10 Fundraising Tips to Raise More Money for Your Chapter
Fundraising is one of those parts of being an involved DECA member that can sometimes be tricky. I mean, do you have the confidence to walk up to complete strangers and ask them for money? This isn’t a public speaking exercise—this is real life! Back when I was in high school, I was a part of the theatre department and we had to solicit companies for playbill ads. I adapted my tactics to fundraising for DECA.
Are you ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
10 of the Best Fundraising Tips
When you’ve fundraised well, your chapter will have so many more options for activities! It makes attending conferences, planning social events and meeting with companies easier.
Here are 10 fundraising tips to raise more money for your chapter:
- Set Realistic Fundraising Goals
- Personalize Donation Requests
- Follow Up
- Assemble a Fundraising Team
- Advertise Events through Social Media
- Partner With Other Clubs
- Brainstorm New Fundraising Ideas
- Add Value to Donor Packages
- Create Personal Connections
- Network for Opportunities
Let’s explore each of these tips in a little more depth!
1. Set Realistic Fundraising Goals
Setting goals should absolutely be part of your process! Research shows that when you write down your goals, you’re 80% more likely to achieve them. Make a tentative budget for the year, month, quarter, etc. and determine what the expenses are. If you don’t have any external funding, then make that figure your fundraising goal.
2. Personalize Donation Requests
A little personalization can go a long way! In my experience, when you tailor a message to someone, they’re much more likely to respond positively. Tailor your request to their business; it should feel like a custom crafted request.
3. Follow Up
If you don’t follow up, your odds of success are severely limited. Most companies don’t act the first time they hear something. Usually, it has to get approved by the owner or something has to be arranged to make a fundraising request come to fruition. Wait 1-2 weeks in between following up with a company. You should only reach out 3 times, at most!
4. Assemble a Fundraising Team
Your efforts as an individual are not as great to those of a team. After all, you’re fundraising for your chapter! If you don’t already have someone in charge of fundraising that can start a committee, assemble a task force to tackle this undertaking. Add people strategically to get the best results.
5. Advertise Events through Social Media
Most college and high school students are active on social media. If you’re not already using it for your chapter, you should be! Put out a Facebook post, a few tweets, and an Instagram story before your event to drum up interest. Then, ask people how they heard of the event to gauge how effective your efforts were to improve for the future.
6. Partner With Other Clubs
Just as you shouldn’t fundraise solo, you are limiting your reach when you just fundraise with your chapter. Some of the best fundraisers I’ve been a part of have included several organizations. The idea is that they’ll bring in a new pool of people, which means more money. This can also lead to more partnerships in the future.
7. Brainstorm New Fundraising Ideas
If you keep doing the same events as everyone else, your attendance will diminish. Give your members (and prospective members) a new experience! The key is to only host events that you want to do. If you’re not invested in it, no one else will be. Being passionate about an idea is so important.
8. Add Value to Donor Packages
Sometimes you just have to spice up your offer to get some money! For example, if you’re hosting a regional conference, tell the company that if they donate $X, they will be recognized as such and be invited to bring a representative to conduct interviews with students on campus. Try and be inventive to incentivize companies to become donors.
9. Create Personal Connections
I was a part of a recent fundraiser last year that was a talent show to fundraise for an organization aiming to eradicate cancer. One of our advisors was battling cancer at the time (she’s making a full recovery!) and the message really rang home for us. If a company’s passion is helping others, then that fundraiser should’ve had the same effect for them. Make the parallel clear to encourage donations.
10. Network for Opportunities
If you want to get a lot of donations, you have to meet a lot of people! Start by broadening your network and reach out to as many companies as you can.
Good luck and happy fundraising!