In the third of our series on social action projects, our Giving Nation team shares some tips for making your fundraiser out from the crowd.
Fundraising projects can be the trickiest to get right: it’s not all marathons and cake sales! You have to engage people, educate them and get them to hand over their hard-earned cash, all at the same time.
Know your stuff
Your fundraising should always help raise awareness of your issue. People are much more likely pay up if they understand why it matters. Don’t forget to tell your chosen charity what you’re doing, and they may even send you materials to help.
Make some noise
Don’t be afraid to shout about what you are doing. Remember: if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Face to face fundraising is great (and it’s much harder to say no to); make sure you look presentable and are prepared to answer questions about your cause. Local newspapers and radio stations are great ways to spread the word even wider, or try and get a celebrity to endorse you.
Strike the balance: challenging vs achievable
Be tactical when setting your fundraising target. Donors like to be part of something successful, so don’t pitch your target too high or low or you won’t maximise their generosity. If your initial activity doesn’t raise enough money to hit your target, adapt your plans.
GiftAid increases the value of donations from anyone who is a UK taxpayer, by allowing charities to reclaim the basic rate of tax (currently 20%). So, if someone donates £10, your charity actually gets £12! The charity will need the names and addresses of donors so make sure you get this on your forms.
Get a business behind you
Ask local businesses to sponsor your event, or provide free or discounted resources or products (maybe in return for advertising space). They might even be willing to match-fund you (meaning they match any donations you get from elsewhere). Have a go!
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’! Setting up a successful fundraising project takes time, so start early and make sure everyone knows their role.
Keep in contact
Don’t forget to thank all the people who donated to your cause. Ideally keep them informed as they’ll want to hear how their money has helped. Remember, your project may only be the start of your social action journey: you might need these people again one day!
Giving Nation is the most popular social action programme for schools and alternative education nationally.