A fundraising activity refers to an event that involves raising money for a good cause. Individuals can do this on their own, and businesses can start these events. Generally, businesses and their owners choose to support charities to which they have a personal attachment. Small and big businesses alike can start a fundraising event for charity. However, organizing one is more challenging for the former. Small businesses still have a name to make, as they may not be well-known or well-established yet. In-depth digital marketing efforts are necessary to earn the community’s trust and belief in the cause you’re supporting.
On top of that, there are also finance-related constraints. Because small businesses have just started their operations, they may not be able to contribute as much from their sales and revenue as bigger companies can easily do. Hence, the need to rely on the fundraiser and public support to reach their goal to give to the charity identified as the beneficiary. To help you get started, here’s a comprehensive guide for charity fundraising, particularly for small businesses:
As briefly touched upon in the introduction, small businesses need to double their marketing efforts to get the word out about their existence as a business and their fundraising activity. Luckily, with the technology today, small businesses have different modes of marketing to reach more people. One of those marketing strategies is to go mobile. Say you have a website for your business (which you should have). While the fundraising is ongoing, all details about the event should be front and center on your homepage. That way, it’s easier for your audience to read more about it and donate online. Add that to other mobile strategies like having a social media page and registering on platforms like Hour-A-Thon Fundraising to help you organize one fundraising event.
That’s a good start, but it’s not enough if your website isn’t mobile friendly. Remember that many individuals today browse the internet on their smartphones. Without a mobile-friendly website, you’re missing out on that audience potential. That missed audience also means missed potential donations. If you want to widen your reach and speed up the call for donations, make it easy for anyone to donate straight from their phones. This convenience goes a long way in your business.
Use Storytelling To Share Your Cause
People love to listen to a good story that tugs on their heartstrings. So when deciding what content to publish about your small business’ charity fundraiser, have a few in the form of telling a story. Doing so is one of the best ways to convince others to support your cause. Storytelling hits your audience’s emotions, and it’s a convincing way to show the public where their donations go. It also shows them and what difference their donations can make to a person’s life. As a result, donors may feel more emotionally invested in your cause, perhaps even leading them to donate more than they may have initially planned.
One of the best ways to tell a story in the online community is through videos. There’s nothing more touching than a video to help inspire action. Moreover, people nowadays are very visual, and they’d rather spend half an hour watching a video than the same half hour spent reading something. Memory recall might also be better after seeing a photo or watching a video. When in doubt, video marketing never fails. It’s also very versatile, where you can post it across your online channels, whether on your website or through your social media accounts.
Make It Fun And Engaging
Giving back doesn’t have to be as simple as handing out a check, cash, or digitally wiring a money transfer. Of course, those options should still be possible for those who want to be direct. However, some people might want to support your charity fundraiser not just by handing out money but through a physical activity. It might also make your fundraiser more engaging. For instance, suppose you’ve already collected the amount you’ve targeted. Now comes the physical work of purchasing the donated goods and then handing them over to the charity. To be successful at this, your small business will need additional manpower. Open the option for volunteers, especially those who want to help but might not have much to give financially.
Take note that a successful fundraiser isn’t just about having enough money to support certain causes. It’s about a concerted effort of everyone who has something to contribute. The more engaging your charity fundraising is, the higher the chances of having more individuals who’ll participate, with or without financial contributions. To that end, here are some ideas you can consider to make your charity fundraising more engaging:
- Hold a car wash for a cause, especially if your business is within the automotive industry.
- Have a bake sale.
- Hold sports events like marathons, basketball tournaments, and football.
- Have a giveaway.
- Host a dinner party or a gala.
- Host a fashion show for a cause.
These events are easy to organize and can motivate more people to join your cause.
Have A Clear Focus
As with anything, charity fundraising might not be as successful with little planning. If you no clear plan, focusing on what you want to achieve will be challenging. For one, charities supported by big companies and philanthropists are very specific. Some donate homes to combat homelessness. Some focus more on food donations, while others support student education. As a small business, there are so many areas of focus you can strive for, often depending on your personal preference or attachment.
For instance, say you’re a small business selling kids’ educational toys. Your fundraising might be to donate toys to impoverished families. Your plans will be more concrete when your focus is clear. Every meeting you hold with your board becomes more productive. Each action you take will always be geared toward aiming for a successful implementation of your goals.
Set SMART Goals
Along with having a clear focus on what you intend to achieve for your fundraiser, you need to have SMART goals as well. This can lead you to be able to satisfy the main focus of your fundraiser. If you launched your small business with a business plan, SMART goals wouldn’t be foreign to you. As a quick recap, SMART means Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timebound. Here’s what each part means:
- Specific: Describe in exact terms what you like to achieve for your fundraiser, which is what your focus should be on.
- Measurable: Quantify your goals, like in financial aspects (e.g., how much you need to raise to achieve your core focus or purpose).
- Actionable: Write down all the specific actions and strategies you must accomplish to achieve your goals and for the fundraiser to be successful.
- Realistic: It’s okay to be ambitious, but not to the extent when you know the amount you aim to collect is unfeasible for a small business like yours. But as your business grows, your collection potential can grow too.
- Timebound: You should specify when the start and end of your fundraiser is. Set milestones so you know where your project is at specific dates.
Setting SMART goals is just the beginning. And with proper planning, you can ensure your event’s success.
Do you have creative individuals on your team? You can collaborate with them to create something to sell and have a portion of it go to the charity you’re supporting. This strategy can also attract the most participants simply because they’re also getting something out of it. For example, you can commission local artists to sell their work at your fundraiser. That way, they have a platform where they can make themselves known to the local community. What could be better than a painting that goes well with any home, made by a local artist, and bought in support of a charitable cause? You can also add more to your proceeds when you have more modes of supporting your cause.
Lastly, don’t forget to say yes to requests for sponsorships. Say a local organization has approached your business to be one of the sponsors for their charitable event. As a small business, you can use that as an opportunity to support a good cause while earning benefits in return for your business. Likewise, being a sponsor of an event is one of the easiest ways to support a charity fundraiser. It takes little effort, especially when you’re short on resources. When a small business acts as a sponsor, it gains the following positive effects:
- Build your brand’s reputation as a socially responsible company
- Enhances your involvement in your local community
- Helps your business gain more positive PR opportunities
Sponsorships can help spread awareness on charitable causes and can help spread awareness about your business. Don’t pass up on an opportunity to help a cause the next time it comes!
While small businesses experience many benefits from donating to charity, starting one can also bring many challenges. Many factors come into play when planning a successful fundraiser. The most important thing to remember is to search for your chosen charity very thoroughly. That way, you’re certain the causes you support aligns with your target’s values. Once you figure that out, work closely with your team and the charity’s representatives to ensure that you follow steps like those above are well-observed and followed.