Fundraising is necessary. Fundraising is Important. Fundraising can really be frustrating and draining.
You already know this.
You have a vision, need, or cause. You have something that needs to be achieved and you need to raise money to accomplish this. There are endless resources out there. How do you attract these resources?
First, realize that what you focus on determines everything. How you feel. Your energy level. Your belief. The results. Right focus is a habit. Right focus is a choice. Right focus is a difference maker.
For the past several years I have had the opportunity to sit on many boards. The University of Nevada and Fellowship of Christian Athletes to name a few. I realized right away that the mindset for most organizations is dread when it comes to fundraising. They dread the thought. They dread the work. They think and talk themselves into misery by focusing on the enormous to-do list. Drained before they even start.
The “to do” list problem. It looks good and sounds logical at first and just writing it feels like progress. Yet, it almost always creates an overwhelmed state. You have a life. Life has a way of getting in the way of our to-do lists. To-do lists cause us to set unrealistic check off schedules. When life happens it alters that schedule and causes frustration …which leads to doubt. What do most of us do then? Re-write the to do list. It feels like progress….yet it is just resetting the problem. The list itself causes the wrong focus.
Check yourself…look at your goal and then ask yourself to list all you have to do. Now, be aware of how you actually feel and what starts popping up in your head. I taught this last year to a group who were selected to be on a fundraising team. You should have heard the doubting conversations rise as we listed the to-do’s. The energy was getting lower and the stress was growing.
( It’s worse when we are alone and we think our way into defeat ) I pointed out the stale feeling and everyone’s posture and tone.
I stopped the meeting and asked each person to tell us why they wanted to be part of this team. I saw one by one..each person sit up, smile, and share their passion. The focus, the words were all on the result, and why they wanted it.
After the last person, I stood up and asked everyone to gauge the energy, belief, and attitude of the room now.
I then erased the board and offered these 7 simple steps to achieving our goal.
#1 Decide on the Specific Result We are Committed to Achieving. We Wrote it in Big Bold Letters on the Board.
#2 Decide on Why we Want this Result. We wrote out the answer we would all give, “Our Why”, and how we will keep this the focus! How we are going to Celebrate Victory?
#3 Decide on the dollar amount we will raise and what is the target finish date.
#4 Decide on what TV, Radio, Media, Charity, Social Organizations and Leaders we will share our “Why” with. See who believes like we do and will give to or promote our Cause.
#5 Decide on donation suggestions and the appropriate numbers needed.
#6 Decide on team size and network of contacts.
#7 Decide on how we will encourage each other and how we will keep donors updated and thank them.
We selected 10 leaders. Each leader had a team of 6. Each team member (7 per team) was tasked with contacting and gaining supporters.
We raised 120,000 dollars in 55 days!
#1 We talked and brainstormed about results. We decided on “NEW SWINGS and DINING AREA at Our COMMUNITY PARK”.
#2 We Decided on “This Result would give the entire community a clean and bright place to enjoy and get together, causing community and connecting families”. We will take photos of all of us together at the park and each of us will carry the photo for motivation. When we finish this we will have a party at the park for the whole community.
#3 We got estimates and decided on $120,000 as our final amount and 60 days as the timeline.
#4 We made lists of all Media, Radio and TV stations and personalities we knew or knew of. We made a list of leaders and companies in town that give. We talked about how we were going to share our why and how we were going to ask for money.
#5 We Decided on $300 as the ask amount. We will need 400 donations.
#6 We asked and found 10 people who would act as leaders. Each leader will have 6 people working with them. That is 10 teams / 70 people. Each team member will donate $300 dollars and find 5 more that will donate $300 dollars. 70 people x 6 donations = 420. 420 x 300 = 126,000 That should work.
#7 We decided on daily positive texts to encourage and each team leader will check in weekly with team members. Each donor will provide an email and we will send emails weekly with photos and info on progress and fun.
This was fun and rewarding. It did not burn anyone out.
We know exactly what to do next time and how to do it.
This experience led me to create tools and support for communities all over the country. It was the beginning of why I started Move Your Mountain. A system/platform that helps Teams, Groups, and Organizations come together and raise money.
If this helped you with Fundraising , please share it with others. MoveYourMountain.org.