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Bright Horizons: Building Program Sustainability


Grant writing is one type of fundraising but there are many more for this discussion. ... Purchase of rubber ducks as low as 16 cents each Oriental Trading on-line. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Bright Horizons: Building Program Sustainability

Bright Horizons Building Program Sustainability
  • Fundraising 101
  • March 31, 2008

Isnt fundraising just grant writing?
  • Grant writing is one type of fundraising but
    there are many more for this discussion. We will
    focus on three types.
  • These types of fundraising activities will help
    pay for things that funders typically wont pay
    for such as supplies, rent, other specific costs.

How and when will you use this money?
  • Before you begin to plan your fundraiser, you
    should know how much money you need to raise and
    in what time frame
  • needing 500 to buy office supplies over the
    next year is very different than needing 500 to
    pay rent on the 1st of the month.

Fundraising Considerations
  • Three things to consider when planning a
  • Effort Involved How much time do you want to
    spend on the fundraiser? Do you have the manpower
    needed to get the job done?
  • Resources Needed Do you have the space,
    volunteers, staff and/or money needed to get the
    fundraiser off the ground? Remember you dont
    want to spend more than you make!
  • Duration of Fundraiser How long will the
    fundraiser last? What is your time frame?

Finding the Right Fundraising Strategy for your
  • What were the specific conditions that made that
    idea work for that organization and do those
    conditions exist for your organization?
  • Do we have the capacity to implement that
  • What are the real costs?
  • What can we realistically expect to receive?

Selling Things -Specialty Sale of a Seasonal
  • Where
  • A high traffic location (with permission to sell
  • When
  • It is important to have firm dates with seasonal
    sales, because the season will determine the
    product (e.g., flowers in the Spring, pumpkins in
    the fall, Christmas trees in December).
  • It can be helpful to avoid stretching the sale
    over more than one weekend- setup on a Friday,
    sell on Saturday and Sunday, and wrap up by
  • How
  • For these events you need plenty of advance
    publicity. Be sure to price competitively and
    offer great customer service (e.g., help load
    Christmas trees into cars, give away ornaments
    produced by some of the children your
    organization supports)
  • Cost
  • You will probably need money to pre-order items
    so make sure the mark-up is enough to make a
    profit and that your estimate on how many you can
    sell is accurate.

Selling Things A Fundraising Cookbook
  • Where
  • A great way to sell cookbooks is to host an event
    and provide samples of the recipes included in
    the book.
  • When
  • Any time of year but great if you can tie it into
    a gift-giving day such as Mothers Day or
    Christmas. Cookbooks can be sold over a longer
    period of time than some other types of sales.
  • How
  • The most common way to do produce a cookbook is
    to collect all the favorite recipes from members
    of your group and/or supporters.
  • There are various ways to sell the cookbook a
    formally printed bound book or an informal copy
    bound with ribbons (price all your options ahead
    of time). See Handout for information on
    companies that specialize in the typing, layout,
    and binding of fundraising cookbooks.
  • An added source of revenue in doing a cookbook
    would be to solicit advertising pages from local
    supporters (at a cost) to be included in the
  • Costs
  • Costs vary depending on how the book is produced
    (see Handout).

Selling Things Mega Tag Sale
  • Where
  • Choose a nice high visibility location like a
    school or church parking lot where you can get
    permission to sell.
  • When
  • Spring and fall are the most popular time of
    year. Make sure to have a rain date if you are
    holding it outside.
  • How
  • Advertise in the local paper and put up signs
    around town.
  • Group items together by category kids clothes,
    tools, toys, books, music, etc.
  • Place general price signs around items instead of
    pricing everything individually (saving lots of
    time). For example, Tools 5- 10.
  • Think about who will help sell at the event
    (outgoing types are best)
  • Make it fun have helium balloons for small kids
    and coffee for adults.
  • You could add a raffle event and sell cookbooks
    or other products, too!
  • Costs
  • This is a very low cost fundraiser because almost
    all of the items are donated. You will incur
    small amounts of cost if you include balloons and
    coffee (although you might be able to get these

Selling Things- Direct Sales (Candy, Cookie
  • Where
  • Advanced sales to supporters including friends,
    family, close neighbors usually sold
  • When
  • Anytime of year but avoid Halloween, Valentines
    Day and Easter.
  • How (see Handout for additional information on
    companies that offer this type of fundraiser)
  • Your group orders an inventory of products these
    products are distributed to your group members
    who sell the products directly to their
  • Funds are collected at the point of sale.
  • Cost
  • Products are purchased up-front so key is to
    order the right amount.
  • Usually a very low retail price per item which
    results in an easy sale.

