Preparing to fundraise
Define your needs.
This is the most important first step in fundraising. To effectively raise money, you have to know what you’re fundraising for in the first place. Take the time to figure out your group’s needs and budget the costs to meet them.
Develop the language.
Now that you have identified your needs, you need to articulate them. Develop some language describing what you need, why you need it, how it will help the community you serve, and how much it will cost. You may not need all of this written language for every fundraising effort, but you’ll appreciate having it on hand when it’s required.
Develop a method to track donations and donor information.
For legal, accounting and internal tracking purposes, you will need the capacity to record and track donations and donor information. Your method can be a simple spreadsheet, or a complex, custom database, but you must have a usable tool.
Get staff or volunteers to do the work.
Fundraising is work, no doubt about it. You will need capable, reliable people to manage records, staff events, stuff envelopes, solicit donations, write emails, update websites and more. Your board should definitely be involved in fundraising. You can also recruit volunteers from your constituency, from local service organizations, colleges and universities, or from online services like Volunteer Match.