Fundraising's a BLAST, Not a Bore...

Dear Fundraising Chair:

Fundraising isn't the 'bear' you probably think it is. In fact, it can be a lot of fun if you follow some of the simple things I'm going to teach you on this website.

Oh yeah, there's the usual hassle of getting good volunteers, but if you follow what you'll learn here you'll not only get the people you need, you'll have folks lining up to join your team the next time you head up one of these things.

Never worry again whether you're gonna be able to send the band to Disney World to march in the Epcot parade during Christmas break or how you're gonna be able to buy those new computers for school - your biggest problem is gonna be what fundraiser sounds like the most fun to run, not "oh my gosh, this is gonna be impossible!".

"Easy" is the word I keep in mind when I'm researching and writing reviews for tried and true plus as many unique fundraising ideas as I can drum up. Listen, I know what you're up against when you're suddenly put in charge (or decide to take charge because someone's gotta!) of a committee to bring in the cash you need to do the things or buy the things your group needs.

The first fundraising experience I had was when I was recruited by the chair person for my city's Ad Club's annual Media Auction and I was going to be responsible for asking for donations to auction off. I had never done anything like this before, but was so surprised to be asked to be on the committee (obviously the chair thought I was up to the task), I felt I needed to prove to the him and myself that I could do it!

The first few calls I made, I swore the telephone weighed 1,000 pounds! Why would these people want to help out the Ad Club - heck, most of the people I called didn't even know that our city HAD an Ad Club, moreless why they should donate valuable items to our auction!

But I plowed ahead, and foudn that the people I asked to donate were, for the most part, very willing to donate nice stuff. I was floored! Even though I doubted my ability to really get anything donated of real value, I just made the calls and had a positive attitude - and helped bring in thousands of dollars for our club.

Ever since that experience, I've moved on to bigger and better things within the club, eventually becoming President and overseeing all the fundraising and special events. It's really one of the most rewarding things I've done professionally. I now have confidence that I can handle almost any fundraising challenge that comes my way - and know that working with a group of like-minded people can be exhilarating! Some of my closest friends are those I met and worked with on fundraising projects for our little Ad Club and several other groups in my commmunity.

So you're probably wondering what can this site do for you?

Here's a small sampling of what you'll find here to help make your fundraising woes go away:

  • How to choose the right product or service for your situation: Should you choose a commonly sold product like candy, candles or cookie dough? Or maybe you want to set your group apart and create an annual event that the movers and shakers in your town talk about for months.

  • How to set goals for your project: As with anything project - especially one that involves many people - your results will hinge on how well you've planned your fundraising activities. Who's in charge of what - and what exactly is each volunteer responsible for? When they know, they'll be much more likely to deliver the results you need to make your fundraiser a success.

  • Delegation and how to let others help without stressing yourself out: What things should you delegate and what stuff should you do yourself? I'll help you avoid becoming overwhelmed by taking on everything by yourself, while at the same time, point you in the right direction when it comes to managing the important details personally. I'll help you decide which things fall into which category.

  • Great ways to get your group to achieve the goals you've set: Here I'll have advice on how to keep your ranks motivated to do what they're supposed to do and do it on time. Learn some easy ways to direct your troops without coming off as a tyrant.

  • How to apply for grants and funds that you may not even know exist: If you haven't considered applying for public money that may be available to you, you really ought to. Successfully winning a grant or endowment can be tricky, so make sure to follow the tips you'll find here that the experts have found to be indispensible.

  • Forms and other tools to help you keep your records straight and keep your volunteers on target: Keep yourself and your group organized with simple to use forms and other resources available for free in our download area.

  • Reviews of some of the myriad of products and services you can sell to raise funds: When you're wading through the massive information on the products and services available for fundraising, you'll be extremely greatful that I've cut through the clutter and supplied you with short, to-the-point summaries of the common and not-so-common products and services available to help you raise funds.

  • Unusual fundraisers that you may not have ever heard of: If you're tired of doing the same old boring programs that everyone else seems to do, here you'll find some great ideas of unique events and products that can add some fun into the fundraising equation.

  • Examples of how other groups have run their fundraisers: You can learn from their mistakes and modify (aka steal!) the great ideas that worked for them. Take advantage of the successes (and failures) of others who have walked a mile or two in your shoes. You'll find pitfalls to avoid when taking on a fundraiser - especially large ones which require up front money to be spent - so you can minimize any risk that may be affiliated with it.

  • Ways to customize traditional fundraisers for your unique needs and resources: Just because groups normally run a fundraising program a certain way doesn't mean that you have to follow that set of guidelines to a "t". Here are some creative ways to add a twist or two to make a common program more exciting (and profitable!).

  • An easy way to decide which program is right for your group: If you're not sure what type of program to run, here's a quick and easy test to take to help you find just the right product or program for your group's unique circumstances and resources.

  • Ways to keep the troops happy: Giving your volunteers incentive rewards (that cost pennies) can reap huge cash rewards for your group. You'll love our simple ideas and strategies to reward and thank those who help out plus make your fundraiser even more productive!

  • A look at the various fundraising software programs available: I'll give you the lowdown on how to see which one is right for your group or if you really even need one at all! With more and more software programs available today designed especially for fundraising programs, making this decision can be downright time consuming and confusing. For an objective review and comparison, check out our software section of the site.

  • Ideas and resources for putting on large scale fundraising events: Need new ideas for creating a large fundraising event? Here you'll find our newest finds of unique events that other groups have made a success and suggestions as to how you might be able to create a similar event for your group.

  • A guide to publicity for your events: Plus how to incorporate video, blogs and other unique methods to get the word out about your program Most groups don't even consider doing publicity for their fundraisers or have no idea how to go about it. This guide will give you the basics plus some professional tips on how to get publicity to increase the profits for any type of fundraising project.

Dive into the great info on the site and have a great time doing fundraising for your group! Really, you can have a great time - keep reading and you'll see for yourself!

A fan of fundraising,

Amy Blain

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