Fundraising is a much more involved process than many realize. Deciding to launch a fundraiser is only the beginning of what can sometimes be a long and challenging process. Just like any other nonprofit, your sorority sustains itself by the generous donations of your members, chapter alumni, and community.
As you’re already well aware, you need to have the money required to continue running smoothly to remain a prominent presence on campus and in the community.
While fundraising campaigns can easily become overwhelming, there are ways your chapter can raise money, stay organized, andavoid the stress that often accompanies fundraising on behalf of an organization for which you are passionate.
This post will walk you through how your chapter should go about organizing a fundraiser at your school, while using the necessary tools that can help ensure your success. The 5 major steps toward a successful, well-organized event are as follows:
- Assemble your fundraising team.
- Decide on your fundraiser.
- Schedule your fundraiser.
- Promote your fundraiser.
- Effectively manage your data.
Don’t let your sorority chapter suffer from a lack of funds because of ineffectual and inefficient fundraising! When you follow these 5 simple steps, you will be well on your way to hosting the perfect fundraising campaign and maintaining a well-organized chapter. Let’s dive in and get you prepared for your next sorority fundraiser!
The first step for any successful fundraiser is to select the right people to be a part of your fundraising team. Your sorority is full of women who are passionate about your chapter and who have a vested interest in the success of your fundraising campaign.
Recruiting enthusiastic officers and chapter members to help with your fundraiser will increase the likelihood of its success
This software tool will help you:
- Manage all of your users. Manually upload and manage member information to ensure you always have up-to-date data.
- Assign administrative levels. Give certain members of your sorority officer or administrative access to guarantee they can see and use all of the tools that will be useful during a fundraiser.
- View member profiles. See information on every member of your chapter to decide who is best-positioned or the most interested in helping to fundraise for your organization.
Your fundraising team will work together to plan, promote, and execute your event. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for opportunities for all members of your organization to get involved. The more people working on your fundraising efforts, the better. Make sure you are utilizing the talents and skills of your sisters, based on what you know about them and what you gather from your member database.
Your sisters can do a lot with their own resources on campus. But to take your fundraising campaign to the next level, you’ll need to hire a fundraising expert to take charge and help your sorority implement highly efficient strategies. With the help of an expert, you will develop relationships with your donor network and better steward them for major gifts.
However, don’t neglect the power of on-campus fundraising in addition to your donor stewardship strategy.
Not all fundraising ideas are successful in every community. To set your sorority up for success, you need to decide on a fundraiser that will appeal to the people who are most likely to donate to your organization. Choose a low-stakes, high-reward fundraising idea that can benefit your Greek organization without adding too much extra work for your sisters.
Some of the most popular fundraising ideas for sororities include:
- Shoe drive fundraiser. This unique fundraising idea allows people to contribute to your sorority’s fundraiser with something other than money. Perfect for college students who may be a little low on cash, this fundraiser allows people to donate their gently worn, used or new shoes to your group. By working with a shoe drive organization, you’ll then receive a payout from the collected shoes while also opening up your fundraising to an entirely new audience.
- Call campaign. Use this fundraising idea to steward your sorority alumnae for donations. People who have loved and supported your organization in the past are more likely to donate and give more. Use your team members to extend the reach of your fundraiser past the borders of your campus and solicit more potential donors.
- Snack box delivery. This idea is great for a college campus because, honestly, who doesn’t love reasonably priced snacks delivered right to their door when they are buried in books. Recruit your chapter members to put together snack boxes and deliver them to hungry customers across campus. Consider scheduling this fundraiser around midterms or finals when many people are stuck in the library and will want snacks.
- Car wash. A tried-and-true fundraising idea, car washes allow your sorority sisters to engage with your community one-on-one and collect money based on an actual service provided. It will attract people who do not know anything about your sorority but simply want their car washed, effectively extending the scope of your fundraiser.
- Online fundraising. A great alternative to an in-person event, you should be sure to have an online donation tool on your website that encourages site visitors to lend their support. Consider this online fundraising guide by Double the Donation when crafting your online fundraiser.
Make sure you carefully choose which fundraising idea will work best for your community and ensure the highest likelihood of success.
As is the case with most things, timing is everything when it comes to fundraising. At certain times in the year, and the semester, people are more willing to donate their money. Strategically plan your fundraiser for a time and location in which most people will be receptive to your appeals to boost the success of your fundraiser.
Use the event management tools at your disposal in your sorority management software to access a chapter-wide calendar and begin determining the best time for a fundraiser. This master calendar is perfectly organized to see the availability of your chapter members and the current events scheduled by your chapter.
Compare your chapter calendar with your university’s master calendar. It will help ensure you don’t schedule a fundraiser during a time when people won’t be on campus or will be swamped with tests.
When you decide to schedule your event, start by posting it in your chapter calendar. With this tool, you can:
- Color code the event for clarity.
- Add a description.
- Manage fundraising event check-in for volunteers.
- Manage event check-in for your attendees.
- Allow members to submit excuses for their lack of involvement.
- Export attendance records.
This software tool will ensure all of your chapter members have ready access to all the important vital about your fundraiser and have the opportunity to be involved. To learn more about how sorority software can help you fundraise, click here.
Promoting your fundraiser is essential to its success. After all, no one can donate to a fundraiser they don’t know exists. To raise more money at your fundraiser, make sure you promote it both within your organization and to your wider community.
Use your sorority software to promote your fundraisers to your existing members—this will not only encourage them to participate in the fundraiser but to volunteer to help host it as well.
Your software tool should allow members of your organization to post updates on an informal, public message board. It is a low-stress way of communicating with a large group of people while viewers can interact with posts by liking and commenting to show their support and appreciation.
However, don’t forget that you need to promote your fundraiser heavily in your community as well. Social media is a great way to promote a fundraiser, especially to your fellow college students. Allow your chapter members to spread the word about your fundraiser by posting on their social media.
One of the most popular and most influential platforms for sorority fundraising is Instagram. Many people in a sorority’s target audience spend hours on their phones every day, so when every chapter member posts invites to the fundraiser, awareness of your campaign will steadily grow.
Don’t forget you should be devoting a significant portion of your resources toward appealing to your chapter alumnae. Alumnae engagement should entail personal correspondence and specific mailers, emails, and other preferred communication methods. It shows how much you value their continued support of your organization.
When you are organizing a fundraiser, it is important to utilize a sorority management software. The tools are specifically designed for fundraising so that you can keep all of this new data well-organized.
Your greek organization’s fundraising tools should:
- Show gift summaries.
- Contain a list of donors.
- Determine prospective donors.
- Store confidential information.
- Display chapter portfolio balance.
Your fundraising team shouldn’t have to worry about all the new data management required when hosting a fundraiser. All you should worry about is executing the perfect fundraiser and encouraging others to support the organization about which you are so passionate!
Sororities, like any other nonprofit, need to fundraise to survive. With these tips, your chapter will be able to raise money and stay organized while doing it!