Selling Things Advanced Orders (wrapping
paper, chocolates, gourmet food, candles)
  • Where
  • Advanced sales to supporters including friends,
    family, close neighbors, door-to-door
  • When
  • Anytime of year but September/October is good
    time of year to receive orders for the December
  • How (see Handout for additional information on
    companies offering this type of fundraiser)
  • Your group shows a brochure to potential
    supporters with a product list the order forms
    are returned to the fundraising company who will
    fulfill orders and ship the products for your
    group for delivery. Some deliver directly to the
    persons home.
  • Costs
  • No guess work on how much to order, therefore
    there is no risk.
  • Most of these companies offer internet ordering,
    so members can solicit out of town relatives,
    colleagues, alums, etc

Selling Your Organization - Gift bags with a
donation card
  • Where
  • At your office, anywhere
  • When
  • Probably best around the holidays such as
    Christmas or Hanukkah, birthdays, graduations,
  • How
  • In lieu of a material gift, someone would
    purchase a donation to your organization
  • A small gift bag would include a card from your
    organization stating that A donation of X amount
    has been made in your honor to the ABC
    Organization. Make sure to include a BIG thank
    you and information on your organization what
    you do and why
  • Costs
  • Only the cost of purchasing a small gift bag with
    some tissue paper and printing up a card

Holding An Event Publicity, Raffles, and Auctions
  • Publicity The key to holding any successful
    event is good publicity. Newspapers, radio, and
    television stations will give plenty of publicity
    to events that they think their public wants to
    hear about. Provide a press release including
    the most newsworthy aspect of the event. Let the
    public know what the money raised will help
    provide to your organization (and provide
    pictures when possible.) Again, appeal to the
    publics hearts. (See Handout for sample press
  • Raffles Conducting a raffle at any event is
    always a great way to increase your groups
    profits. Get one item or service donated and
    sell raffle tickets before, during, and after the
    event. Dont forget to mention the raffle in
    your press release.
  • Silent Auctions Are a great way to raise money
    at any fundraising event. Ask local businesses
    to donate goods or services and then place those
    items on tables where people wait in line. Make
    sure to provide clear, easy-to-read descriptions
    of each item, what the retail value is, and
    remember that presentation and display is
    important. Bundle items and services or create
    baskets to increase revenue.

Holding an Event- Spaghetti Dinner/Pancake
  • Where
  • For either, all you need is a large space with
    kitchen facilities, plenty of food, and lots of
  • When
  • Anytime of year- people are always hungry
  • How
  • Very important to have good publicity
  • Recruit volunteers for shopping, cooking,
    serving, and clean-up.
  • Price tickets correctly so you know you will
    profit and offer discounts for families, small
    children and seniors.
  • Donations- place a large bucket right next to the
    cash register and hang a sign above asking for
    donations. Give them information on what the
    money will go to (new computers, classes,
    whatever it is you need).
  • Sell raffle tickets, too!
  • Costs
  • The costs for this type of event will be incurred
    due to food expenses (everything else should be
    free) and should not be too high.

Holding An Event Rubber Duck Race
  • Where
  • Local stream or river. Check with town on
    getting any necessary permits.
  • When
  • Usually a time of year when you will get good
    weather (April to September) and plan a rain
  • How
  • You will need to purchase the rubber ducks first
  • Each duck is numbered and sold tickets are linked
    to each duck (usually between 5-10)
  • Additional prizes can be awarded to increase the
    fun such as last place, right in the middle, etc.
  • Prizes should be donated by local community
    supporters and do not have to be large in
    monetary value.
  • By selling food and drinks you can increase your
    profit at the event.
  • Have a raffle too!
  • Costs
  • Purchase of rubber ducks as low as 16 cents
    each Oriental Trading on-line.
  • Money to buy food and drinks if you are going to
    sell at the event

Holding An Event Bingo Games
  • Where
  • You need a large room with lots of tables, bingo
    supplies and a caller.
  • When
  • Anytime of year
  • How
  • You will need volunteers to help sell bingo
    cards, call numbers, and write down numbers on a
    large board that people can see. As with any
    event, you can raise more funds by selling food,
    beverages, or holding a silent auction on tables
    around the room.
  • Many ways to raise money but one easy way is to
    charge a small amount per game (1) or offer
    unlimited games for more (20). Winners then
    select from a variety of small, non-cash prizes
    (which should be donated by area business).
  • Costs
  • Bingo supplies are inexpensive and can be found
    in many stores. There should not be any other
    costs incurred for this event.

