Before You Fundraise

One of the tasks charity volunteers are most often asked to do is fundraise. I’ve written before about why that is, but what about the consequences?

Being asked to fundraise is actually a major request, in my opinion. You’re being asked for more than your time and energy. You’re being asked to put your reputation and your relationships on the line. If it goes badly, you can come across as pushy, disrespectful, and worse.

On the other hand, it could also be a chance to invite people to participate in something rewarding and wonderful. So how can we make sure that when we fundraise, we’re getting the positive outcomes and avoiding the negative? Here are some tips:

  • Make sure you’re educated about the organization and/or program you’re fundraising for. Be prepared for questions, and know where to quickly find any answers you don’t already have. Consider using the 5 Questions to make sure you have a good basic understanding.
  • Make sure you’re fully on board with the organization and/or program you’re raising money for. If you’re not passionate about their worthiness yourself, you’ll have a hard time asking others to invest.
  • Before asking, consider why the prospective donor might want to give. Is this an issue that’s relevant to them personally? Why should they care?
  • Remember that the giving experience has to work for the giver, or it isn’t going to work for long. The only good reason for them to give is that it will provide them with the opportunity to do something they want to do; something rewarding and fulfilling.
  • Never, never trade on personal relationships, favours owed, or guilt of any kind to pressure someone into giving. That might work in the short term, but it will damage both your relationship with the giver and the organization’s reputation.

I’m sure there are many, many other things that could be included in this list, but the bottom line is that by being informed and respectful, you’ll avoid most of the common pitfalls.

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