how to organize a fundraiser

How To Organize A Fundraiser

Every fundraiser is unique. Whether you are selling products, collecting donations, creating an event, etc. This raises the question that if they’re all unique, is everyone who fundraises just making it up as they go along?


The answer is, no. There are tried-and-true methods people use to run effective, profitable fundraisers. There are step-by-step processes. If you follow every step with strategy and energy, you’ll set yourself up for success in your fundraising efforts. We’ll walk you through it. In this article, we’ll discuss how to do fundraising for nonprofit organizations. In particular, we’ll talk about product fundraising.


Let’s go through it, step by step. This is how to organize a fundraiser:


  1. Decide on your fundraising goals
  2. Match your fundraiser to your goals
  3. Figure out your budget
  4. Get organized with good leadership
  5. Create your timeline
  6. Marketing! Marketing is important


Now, let’s break that down.


How To Organize a Fundraiser

Fundraising Goals


Fundraisers have two goals:

  1. Raising money for your cause
  2. Raising awareness of your cause


Do some research and run some numbers. Figure out how much money you will need to fund your goals. Your fundraiser will probably cost something itself even if you are using volunteers. Then inflate your numbers a little bit. It sounds counterintuitive, but a good solution for accounting for costs is setting your goal higher than you need.


Determine how much money you need to raise and set that goal.


At the same time, decide how much awareness you want to raise about your goal. You might want to raise some awareness quickly and then move on. Or, maybe you want to work on sustained awareness of your cause. All answers are good. You just need to know which answer is yours.


Match Your Fundraiser to Your Goals

There are many kinds of fundraising strategies you can use to reach your fundraising goals. You could sell products or host a marathon. You could set up an online donation page and advertise your fundraiser online. The right fundraising strategy for you will depend on the goals of your fundraiser (HubSpot).


One of the most flexible and profitable fundraising strategies is to implement an online fundraiser.


There are a few objections to an online fundraiser. They’re impersonal, some people say. They aren’t suitable for any size of budget. While that might have once been true, online fundraising has evolved and can be used in conjunction with in-person fundraising. There are a lot of ways to run local, personal-feeling fundraisers online that suit any budget goals. In fact, online fundraisers have the potential to be more successful because they can reach more people more frequently.


Figure Out Your Budget

It may seem ironic, but it costs money to run fundraisers. However, different fundraisers will cost different amounts. Your budget will be largely determined by the kind of fundraiser you want to run (Keela).


For example, if you want to run a product fundraiser where you sell something to your local community for a profit you would need to purchase the goods, store them, process payments, organize distribution, and keep track of your profits. Product fundraisers can require a significant amount of work and substantial startup costs, but they don’t have to, though. 


There are ways to run product fundraisers online that dramatically cut startup costs and time (RallyUp). You can sell fundraiser items online if you have the right tools. We’ll talk about them in a second, but first…


Get Your Leadership Organized

When we say this, we really mean you should get your whole fundraising strategy as organized as possible. You need to know who’s doing what, and when everything will be due. It will be equally important to make sure everyone on your team knows where to find all the resources involved in running your fundraiser. At the same time, your team will need to know who knows how to do which tasks.


A fundraiser is a business venture. A well-organized business is a successful business. A fundraiser is the same. 


There are online fundraising management and tracking tools that can help you keep your fundraiser organized.


Create a Timeline

timeline - how to organize a fundraiser - create a timeline

“Until we meet our goal” is an inappropriate deadline for your fundraiser. Likewise, “eventually.” Your timeline has to be dictated by your fundraiser goals.


Create a clear, achievable timeline that will enable you to include all the stages of your setup before the deadline for your fundraising efforts.


Having a strict deadline can also help you raise more funds as some people wait until the last moment to give. Show them how far you are from reaching your goal and get them excited about helping you achieve it.


Market Your Fundraiser

One of the most important aspects of a successful fundraiser is effective marketing. Nobody can contribute to a fundraiser they have never heard of. You may decide to rely on word of mouth, posting around your community with physical posters, or a social media strategy. Alternatively, you might have a combined strategy, taking advantage both of your in-person networks and digital marketing tools.


Marketing strategies for fundraising are a science all their own. But with the right tools, your fundraiser can be a success.


There are fundraising tools and platforms that can help you with all aspects of organizing a fundraiser. Utilizing these platforms is a great way to help you know how to organize a fundraiser successfully.


Local and Online Product Fundraising with farmRaiser

With farmRaiser, you can do everything we outlined above. farmRaiser is an online, product fundraising tool. It has tools for organizing your fundraising strategy and running it. You can create the ideal goals and a timeline to fund your cause.


farmRaiser is unique because it focuses on healthy, locally sourced, sustainable products. Through farmRaiser, you can source your products for your fundraiser from local businesses. This means you can support businesses in your community and raise money at the same time!


You figure out your fundraising goals and the local businesses and products you want to sell. After that, we work with you to set up a portal where your backers can contribute to your fundraiser by purchasing products from local businesses. Then we handle all the processing and help you organize distribution. (farmRaiser)


It’s pretty cool, if we say so ourselves. Check out farmRaiser for product fundraising and RaiserHQ for white-label fundraising solutions for larger businesses and organizations.


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