Holding an Event Benefit Gala
  • Where
  • A nice place where participants can eat, drink
    and be merry. You might also want room for
    dancing, a band or DJ, and auction tables
  • When
  • Anytime of year a celebration for your
    organization and its supporters
  • How
  • Provide an evening of food (does not have to be a
    full-meal), drinks (can be cash-bar), dancing,
    entertainment, and auction for your organizations
    supporters. Make the night fun for all and a
    celebration in honor of all that your
    organization has accomplished. Center the event
    around something that has mass appeal such as a
    popular band.
  • Often the big money makers at this type of event
    are silent and live auctions. In addition to
    placing silent auction items on tables that
    people can bid on through the course of the night
    you can have an auctioneer (someone with lots
    of pizzazz) run the live auction portion at the
    end of dinner maybe during the dessert portion.
  • Sell tickets in advance make sure the ticket
    costs cover any upfront costs you will have
  • Costs
  • Depends on what you offer guests but can include
    food, drinks, decorations, band or DJ rental,
    location rental, wait staff salary.

Direct Appeals
  • Direct mail request probably the most common
    form of direct appeal (see letter writing tips on
    following page.) Mailings can vary from a simple
    postcard to an elaborate, multi-page letter
    spelling out a groups positions while also
    supplying a donation envelope or postcard. Do not
    confuse this with grant requests.
  • Donor List this is the premier tool in direct
    solicitation building your donor list is key to
    effective direct appeal solicitations. Do you
    keep a running list of everyone who attends your
  • Membership Drives this involves building a
    supporter base through signing up new members and
    collecting dues and works best when tied to
    strongly supported group goals. Consider
    collecting small monthly dues with a discount for
    annual payment. Provide visible membership
    recognition such as bumper stickers, T-shirts, or
    member cards.
  • Direct appeal can be as simple as asking
    participants at a community event to throw a few
    quarters each into a bucket make it fun and tie
    the activity to your organization (think of the
    fireman collecting money in boots at grocery
    stores or county fairs).

Direct Mail Request
  • Donation request letter writing tips (see
    examples in handout)
  • Know your donors- begin with an updated list of
    past donors and a well-targeted updated mailing
    list for new prospects.
  • Include a teaser copy on the outside of the
    envelope get them to open the letter by
    including a grab line. It can be as simple as
    We need your help!
  • Make your case quickly early in the letter tell
    about your organization or project and get to the
    point right away. What problem will this project
    solve? What need will it fill? What can their
    money do to help? Appeal to their hearts first
    and heads second.
  • Tell them how much to give- So they have an idea
    of what is needed, give them some boundaries,
    Our program needs 5 computers, at 1,000 each.
    If you cant afford a whole computer, a donation
    of only 200 will buy a printer.
  • Provide a deadline- If you dont get them to act
    right away, they probably wont act at all.
  • Include a return envelope and reply card- make it
    easy for people to donate by telling them how.
  • Make follow-up phone calls- it is a good idea to
    call one or two weeks after you mail the letters.
    Ask if the letter was received and if you can
    answer any questions.

Top Ten Fundraising Mistakes
  • Spending money to raise money.
  • Confusing fundraising events with events trying
    to accomplish other goals (thank volunteers,
    market your program).
  • Wearing out your donor base going back to the
    same people or organizations again and again.
  • Not expanding your donors/collaborators within
    your community.
  • Not branding your event making it fit with your
    program making it unique.
  • Not asking for help if you want monetary
    support, be bold and seek it out.
  • Not planning effectively not having contingency
  • Not publicizing events well.
  • Not saying thank you and giving feedback on
  • Not making donors feel good for giving and want
    to continue to give.

Important questions that need answers before you
  • How will you use this money? (think in specifics
    supplies, rent, incentives)
  • How much money do you need?
  • When do you need the money?
  • What is your time frame?
  • Who is available to help you manage the
    fundraiser within your organization, leadership,
    volunteer base?
  • How much time do you want to spend on the
  • Who is out there ready to help you in the

Your Presentation Today
  • What fundraising strategy have you taken (or do
    you plan to undertake)?
  • Did you (Do you) have a goal of what you wanted
    to raise?
  • What did it take to implement it (or is it taking
    to implement)?
  • Were you able to get donations to help cover the
    up-front costs?
  • Did you achieve your goal? (Or do you think you
    will achieve your goal?) Why or why not?
  • What recommendations would you make to someone
    else taking this strategy?