Want your next fundraiser to run more smoothly? Here are ten tips to help you create a successful marketing plan.
Put your project plan in writing – Run your fundraiser like a business. A written project plan that spells out all roles and responsibilities is your blueprint for success.
Create a timeline – Make sure that your start date and end date are both firm. Make sure your project does not conflict with other major events where your constituency is likely to participate.
Recruit, recruit, recruit (volunteers that is) – Let the community you serve know that you need more caring individuals to help with your goals. People who volunteer do so because they are asked. So ask! Use your newsletter, website and word of mouth to help in your recruitment efforts.
Incorporate your website – Don’t have one? There is no better time than the present to create one. Your website should be used to communicate goals, thank your sponsors, recognize successes, honor individual contributors, tell about upcoming events, etc. Be sure you promote your web site on all your marketing materials.
Look at the past to plan the future – See what’s been successful before. Review your records. Find areas that need improvement. What did you do best? Do it again! Is there something you have always done that is on the decline. Examine the reasons for the decline. Perhaps it is time to change course or find a new event. If your stakeholders are bored with a project, chances are, so is the audience you serve.
Define Roles – Match the needs of your organization with the volunteer’s skills and availability by including it in those written volunteer position’s description.
Move people around – Unless you have a good reason not to switch roles, put new people (with a good track record) in those organizational roles that will move your fundraiser forward. Do this ahead of time. Provide proper training.
The early bird gets the “volunteer” – Let the community know early and often about what volunteers you need. Recruit more volunteers than you think you will need. This way, no one feels overworked. And of course, those volunteers will be able to pick up the slack in the event others don’t follow through as expected. Have volunteer sign-up forms at every event and meeting your organization hosts.
Recruit a volunteer to be the volunteer coordinator – A strong communicator that will help assign and place volunteers would be the best choice. Some people are a natural for this key role.
Set realistic goals – Break those goals down into what’s needed from each sub-group. Tell them the consequences of their participation as well as what could happen if they don’t follow through. Let the volunteers know the importance of their roles and what’s in it for them. Reward volunteers based upon their individual and group success.
About the author
© 2005 – Heidi Richards is the author of The PMS Principles, Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business and 7 other books. She is also the Founder & CEO of the Women’s ECommerce Association, International www.WECAI.org (pronounced wee-kî) – an Internet organization that “Helps Women Do Business on the WEB.” Basic Membership is FREE. Ms. Richards can be reached at Heidi@speakingwithspirit.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.