Nonprofits, schools, churches and civic groups often face financial challenges brought on by the lack of fundraising dollars. It takes money to accomplish things and make a difference. However, getting funds is not easy. And, it’s especially challenging for groups that have limited resources to both money and people to get the job done.
So, we’ve decided to do a two-part series. This week, you’ll learn about the things that create financial challenges for your organization. As a result of learning what makes fundraising tough, you can then figure out the ways to overcome the challenges. And, this is what we’ll focus on in our next article in the series. However, before we get started, take a few minutes to check out our latest video. As always, you’ll learn a tip or two that you can use for your cause. And, in the process of watching it, we hope you have a little fun as well.
What makes fundraising difficult, which creates financial challenges?
We’ve worked with thousands of partners in the social sector for years. And based on our experience, we’ve found some reasons that fundraising is considered difficult for many groups. Check these out and see if any resonate with you!
- The community and donors don’t understand the work you do. In other words, there’s a lack of awareness about the programs and services you deliver, which causes your financial challenges.
- Your supporters don’t know the broader vision and future of your organization.
- Donors don’t have measurable results and metrics that show the impact and helps you raise money.
- Your group does not effectively communicate the reasons why you need to raise money and how the funds get used.
- Despite the fact people want to support your cause, donors and supporters have many demands on their time.
- Donors raise money for multiple organizations, including the schools their children attend, or where they attend religious services.
- Generally, the public does not understand that nonprofits need to raise money to make a difference. As a result, that’s why the nonprofit starvation cycle is so persistent.
All organizations are different. But, the reality is that in today’s world, people have access to massive amounts of information. To some extent, there’s “information overload.” At the end of each day, individuals see thousands of advertisements and direct and subliminal messages. Therefore, one of the key ways to find marketing and fundraising success is to be front and center and consistently with your target audience.
Basset Rescue of Kentuckiana
An excellent example of overcoming the financial challenges of fundraising occurred with one of our partners. It was a Bassett Hound rescue, and the organization runs only with volunteers. Because they don’t have all the resources they need to achieve everything they would like, their work can sometimes be tough. However, to them, it’s essential that despite any fundraising challenges, they save the Basset Hounds in their community.
Like many rescues, Basset Rescue was struggling to raise money. This situation existed, despite the fact they support themselves through donations and adoption fees. And, they also sell small items at events. The rescue is an all-volunteer group that saves Basset Hounds, and Basset mixes from shelters, abuse, and neglect.
Basset Rescue completed a shoe drive fundraiser. And the success of this fundraiser depended almost exclusively on a single intrepid volunteer. In other words, she decided that she was going to ask, ask, and then ask again. Tina was not shy about asking for gently worn, used and new shoes because she knew she wasn’t asking for herself. Also, she understood that the more shoes she collected, the more funds there would be for the dogs.
Not shy about opportunities to raise money
Tina made a decision early to promote the shoe drive fundraiser on Facebook. Consequently, she was relentless each week posting about the shoe drive fundraiser, multiple times a week. And, she posted pictures of the dogs and the shoes as the pile of bags grew. Tina gave updates to her followers of the number of bags with gently worn, used and new shoes. And, most importantly, she kept asking for more shoes.
Because of her persistence, people became aware of the shoe drive fundraiser. As a result, about four people became champions collecting multiple bags of shoes. She asked many to help her, but more specifically, to help the dogs by donating shoes. Tina asked everyone she could think of, including her hairdresser. Also, boxes were also set up to collect donated shoes at the local pet stores that were happy to help. The laundromat also placed boxes to collect shoes, and they also gave blankets to keep the rescued dogs warm. Further, a partner rescue group from New York helped Tina collect shoes. And they even drove south to pick up Basset dogs in need of a home. In exchange, they gave Tina gently worn, used and new shoes to raise money.
Tina said of her success, “‘Thank you, and please’ go a long darn way.” By collecting shoes, Tina earned over $1,300 for her efforts, plus an additional $337 by collecting athletic shoes at a mud run.
Quick tips for you to raise money
The vast majority of nonprofits operate with budgets below $1 million. And most of those have budgets of less than $100,000. We understand how the resource challenge can affect the mission of an organization. But, there are some quick things you can do, based on Tina’s success, that may help you raise money:
- Make a strategic decision about how you will promote your fundraiser to raise money.
- Once you begin promoting, stay consistent and continue to use that channel (and a few others) to help you spread awareness.
- Don’t be afraid to ask people to help you. Remember, you’re not asking for support for you, but for the cause your organization serves. That’s a significant mind shift.
Stay tuned next month to get fundraising tips and ideas on how to raise money, especially when it’s not easy.
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