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Fund-Raising 101
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Fundraising 101

Today I am going to share with you the basic fundamentals of Fund Raising 101 that will outline how to put your event together. You may not have thought of this but all of us have occasions to organize a fund raiser. Here are some examples:

`Your community has been hard hit by Mother Nature and you are going to show everyone how to rally around the cause of rebuilding.

`Maybe someone you know or have heard about needs a new liver to survive.

`Your child?s troop need to raise money for summer camp.

`How about a toy drive at Christmas?

We have all been touched by issues that we support with passionate concern. And today, all of you will have an opportunity to take these basic fundamentals forward to use in your personal lives and that of your communities.

Let?s face it; people all over the globe have more activities and more choices for entertainment and recreation that ever before. So you come up with a great idea and it could vary from fun run to a golf tournament. You may want to host a black tie gala or a celebrity horse racing event. Fundraising should be fun as well as effective. Some events have safety issues and the cost of insurance may mean that the event is not feasible. All will require a road map that includes budget, time lines, publicity, etc.

Your idea could be the best idea for an event since the Olympics?.but you have absolutely NO guarantee that you?ll be able to build an event into something truly special in the face of all the competition out there for people?s time, money, and interest. You need to rise above the crowd...pure and simple.

Every truly successful event I can think of does a great job at balancing good business sense with showmanship. These events treat the participant like a VIP from entry to exit with tons of perks ranging from wonderful food and drink to great raffle prizes and with auction excitement and just right entertainment.

The flip side is the kind of events that leave folks wondering where all their money went as the sip their one watered-down drink mix and try to find a dry place to sit. You certainly can?t always point to the largest events as having the best balance in amenities. Many small and mid-size events do a great job at providing services at a reasonable price.

It?s presentation. It?s attitude. It?s detail. Here?s how to get rolling.


$ What is your goal?

$ How much money do you want or need to raise?

$ Who is going to benefit from the funds?


$ List all the cost details for the event.

$ Calculate how much each member of your group must do in order to reach your group?s goal.

$ Require a detailed written estimate from vendors/suppliers that guarantee timely delivery.

$ Negotiate payments for goods/services that will cash flow with your income.

$ There are always hidden costs so add 25% to all costs and expenses. That will be your break even point. Anything you raise beyond that will benefit the event.)


$ Open a checking account.

$ Assign an event secretary or treasurer.

$ Generate a spreadsheet to manage expenses.

$ Create a data base for names/addresses, processing entries, mailing out confirmations,

invitations/mailing lists as well as the volunteers for the event.

$ Post entries and expenses on a very regular not let this pile up.

$ Make certain your expenses are on track with your budget.


$ Create list of details and put in chronological order.

$ Start with the event date and a calendar

$ Work backwards from event date using a tablet and the calendar (and consider each detail and when and how far out this detail should be performed)

$ 90 days out, 60 days out, 30 days out, 2 weeks out, 10 days out, one week out, etc. (you will add to the calendar as new details evolve)

$ Review and update weekly then daily to event date


$ Design a logo or tag line (slogan).

$ Have artwork available on disk to provide to vendors in order to create stationary, invitations, banners, T-shirts, etc.

$ Get written permission to use any trademarks or trade names. If you plan to use the logo of American Cancer Society or Make a Wish Foundation, etc., you must have approval from that group.

$ Verify if the charity needs to approve all copy that includes their trademarks or trade names.


$ Attend networking group and chamber of commerce meetings. Basically use every avenue to involve volunteers to donate their time for your event. You strike gold when you find individuals that share a passion for the fund raiser?s specific cause.

$ Appoint chairperson, Honorary chair, organizing committee, event secretary or treasurer and sub-committees.


$Write a template letter & sponsor agreement.

$ Briefly describe the event (this should not be more than two pages long.)

$ Who will it benefit, i.e., who or what group will receive the funds.

$ When and where the event is held.

$ What the sponsor will receive for their contribution. This would offer the levels you have established and should state what the sponsor would potentially contribute and what the event will provide to the sponsor. Creating this template on a computer allows you to individualize each letter which can be a big help if you are after specific product/services.


$ Create Gold, Silver, Bronze or Diamonds, Rubies, Safire?s, etc. Be realistic about how much you think you can ask for. If you are a first time event don?t ask for zillions of dollars in title sponsorships. (Important Tip, always approach a business with a specific request. You need enough drink to service 100 people, etc).

$ Donation Sponsors; will make a cash donation.

$ In-kind Sponsors; will donate their product or services in exchange for an agreed amount of publicity and exposure. So, if bronze sponsorship is $500 and they donate $500 worth of product they are a bronze sponsor.

$ Title Sponsor or Presenting Sponsors; will make a large contribution for ownership of the event. This would come into play after you?ve established your event as a proven publicity machine worthy of a sizable cash investment.


$ Reaching your demographics is vitally important. Think about your event and who would attend and ask yourself these questions. Do you want families to attend? Do you want teenagers? Do you want grandparents? Will the event draw more males than females or males? Do you want to reach the CEO?s of major corporations? What part of the city is the event being held?

$ Demographics are the physical characteristics of a population such as age, sex, marital status, family size, geographic location & occupation.

$ Explore media that does NOT require a budget-press releases, flyers, email, newspaper ?charity event listings?.

$ Promote the event by word of mouth, newsletter, telephone committee, friends and family.

$ Explore media that requires a budget-billboards, television, and radio.


$ Paint a positive mental image of you and our group achieving success.

$ If you have any problems click HERE to contact us to help you with your next fundraising event.


Your Key to Creative & Successful Marketing

Stout Marketing Strategies, Inc.
1563 Beaconshire Road
Houston, TX 77077
Phone: (281) 558-6968 or Toll-Free  (877) 866-4057 
Fax: (281) 558-1203



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