3 Ways To Promote Your Organization’s Fundraising Efforts

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That famous line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come,” may have been true for a bunch of ghosts and a cornfield-turned-baseball diamond. But where fundraising campaigns are concerned, simply putting one together may not guarantee that people will flock to your organization’s cause.

These days, getting people’s attention takes a bit more effort — sometimes a lot more.

The good news: Whether you’re holding a silent auction for your local YMCA, a raffle for a theater troupe, or launching a capital campaign for your nonprofit, there are plenty of ways to promote your fundraiser.


Here are just a few ideas.

In-Person Appeals

In today’s always-on-the-go society, it’s easy to forget just how much a face-to-face meeting can do.

For a really powerful way to drive your cause home, find ways to get directly in front of people who might be willing to donate or be part of your fundraising effort in some way.

Offer to speak at your local Chamber of Commerce meeting, volunteer to talk to a group of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, attend a local networking happy hour. Essentially: Figure out what groups are most likely to be interested in your cause, then find a way to get in front of them.

Pitch Local Media Outlets

As much as some would love for you to believe that print is dead, the traditional media still hold a lot of sway — especially in smaller localities, where most everyone gets their news and event information from sources like the city newspaper or their local network news affiliate.

Get your local media’s attention with a well-written press release — short and sweet, with all the pertinent information clearly listed. If you have access to their contact information, send it to the reporters who cover the beat or topics most closely related to your organization’s mission or cause; you’ll be more likely to get a response that way.

Someone within your organization should be a point person for interviews, and always have electronic versions of photos or logos at the ready if the media requests them.

Take To Social Media

Despite what we’ve just said about local media, there’s no denying Social media isn’t wildly popular today just because people love to waste time watching cat videos and talking about what they had for lunch.

It’s an amazing way to connect with all kinds of people — across town and all over the world — and, for marketers and organizations with a mission, a pretty effective way of getting things done.

Here are a few ways to use social media to promote your fundraising efforts:

–  Post photos from previous fundraising events as a way to build buzz for your next event

–  Use an online platform like Kintera to house your donation system

–  Create a Facebook or Eventbrite event to invite attendees and sell tickets

–  Create a meaningful hashtag on Twitter to track mentions of your cause, event or campaign

–  Use Pinterest to build boards with photos of your silent auction or raffle items

–  Use your Facebook Page, Twitter account or other social to thank donors and recognize other important people related to your cause

Above All: Know Your Donor Base

No matter how you end up deciding to do it, the key to successfully promoting your organization’s fundraising efforts rests on truly understanding your donor base.

Before you make the decision of how to dedicate your time and energy on promotion, stop to think where your most valued stakeholders spend their time and energy — then try your best to get your message and cause in front of them.

What fundraising efforts are you planning for the rest of the year, and how do you plan on spreading the word about them? Leave a comment here and share your organization’s story.

Join Restaurant.com at the AFRDS 2014 Convention and Trade Show: Jan. 10-13, 2014

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Did you know that product fundraising — think Girl Scout cookies, Boy Scout trash bags, magazine subscriptions, wrapping paper and the like — is a $3.4 billion (yes, that’s seven zeroes) industry?

With that much cash in play, not to mention the importance of fundraising in itself, it’s clear that product fundraising has really grown up! And just like any other industry, it’s crucial to stay connected and up-to-date on all the latest developments in the business — so you can stay at the top of your game.

If you’re looking for new ideas on how to connect with your customers and provide them with the best possible products and services to meet their fundraising goals, then join us at the American Association of Fund-Raising Distributors & Suppliers 2014 Convention and Trade Show. It’s happening Jan. 10 to Jan. 13, 2014, at Rosen Centre Hotel and Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

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Back to School Already? Time to Plan Your Fall Fundraisers

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Fundraising is practically a rite of passage for schoolchildren: selling Girl Scout Cookies for your local troop, garbage bags for the Boy Scout den, cookie dough for a marching band trip or endless rolls of wrapping paper or magazine subscriptions for the charity cause du jour.

Whether you went door to door hawking your wares, broke into your dad’s Rolodex or ran down the school calling tree, chances are you’ve had to endure a season of fundraisers selling this and that to people eager to support the cause — but less enthusiastic about the stuff inevitably headed their way afterward.

Well, it’s time to head back to school, and though the causes may change from year to year, the need to fundraise remains. Start planning your fall fundraisers NOW — and give everyone involved something to be excited about! Here are a few tips from our Incentives team to refresh you for fall 2013.

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Getting People To Give

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Fundraising has never been an easy task but in today’s tumultuous economy, it can sometimes feel like pushing an elephant up a large, steep hill. Gone are the days when money flowed easily and major donors were a dime a dozen.  Today, charities of all shapes and sizes have to work hard for their money. 

Harder in fact, than they ever have before.

