I do a good amount of fund raising.
I live in a county where people are generous and willing to give. Our churches cook a lot of food and raise funds for many things; roofs, operating expenses, mission trips and such. They have a method – they’ve been doing it a long time. Tell the congregation during announcements at service. Put an ad in the local paper announcing their event. Put it on the local radio station community calendar. Print flyers and put them up around town. The committee makes phone calls and gets people to donate the food, the time to cook it and serve it. They tell the congregation again. Then they wait – and hope – for people to show up.
Tell, advertise, post, call and wait.
It works, somewhat. The same people are doing the same things waiting for the same people to show up. That’s just a fact in small town America.
But what if you tried a few different things? I’m not saying change what you are doing — not if it’s working. I’m saying add in a few new ideas.
Recruit students to deliver those flyers into people’s hands. What other events are going on around town? Concert in the park? Fireworks? Anywhere there are already people – why not go there with the flyers and put those flyers into peoples hands?
Try pre-selling tickets. That’s right – get the money up front. Have each person on your committee be responsible for selling ten tickets. Put some skin in the game – get everyone involved. Go to the local grocery store and local bank – and ask can you leave some tickets and if they’d collect the money for you. Take that one step further – find one person at each of those locations to be personally responsible for selling tickets. Talk them about exactly what to say to their customers. Get them excited. Offer something to them – sell ten tickets and get one free for a friend of theirs (just an example).
Make an appointment with the editor of the local paper. Bring treats and coffee. Ask for their help, enlist them in the cause. Find out what kind of fund raising campaigns have they seen, what has worked in the past. Ask if they’ll publish a few articles for you about your project.
Explore social media options. Create a facebook fan page and post to it every day. Share the link with everyone you know – and ask all of your friends to be a fan and share it. Make the page exciting! Tell stories, post pictures, be passionate.
And there is the final clue to success in fund raising — you’ve got to be passionate. Believe in what you’re raising money for. It makes asking for money a whole lot easier.
Visit www.oldstonehouse.org — there’s our latest fundraising project! Buy some Schwans ice cream or food and a portion of your sale will be donated to the old stone house.