Being very good at getting bums on seats and new customers through the door I get lots of charities getting in touch asking for help. I also get lots of business women who are supporting a charity that means something to them, get in touch and say “Mandie can you help me spread the word and raise £x amount”.
This is always an honour, however I think because in the past I’ve managed to pull together a fantastic team and raise £1000’s for charities, a lot of people are now knowing this and so I get between 1 and 5 requests for help a week.
The problem with this is that I do actually need to work too, and as I often to say to people that aren’t charging enough “That warm fuzzy feeling you get from helping people will not buy food in the super market.”
But I want to help everyone, so how can I achieve that?
Is that even feasible?
On that note I thought I would write this post for 2 reasons;
- To share my top tips to making your fund raising activities a rip roaring success (Top tip: these skills and ideas can be applied to your business too.)
- I need your advice.
So let’s get started…
Top Tips To Fund Raising Success
- Set a clear goal. Do not say “Let’s raise as much as we can”. How will you know when you’re satisfied? One of the reasons people don’t set clear goals is because they are scared they can’t achieve it, however if you don’t set a clear goal then how do you know when you’ve achieved success? If I want to go on holiday to the South of France I do not plan to get to France and then drive around hoping for the best. I set a clear goal.
- Let’s stick with the South of France Holiday analogy here. (I do love a holiday!) Plan your goal. Just as I wouldn’t get to France and hope to make it to the South of the France I wouldn’t jump in the car without doing certain activities. What activities need to happen before you start? Who will be involved? What problems could you face? Who is responsible for what? What questions do you need to ask before you get started to ensure success? (Do you see how this applies to more sales in your business?)
- Clear marketing strategy. If you want to make your charity endeavours a success the approach of telling your mates on social media and hoping for the best will only create a small level of success. However if you have a clear marketing strategy that is broken down into weeks then you will be able to plan what is happening and when to ensure success. For instance; Before you start find out the charities official social media links, the venues social media links and any businesses involved social media links too. What will you do with these? Ask them to share your posts, to like them and to encourage their followers to get involved and do the same. Make your network work to spread the word for you. A BIG MISTAKE that many businesses make is they only rely on 1 or 2 forms of marketing. Don’t make that mistake with your fund raising too. Yes use social media and flyers locally, but what about the local press? What about picking up the phone and writing to people? You want to get your event on everyones radar and create a “Not to be missed” buzz about it. Think about how you will achieve that. (So much like the marketing strategy you need for your business right?)
- Big day strategy. To make the big day work, to make the actual activity a success. Plan how to make that happen. It may seem obvious however people don’t always turn up with money. So if you have further ways for people to hand over their cash on the day and they don’t have cash with them. How will you ensure you can still make a maximum impact? What communications do you need to create prior to the big day to ensure everyone turns up with their sacks of cash? Let’s be realistic here shall we?Not everyone can give you a sack of cash. So what would they ideally do for you? As I learnt from charities I’ve worked with over the years raising the charities brand awareness is something that is just as valuable for them. So if people can’t give you money ask them to spread the word on their social media. To bring x number of guests on the day. There is more than one way to make the big day a success. What is on your agenda?
- After the event. After the event, its not all over. What actions can you create so that you gain after the big day too? I’ve learnt that some people are that touched by your hard work that they send you money afterwards. An effective marketing strategy encourages people to buy from you and that’s all about the pleasure or the pain. How are you helping people to feel emotive about what you are doing? It is no accident that Charity TV shows get you laughing and crying periodically. What emotive language do you use? After the big day what calls to action do you want? Knowing these before you start helps not just your fundraising actions but the charity for the future too. Will you write about your charity work on your website? Get it in the press? Keep in touch online with the charity?
So to my second reason for writing this blog;
I want to help everyone that asks, however with the number of charity requests rising as fast as my new client list, that is not going to be feasible to maintain, so what should I do?
Should I say that I will only help x number of charities a year?
What if a charity comes to me who I personally feel connected to, how do I say “Sorry not this year”. That really is not my style!
Should I pick and choose?
Should I just send everyone to this blog and lay down this is the bare minimum I can do;
- If you mention @BWNcouk or @Mandieholgate on Twitter anytime I’m able to RT and favourite your posts to my followers, which equals a lot of people.
- If you share your flyer (jpg or png format) on my Facebook business pages I can like and share for you. (Accessible www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk and www.old.mandieholgate.co.uk)
- If you mention me on Facebook I’m happy to share.
- If you would like to give me a call. As well as this useful blog post I’m happy to give you 10 minutes of my time to share some other ideas.
Is that enough?
It’s a question I find myself asking about my clients all the time. I think this is because I genuinely want to help everyone get the results that they want. Susan Pattrick from Dancing Giraffe spent 5 hours saying to everyone that walked past our stand at a recent exhibition “Read that, Mandie really is as passionate about your success as you are.”
And that is true, so I ask is that enough?