But, in spite of increased competition for consumers’ dollars, there are also many new and exciting ways to attract attention and stand out on the fundraising front.  More and more nonprofit agencies, school organizations and others are discovering the power of incentives as one of the best fundraising solutions and most effective ways to generate interest and motivate generosity among the general public. Be it a tootsie roll given out at a street corner or storefront to encourage consumers to part with their loose change to a more elaborate enticement like fancy trips and fine furs used at formal galas and live auctions to bring in big dollars, nonprofits are now waking up to the fact that if you want fundraising results, you need to offer people something they truly want. 

When a nonprofit puts their customer first, and chooses promotional incentives that are motivating and considered valuable to their target audience, they will be much more likely to achieve impressive fundraising results.

Nonprofits that tap into these insights and deliver consumer-oriented incentive programs are the ones that are gaining ground on the donor front. They are applying principles that for-profit companies and advertising and sales promotion agencies have understood all along.  If you give people a little something extra, or reward desirable behavior, people are considerably more likely to do what you ask of them, be it to buy a product, try a service, or simply make a donation to a worthy cause. 

And, don’t forget those who are working hard on behalf of your fundraising effort. Incentives can also be an effective way to thank volunteers, or energize or motivate a team to achieve defined goals.  By giving individuals or groups something extra in exchange for hard work, you’ll build momentum and make a measurable difference in the amount you raise.

Great Fundraisers with Gift Cards

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The silent auction has quietly taken the nonprofit scene by storm as one of the most favored ideas for fundraising activities. The concept takes everyone’s enthusiasm about bidding on an auction and added the intrigue of secret bidding where hundreds of other bidders wait in anticipation to learn if they have actually won their favored item.

Auctioning gifts, trips and other valuable and fun items to raise money for nonprofits is an entertaining way to engage patrons, generate buzz about a particular cause and let people walk off with a lot of nice items for relatively much lower prices than retail. The non-profit makes money and attendees feel like they have won a deal.

Some companies donate gift items as a marketing promotion strategy knowing full well that those who patronize these events will often frequent advertising donor’s places of business as well. It is a strategy that pays off time and again. Businesses get recognition in the community, and the nonprofit organization earns money for their cause.

Restaurant.com Gift Cards make great fundraisers by themselves and they can also play a role in your next auction or fundraiser. Whether used as a raffle item or in a gift basket with other goodies to be auctioned off, bidders love to win our gift cards. Knowing that there are over 18,000 restaurants nationwide to choose from make them highly desirable items to win.

To learn more about how our program can help you raise funds for your nonprofit or generate new customers for your business, use our online request form to have one of our incentive and loyalty solutions specialist contact you with more information.

Cool Fundraisers for Your School or Non Profit

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Coming up with cool fundraisers for your school or nonprofit organization can be a challenge easily overcome by planning and fundraising help from quality companies that specialize in fundraising programs.

As one of these companies, we at Restaurant.com can be a great resource in offering ways to increase conversion rates and get more people to donate or buy your product so that your organization will be well on its way to raising much needed funds.

Our fundraising program offers gifts cards that are valued at a particular dollar amount and then sold by your students or organization members. For instance, if you choose a $50 gift card for your fundraising promotion, your members sell it for $20 and then keep up to $10 in profit for every sale. The profits can mount up very quickly as just about everyone loves a good night out enjoying fine dining with friends or family members.

With over 18,000 participating restaurants nationwide, our fundraising gift cards can be sold to anyone, anywhere in the U.S., and we even offer an online redemption option for those family and friends who live far away that would like to help your school or organization as well.

Gifts cards for dining out will be used much more frequently than candy or gift wrap paper so your donors will find them much more valuable. You and your volunteers will appreciate the streamlined process for running this fundraising campaign since it minimizes the amount of time needed for taking orders and distributing the cards to supporters. Contact us today to learn more about how we can add value to your school or organization’s fundraising goals.

Quick and Easy Fundraising Ideas for Schools and Clubs

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With schools feeling the squeeze of budget constraints and program cutbacks, it is becoming increasingly important for PTA, school clubs and organizations to come up with quick and easy fundraising ideas to raise necessary dollars for important activities. If the idea of selling more chocolate bars or gift wrap leaves your school’s PTA with a feeling of despair and desperation, then finding great fundraisers may be on your emergency to-do list before school gets back into session.

Easy Fundraising IdeasParents and students give their best efforts to sell everything that comes their way when it means having funding for extracurricular activities such as band trips or field days. Some schools even need help with buying books and curriculum. But often, parents wish for a fundraiser that their office associates and friends can really use without the guilt of purchasing too much candy, popcorn or junk food that can drastically affect waistlines.

The Restaurant.com Gift Card fundraiser can give everyone something they really love. Access to great local restaurants nationwide with no expiration date makes the Restaurant.com fundraiser one that will be successful for your school or non-profit organization. Everyone likes to dine out so they appeal to a broad section of the community with significant savings to the wallet.

The great thing about these $50 gift cards is they are sold for only $20 and your organization or club keeps up to $10 for each one sold. What a great way to quickly earn large amounts of money without a lot of effort! Contact us today for more information about nonprofit online fundraising and to see how we can help stretch your supporter dollars while also raising funds for your organization.