Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Attributes of a perfect free fundraising letter

The success of soliciting contributions through the mail depends on how the fundraising letter is written. Potential donors don't have much information about the cause aside from the letter, that is why it is advisable to research for the perfect fundraising letter to get optimum results. While there are hundreds of free fundraising letters that can be downloaded off the internet, fundraisers must be careful when choosing one. A perfect fundraising letter must have the following attributes:

1. Attention grabbing title. It must capture the attention of the readers from the moment they open the letter. It must be something that they don’t usually get from a fundraising letter.

2. Well explained causes and credentials. This is the most important part of the letter that must contain at least 150 words. This is the part where readers’ confidence on the organization will be built. It should clearly identify the need and how the organization can address the need through the help of potential donors.

3. Contribution solicitation. This is absolutely essential for any fundraising letter. It must be concise and direct. This part should run a maximum of 50 words that includes the benefits a donor can get by supporting the cause and the specific requested amount. It should thank the potential donor ahead of time for their donations and state how the amount can help the organization.

4. Offering incentives. This part encourages the potential donor to act as soon as possible. Incentives offered can be tangible or intangible. An example would be including statements like “Imagine how great would be to help cancer victims get everything they need to save their lives” or by sending tokens and other prizes.

5. Presentation of proofs. This is the part of the fund raising letter that highlights the photographs or statistics to convince readers that the organization is not a fraud and how it has helped other people in the past.

6. Gratitude statement. The part to thank potential donors for their time in reading the letter and any contribution they can share.

7. Signature. This is a part that lets the reader know they are receiving the letter from a real, genuine person.

Getting a free fundraising letter off the internet is easy. However, picking the best one from the rest may take some time and effort. Learning how to identify the components of a perfect letter takes everyone one step closer to raising more funds.


Fundraising made easy

Other individuals and organizations that run fund raising activities sometimes run out of unique ideas and resort to basic fund raising techniques. Others are just not up for the challenge while others can't afford to take risks with activities that are untested. Whatever their reasons, there are simple, easy ways to raise funds for any cause that are proven to work. Some of them are the following:

1. Balloon pop. This is a tested technique in fund raising that is both profitable and fun. It works as a traditional raffle where participants pay at least $1 per balloon. Balloons are filled up with helium and a note that contains the prize. Participants pick as many balloons as they want and pop them out with other participants. Fundraisers usually give out prizes given by sponsors and other team members.

2. Personal letters. This technique touches the emotional side of potential donors. People who would like to raise funds for a specific cause send letters to potential donors. These letters usually contain the stories behind the cause. For example, when soliciting donations for cancer victims it would help to include their stories and other personal information like their age, occupation, economic status, etc.

3. Sell candles or cookies. This is the most popular fund raising activity because it’s simple and doesn't need much planning and organizing. Just gather groups of people to do the baking and everything is all set!

4. Host a dinner party. Invite friends and family members and ask for small donation. Don't forget to prepare presentation to effectively communicate the cause. Be ready to answer some questions that may arise and thank everyone for coming and donating.

5. For environmental causes, sell plants to promote a greener environment. Hit two birds with one stone and help save the environment without spending much.

6. For medical missions, ask for help from local doctors, nurses, dentists, etc. to render their services for free.

7. Request donations and announce fund raising activities on local radio stations to reach more people. Stage a Q&A segment with the host about the activity and entertain questions from callers. Be direct when answering questions and don't take up too much airtime because this can get very expensive.

It doesn't take a genius to organize fundraising activities. A quick browse on the internet or soliciting advice from people in the community is good start in requesting donations.


Creative fund raising ideas

Fund raising can be a lot of work. Combining the right elements together with willingness to experiment on new ideas can make it fun and exciting. Think out of the box and expect donations to flow.

Here are some tips on how to come up with creative fund raising activities:

1. Update the answering machine and mention the fund raising drive and briefly explain the cause. Ask friends and other fund raisers to do the same. Expect an increase in donations in less than a week.

2. Wear a ribbon or lapel pin that symbolizes the fund raising activity. This will grab the attention of people passing by or people that you are just having conversations with. The more they get curious the bigger the benefits, giving you the chance to explain what the fund raising is all about.

3. Hold a community bake sale. Gather a group that will bake cookies and sell them to get profits. Don't forget to emphasize the cause of the sale and let people know about the beneficiaries. People are more convinced to buy when they know that they can help other people even in simple ways.

4. Stage a unique raffle. Instead of conventional prizes, give away $20 worth of car washes or dry cleaning.

5. Ask for donations from people attending the mass. Be sure to inform church leaders before hand and be armed with great presentation.

6. Put a pledge jar in grocery stores and restaurants. Shoppers and customers usually don’t mind dropping few cents to help people in need.

7. Ask friends and family members to donate items like jewelry, clothes, old bikes, and anything saleable and hold a garage sale.

8. Create and design a web site. Post necessary information about the fund raising and how they can help.

9. Ask groups of friends to do household chores for neighbors in exchange of donations.

10. Host a costume party and ask for donations. Make sure to inform all guests beforehand by including this information on the invitations.

11. Put banners or flags along the streets to advertise the fund raising event. Include a contact number or e-mail address for questions and donations.

12. Ask for donations from parents, teachers, co-workers, etc. near payday. This is the perfect time to raise huge amounts of money.

Fund raising activities aren't all work and no play. Learn to loosen up a bit and welcome creative thoughts, they usually work!


Charity fund raising tips and ideas

Helping out other people who are in need is truly noble. Many people have the desire to help but sometimes run out of means. Raising money isn’t a difficult task however it requires planning and organizing. Here are some useful tips and ideas on how to raise funds:

1. Decide who will benefit from the money that will be raised. Other fundraisers help people who were hit by storms, suffering from terminal illness and their families, or children who do not have the means to go to school. Remember to identify the beneficiary before starting out any fund raising activity.

2. Organize a charity walk or charity run. These are great ideas for raising money while taking advantage of people’s desire to get in shape.

3. Organize a sports tournament. Badminton, golf, swimming, and tennis are popular sports that attract huge numbers of people. Studies show that the number of tournament participants double when it is for a good cause.

4. A film festival is one great means for raising funds. 85% of the US population loves watching movies, so take advantage of it. Identify target audiences and take a survey of the top three movies they would like to see. Secure a venue based on the number of anticipated audience and solicit sponsors.

5. Organize a paintball tournament. This hobby has attracted huge numbers of people from all walks of life. This is a great fund raising idea because it doesn't just raise money for a good cause but it will always make participants enjoy the event.

6. Throw a party. Invite known philanthropists and other people who are willing to donate in the area. Make the guests understand the purpose of the party beforehand. When sending invitations, specify the beneficiaries. People will donate more to charities they can identify with. Ex. Families of a cancer victim are more willing to donate to other cancer patients.

7. For huge projects, solicit funds through mail, by phone, or online to reach more people not only in United States but also around the world. Be sure to provide them the means to check and verify that the organization is legit. There are hundreds of fraud projects all over and people are generally cautious.

There are several ways for raising funds for people who are in need. With all these ideas, fund raising couldn't be easier.