By Amy Zucchi, Edco
Do you know of a choir, group, or organization that never seems to have a problem fundraising? It seems like they send out a letter or email and it’s as if they turned on a money faucet complete with volunteers ready to help. Well, they aren’t magicians. You can have that same kind of response if you use the information you gather wisely.
It is imperative that every time you have a fundraiser you are collecting data. Email addresses, names, amounts donated, who wanted to volunteer/be a team leader are all important pieces of information that can make your next fundraiser more successful than your last.
Here are some pointers on how to start and manage your data for the best results:
1. Create an account
By creating an online presence for your fundraiser, you will be well on your way to tracking information. Platforms (like Edco) automatically track who donated (name and email), how much they gave, and when they donated. Having those contacts in your back pocket will give you a leg up the next time you have a fundraiser instead of starting from scratch.
2. What Data to Collect and How to Do It
Start with your own network of friends, family, alumni, and neighbors. Enter their names and email addresses into the platform where it’s applicable. The next step is to ask your choir members and supporters to give you the contact information (names and email addresses) of 10 people who they think would be willing to support the choir. Remember that the more people you ask to gather contact information, the larger your pool of potential donors will be. By the end of this step, you should have a fairly sizable pool of potential donors that you can reach out to for your campaign.
3. Make Sure Your List is Up-To-Date
This is a key step that people often forget about. Keeping your contact list up-to-date ensures that you’re reaching out to the right people at the right time. If you never update your list, you may end up reaching out to people who are no longer connected to your choir, and thus, have no interest in donating. Working with an updated list will result in a successful fundraiser and plenty of volunteers to help along the way.
4. Enhance Your Efforts With Social Media
Having multiple touch points with your contacts is ideal so you can reach them several ways. It is also a great way to keep your data fresh and up-to-date. Oftentimes emails can be overlooked as our inboxes are usually full. Adding a social campaign to your fundraiser can act as a reminder and clear through the clutter of their mailboxes. Social media is a great way to have your contacts share information with their contacts (potential donors). This can provide you with new contacts that will interact with your fundraising landing page.
5. Respect Your Potential Donors
As we all know from getting calls at inopportune times only to find out that it’s a recording, getting solicited for something you’re not interested in is annoying and breeds resentment. That’s why it is so important that you give your potential donors the option to opt out of emails/communications. You can easily do this by adding a sentence as a postscript in your email saying something along the lines of, “If you do not wish to get announcements and updates about this fundraiser, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Please Remove Me From Your Fundraising List.” At the end of the day, you want to avoid upsetting potential donors by sending them too many emails. Use your contact list to make announcements, ask for donations, volunteers, additional contacts, and to send deadline reminders. If anyone requests to stop getting emails, simply remove them from the list.
Using an online fundraising platform, on average, raises four times as much per student compared to traditional fundraisers (bake sales, car washes, auctions, craft fairs, etc.) and is a paperless, hassle-free experience for all involved.
Edco is a partner with ACDA for online fundraising. Edco makes fundraising less of a hassle for educators by decreasing the time they invest organizing a fundraiser and increasing the money they raise.