How To Fundraise
There are many benefits of fundraising. Some of these include:
· Fundraising will give you extra money for your society to put towards events and activities that you would not otherwise be able to afford to hold.
· Activities can help to bring the community together and allow you to work with people that you wouldn't otherwise come into contact with. This can help you to build useful connections.
· You will gain new skills in areas such as leadership, time management and communication. These skills will help you both throughout your time at Keele and once you leave.
· Your experiences may give you a better idea of what you want to do after leaving Keele.
· You get to do something different with your society, working as part of a team to reach a pre-specified target.
· It’s a good reason to hold events and activities and thus potentially recruit new members to your society.
· It can be a lot of fun organising fundraisers and spending the money raised!
Before starting fundraising it is important that you consider the following.
1. Do you have a clear plan?
Events will be more successful if they are well planned. Decide how much money you need to raise and how you are going to do it. The earlier you start planning, the better.
2. Do you have a clear idea of what you are attempting to raise money for?
People are more likely to sponsor you or give you money through fundraising if they can see clearly where there money is going and what you expect the results to be. When speaking to people, make efforts to ensure that your communication is appropriate and uses language that they understand, therefore avoid abbreviations. Also try and consider what your audiences’ interests are. Once you know this you can present your cause in a way that is relevant to them.
3. Are you displaying a professional image?
It is important that businesses and the public trust you therefore ensure that all materials are professionally made, using ICT and a clear logo. It is good to have information to give to people when fundraising, so they can go away and read more. If they have your contact details they may then approach you in the future with new money making ideas or to offer donations.
4. Do you have a team providing support?
It will be a lot of work to organise a fundraiser or to achieve sponsorship therefore ensure that you have a team who can share the workload. A team will also provide a range of different skills and connections. When working in a team, communication is vital to ensure that everyone knows what the others are doing. This avoids people being contacted on multiple occasions with the same information, which is likely to irritate them and prevent you receiving funding.
5. Have you considered working with another society?
By working with another society you have an increased audience to target and more people to offer support in the planning and execution. Consider approaching other societies to see if they would be interested in working with you, but make sure that you decide beforehand how you will split any money made.
6. Have you got lots of creative ideas?
There are lots of ways to raise money, so have a brainstorming sessions to consider different ideas. Get as many people as possible involved in this brainstorming session to give you a range of options and ideas.
7. Have you checked that the idea is feasible?
When you decide what you are going to do, contact the VP Finance and Activities or the Activities team to check that this is covered by your society insurance. Remember you are not able to fundraise anywhere without the landowners consent. It is also worth making a list of what equipment you need and asking whether KeeleSU can provide you with this rather than purchasing things. This will save you money.
8. Have you considered marketing?
When considering marketing, ensure you have a clear idea about your target audience and do not be afraid to think further afield than just Keele students. When marketing the event ensure it is clear on your materials what you are raising money for as well as all the usual information such as location, time, event details and price.
9. Have you completed a risk assessment?
Make sure you complete a thorough risk assessment for your event, covering different things that may happen and what you will do to minimise the risk.
10. Have you considered how you will collect evidence?
Ensure that you plan to take photos and collect other evidence from the event. These can then be provided to businesses and the public, showing where their money was spent. Photos can also help you to get more donations and potentially press coverage at a later date.
There are lots of different ways to fundraise for a society. Below is a list of some ideas that may help you to get started.
It doesn't take long to set up a Just-Giving page and is a great way to collate all the money in one place. You can give the link out to friends, family or businesses, with the knowledge that their donations will be secure. Make sure that you write on the page what the money is for and have a photo or something to identify you, so people are sure they are donating to the right person.
This is a good way to fundraise with people you do not know as well and when collecting smaller amounts of money. All of the money donated goes to your Just Giving page. Text-Giving can be good because as people are not handing over money, they are more likely to donate.
Talk to everyone
When telling people you know about your cause, you will be surprised how many have good contacts and ideas that can help you out. Remember that talking to people or sending personal emails may be more effective as people feel that you genuinely want their support, as opposed to a group email that can be impersonal.
Another option is to contact businesses and offer to give them sponsorship in return for funds. When considering who to contact, consider focusing on businesses where there is a prior connection. If you are going to phone or visit a business in person it is worth practicing what you are going to say in advance as businesses will be contacted regularly about fundraisers and thus you want to stand out from the crowd. Again always ensure that you give the business a clear reason why they would benefit from supporting you and what the funds are going to be used for. They may ask you to sign a contract, so be sure to read this carefully and always consult with VP Finance and Activities or ASK (ground floor of KeeleSU). Finally consider beforehand if there is anything else that may be useful other than money if a business is unable to give you a monetary donation.
Some charitable trusts may be prepared to offer a contribution. In order to secure this funding it is important to speak to the trustees and research the eligibility criteria. Once you have this criteria and determine that you are eligible ensure that you are specific in your application so the charity knows what you want and what you want it for. It may take time to get a response, but don't be afraid to call and ensure they have received your application and answer any questions they may have. As charitable funding is limited consider applying to a number of charities. As with businesses, it is good to focus on charities where you have a personal connection.
Contact the media
It may be worth contacting local media i.e. local radio stations or the Sentinel newspaper to ask if they are wiling to do an article on your society and what you are attempting to achieve. Although this may not raise money directly, it is a good way to raise awareness and advertise any fundraising events.
Start a blog
By blogging about your work and efforts, people will be aware of what you are doing and your progress. This may encourage people to donate as they can see the effort that you have put into the work. It is also a good way for people to see what your ideas are and thus understand how they can contribute and support you.
Consider the timing
Look at whether any important upcoming dates or events can be used for fundraising events. This will ensure you already have your audience and theme sorted. However, remember to always get the event organiser’s consent.