Your #FAQFundraising Answers! (Part Two)

Happy almost holidays!

Welcome to the second half of our #FAQFundraising blog, wherein we answer the rest of the fundraising questions that our fantastic followers submitted via Twitter and Facebook. Here we go!

How can I advertise a national fundraising event?

Good question! Fundraising events are a challenge. Fundraising events for national organizations are even more so because they don’t have the local or regional connection that compels many people to attend events. If you have a well-branded event with a track record of high attendance you are in luck — it should be relatively easy for you to take your promotion to social media and other digital channels. As with any promotion effort, you should have a mix of channels that speak best to your target audience. Also, you should know your target audience — who do you want to reach?

However, if you are starting a new fundraising event, think twice. @@Galas and other swanky affairs sound fun and profitable, but they require an almost immeasurable amount of staff time to be executed well@@ AND they absolutely must have a wealthy and well-connected host committee supporting them to bring in the money needed to turn a profit. Most galas take several years before they really become a net positive for an organization. You might consider doing smaller events that are easy to plan and give you an easy way to introduce potential donors to your mission.

How do you recommend handling fundraising in a post crisis/disaster such as the one in Paris without appearing either 1) off topic or 2) like you are chasing an ambulance?

This is an interesting question, especially as we are faced with such terrible disasters so frequently here in the U.S. First and foremost, if your mission is not related to the disaster in some way then it is not the right time to fundraise. So, for example, in the wake of the San Bernadino shootings it is totally appropriate for gun control organizations to fundraise using messages related to the shooting. The important thing to keep in mind is that you are not contributing to the problem or sensationalizing violence, but that you are making a connection between your organization’s mission and impact and how more of your work can prevent such tragedies from occurring.

In the case of a natural disaster, which is not preventable, only organizations that actually provide relief and support to victims and communities should be using that time to fundraise. But the rule of thumb is the same — @@drive people back to the connection between your organization’s mission and impact and the needs of the victims and communities.@@

It’s also important to think about the stages of a tragedy or natural disaster — there are the first responders, the immediate aftermath, and the long-term impact. Different organizations might have different opportunities to fundraise based on where they fit in that timeline.

I need tips to help fundraise I’m not very good at it.

Everyone can use some simple tips. Luckily, we wrote a blog with some general tips not that long ago. Check it out!  Again, thanks to all of our followers for submitting questions. Keep them coming. 

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