know it seems like there are a million things to keep track of when you’re raising money. This is why we call our users “organizers” – it’s very important to stay organized when planning a fundraiser. Consider investing in a fundraising notebook to jot down ideas, keep track of donations, remind yourself of your final goal and schedule mini-goal deadlines.
5. Consult professional resources
The best way to get the most from your fundraising efforts is to consult a professional. GiveForward provides all our fundraising organizers with personal fundraising coaches, who have advice on anything from how to maximize views for fundraising pages to how to most securely get money to the beneficiary.
6. Enlist a team
Just to hammer home the benefits of collaboration, we want to stress how important it is to have help when you fundraise. By now you’ve gotten the point that fundraising is a lot of work. Building a team of co-organizers can help you smooth out the rough edges of your fundraiser. Studies have even proven that a fundraiser has better chances of success if organized by a team. For example, a GiveForward fundraiser with multiple organizers raises on average five times more money than one with a single organizer. There really is power in numbers.
7. Get word out
If a fundraiser falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? …We think it’s probably better not to leave this one to chance. So after you’ve planned out your fundraiser, either online or in person, you have to advertise. Share your fundraising page on social media, through email and by word of mouth. Contact your local newspaper to see if you can advertise and get media coverage. Solicit help from local businesses – sometimes they’re willing to donate or help organize fundraising events. The more visible your fundraiser is, the more donations you’ll receive.
8. Show your appreciation
This seems apparent, but it really is very important to remember to show gratitude to your donors. The fact that people chose to give their hard-earned money to help you reach your goal, when they certainly didn’t have to, is incredible. So give back! Simple, personalized thank you letters are an easy way to show your appreciation and strengthen those relationships with your donors.
The bottom line
The most important thing to remember when navigating the challenge of how to raise money online is that it’s okay to ask for help – including initially asking for donations and also organizing a fundraiser. The beauty of fundraisers is seeing people come together to help reach a common goal – and with a little help that goal doesn’t have to be hard to reach.
Thanks to GIVE FORWARD for this original post. View at http://bit.ly/1qYkuU5
WHAT TO TAKE TO THE MEETING
A pad and pen to take notes with
A copy of the ‘who, what, where, when and how’ questions listed later in this module
A copy of the ‘planning the ceremony’ questions listed later in this module
Some suggestions for locations, venues and suppliers etc
Leaflets and brochures from your suggested suppliers etc
And if you take a mobile phone with you, remember to switch it off. You’ll look truly unprofessional if halfway through a meeting a friend calls to see if you fancy going out for a drink in the evening. Keep your work life and home/social life separate.
In the beginning, your client may have a vague idea of want they want. But that is why they have come to you. They need help to make their event plans become a reality. Therefore, you must keep in mind the following guidelines when meeting with a client to plan an event.
Here are a couple sample questions:
What is the projected date and location for your event? This is perhaps the most basic of questions but it is important for your client to provide a direct answer. It can be a bad sign if you sense a lot of indecision or conflict with this topic. Now of course some clients will need your help with choosing a venue, but they really should have at least a couple places in mind. You can spend a significant amount of time shopping venues, and you’ll spend even more if the client has no idea what they want.
What is the goal of the event? This simply asks the client what they want to get out of the event. If they are attempting to reach out to a wider clientele, earn a loyal following, reward the existing followers – all of these things will dictate the feel of the event. As an event planner, you are can facilitate the success of any of these intentions.
Organization in event planning is key. Write all the answers above down or take your cell phone and record the conversation so you can listen to it later and process all the information thrown your way. Do you think you are ready to be the best event planner you can be? Take this quiz by Cheryl Cecchetto and find out if you are ready:
1. Do you go above and beyond to “wow” the client?
2. Do you prioritize customer service and customer satisfaction?
3. Are you extremely attentive to detail?
4. Are your clients always fully informed?
5. Do you respond to your clients on the same business day?
6. Do you strive to build quality relationships and honest conversation?
7. Do you stay in touch with your clients all year round?
8. Do you share their highs and lows?
9. Do you exceed expectations?
10. Do you have original ideas?
11. Do you focus on what is right for your client?
12. Do you tell the truth when you make a mistake?
13. Do you deliver what you say you’re going to?
14. Do you feel that you deserve customer loyalty, and if so, do you nurture it?
15. Do you approach every client as a potential long-term client?
16. Do you prioritize the needs and preferences of your clients more than your potential earnings?
17. Do you treat your employees as you would treat a client whom you want to see year after year?
18. Do you make sure that every day of work is meaningful to you and your client?
19. Is your client’s philosophy clear from the start, and do you agree with that philosophy?
20. Do you know your client’s interests and the event mission statement?
21. Do you actively listen to your clients and ask them how they feel?
22. Do you allow them to share their honest opinions?
23. Are you open to new approaches with each project?
24. Do you live up to your commitments and meet deadlines?
25. Do you reach for the stars?
The Scoring System:
Give yourself one point for each question where your answer is yes.
25: Switch places with me.
20 to 24: You’re on the right track.
15 to 19: Stop and reassess everything.
10 to 14: You may not want to be the front person of the company.
5 to 9: You’re in the wrong business.
0 to 4: You’re not ready to be in business.
Restaurant certificates are the foundation of every successful fundraising auction and nonprofit auctions are a great advertising opportunity for creating visibility and brand identity.
What is the One Bid Board?
The One Bid Board is a physical display featuring restaurant certificates at face value. Bidders compete for the right to be the first to win. The dining certificate remains on display and bidders continue to view restaurants name, logo and location for the duration of the auction.
What are the benefits for a restaurant?
• Restaurant logo and location is visible all 300 minutes of the event
• Sales are immediate and in full view of the buying audience
• Multiple bidders can view donation and bid simultaneously
• Display is upright & moves with the audience
What are the benefits for the organization?
• Board preparation is quick and easy and portable
• Reconciliation is simple
• Only one volunteer needed to prepare and manage board
• Board can be created well in advance of the auction
• Lightweight & collapsible for easy transportation
One Bid Board certificate advantages:
• Easy to administer
• Broad audience appeal
• Redemption rate 60%
• Cost effective
• Has lasting impact
• Creates new customers
• Creates immediate sales
• Hours of advertising
• Multiple bidders can write in bid number and win simultaneously
• Simple volunteer and clerking procedure
• Advance preparation quick and easy
• Uses upright portable display, easy transport, move about the venue
How does it work?
The One Bid Board is positioned in front of auction guests during the silent auction. A volunteer hosts the board informing bidders of the restaurants on the board and recording bid numbers. The auctioneer calls out the featured restaurants and announces each one as it sells. The board is moved to where the action is until all restaurants have sold. If restaurants are still available post auction, position the board near the check-out area for further viewing and sales.