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What Are the Best Tips for Non-Profit Fundraising?

Non-profit funding can come from many places, including donations made by private citizens, businesses, and wealthy benefactors.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2014
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Non-profit fundraising is important as it's often the only way for charities and helping organizations to stay in business. The best tips for non-profit fundraising include making sure to reach the right audience and give people compelling reasons why they should help support the organization. Being passionate and strategic is important when fundraising; a low-key, understated approach isn't likely to get the most donations possible.

When planning fundraising strategies, the events and mailings should get people involved. One of the best tips for non-profit fundraising is to use exact figures. For example, over 220 million people in the world are estimated to have diabetes. Advertisements to compel people to donate to diabetes research could read something like "You can help 3 million people by making a donation right now."

People respond better to facts and clear language than vague requests such as "We need your donation." The word "your" is effective in fundraising as it communicates directly to the reader or viewer. Yet, adding "now" creates a necessary sense of urgency that calls prospective donors to action.

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Holding events such as charity auctions, casino nights or sports events can help fundraising efforts. One of the best tips for non-profit fundraising is to strategically choose a date for the event. It should not be held during something likely to compete with the target audience's attention. If another non-profit organization typically holds a fundraiser during a certain week, it's best to consider other weeks or months. Giving people a lot of advance notice by reminding them to "save the date" is a good strategy for getting maximum potential donor turnout at the fundraiser.

Selecting volunteers with a personal connection to the cause, such as people who have or had the disease the non-profit raises funds for, is a good idea. Passionate volunteers who help in non-profit fundraising efforts can help inspire people who may not otherwise donate. One of the most important fundraising tips is to have regular meetings for volunteers so they are encouraged to relate their personal stories and experiences that relate to the non-profit, but also never pressure people to donate.

Non-profits should be sure they have a lawyer to oversee their fundraising plans before enacting them. In order to receive tax exemptions and stay in business as a non-profit, helping organization, the law must always be followed. Pro bono lawyers, or attorneys who volunteer their time, will often provide their services for non-profit fundraising organizations.

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