Developing a successful fundraising campaign isn’t easy, even if it’s for a good cause. From golf tournaments to banquets and charity concerts, there are plenty of strategies out there to generate revenue, but if you don’t know how to appeal to your audience and get them excited about the cause, your fundraising efforts will fall flat.
No matter what your approach to generating funds, there are two factors that must be assessed in order to host a successful event: understand your message and know your audience. This might seem like common sense, but if you don’t take the time to clearly outline your themes and your audience’s interests, you’ll be disappointed with the results.
Here are a few questions that you should answer before organizing or advertising your event:
How does your organization compare to similar charities?
Most nonprofits are clear about their interests and goals. After all, a mission statement is a major part of being identified as a nonprofit.
But it’s important to recognize how your organization differs from similar businesses. These differences could relate to how the money is spent, who receives the money or how much capital is spent on keeping the nonprofit running. Your audience should understand how your business stands apart so they are confident that their donations are going to the right place.
What are the particular characteristics of your audience?
All too often, nonprofits small and large make the mistake of trying to market toward the general population. In most cases, advertising dollars are limited, especially for charity programs.
That’s why it’s so important to narrow your focus and advertize toward the ideal audience. Who can relate to your cause? What are their ages? Their education levels?
The answers to these questions can guide your rhetorical approach. They can help you choose appropriate events and marketing avenues. For example, a nonprofit that raises funds to help teenage mothers might put a stronger emphasis on social media than a charity that benefits dementia patients. This is due to the fact that social media is relatively new, and although all charities can benefit from these networks, they generally attract a younger audience.
What actions do you desire your audience to take?
The ultimate aim of any nonprofit is to raise money. It’s important that you make it as easy as possible for people to give donations. Be prepared to accept multiple forms of payment, and make it easy for people to donate online. Also, consider sending periodic emails to donors that discuss upcoming events and recent updates. Email marketing is free, and it’s one of the most effective strategies for creating repeat clients.
If you understand why your charity is special and how to appeal to your audience, your next fundraising campaign will have a much higher chance of success.
The preceding is a guest post by Nick Siha, Founder of IncFile with 20 years experience in helping non profits navigate the incorporation and legal document setup process with the governments in all 50 states. IncFile provides incorporation services specifically to non profit organizations and can help create a low cost 501c3 entity to help you start a charity immediately. You can follow them on twitter, facebook, or google+