Rallying Some Troops
“I wish I could, but I'm just too busy.” That's a phrase you will hear all too often when trying to rally troops to work on your fundraising efforts. But there are many people out there who will be ready to give some time and effort to support a good cause — you just have to find them.
Set attainable goals. This may seem obvious, but it is important to consider how much work can reasonably be accomplished by the number of volunteers you have. Trying to do too much will only frustrate everyone and may even drive away some volunteers.
It is also very important that you rally people behind the idea in a positive, but not pushy, manner. You need to gather prospective team members and promote the reasons behind the need for funding. In addition, you want to emphasize the idea of FUNdraising, or having a good time.
Getting others involved in a fundraiser can be very easy if the cause, or need, is obvious and touches the members, students, or community personally. The less informed your audience is about an issue, the more you need to be prepared. Gathering facts and figures isn't very difficult if you utilize the library, town records, and the Internet. Your enthusiasm for a cause may very well spread among your circle.
A simple example of winning over an audience with research and presentation comes from a father of two young children, who went before a local town board in his New England community to propose a fundraiser for new and better playground facilities. Many of the people sitting before him were elderly and had no idea what was wrong with the current playground. His idea didn't get off the drawing board.
At the next town meeting, the father brought documented proof of several injuries that had resulted directly from the old equipment. In addition to a polished proposal with facts and figures, he also brought a few of the local kids, including one who was injured on the playground. He got the town behind him and they offered their assistance for his fundraising efforts.
You should prepare appropriate literature that supports your fundraising goal or goals. Such literature should clearly illustrate your mission to potential contributors and volunteers. It should also address the urgency behind your goal and the history or background of your group, association, organization, school, or other affiliation. Remember that the people collecting the money, which includes you and your volunteers, also need to present themselves in a credible manner in your presentation.
It is estimated that more than 75 percent of people involved in fundraising activities are in some manner touched personally by the cause. A person who has a sister with breast cancer might participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer; another might simply enjoy the programming on PBS. The point is the same: Most people donate their time or money to a cause they have a personal connection to.