Motivate your supporters – they won’t do it themselves!

Raising money can be tough. My friend recently told me how difficult she’d found it raising money for her daughter’s pre-school. They were desperate for new equipment for the children – the existing toys were looking pretty tired but as usual, there wasn’t any money in the budget to replace them. So my friend made it her mission to raise the money they needed.

She started by telling the parents: ‘we need to raise money’ but she quickly found that the message wasn’t hitting home.

The problem wasn’t convincing them that new toys and equipment were a good idea – they all agreed the pre-school desperately needed them – it was motivating them into action.  Parents are busy creatures and while they had the best intentions, nothing really happened in terms of fundraising.

Disheartened, she asked for my input and together we came up with a five point plan which you might find useful for your fundraising:

1. Show them the problem. Firstly, tell your potential supporters exactly what you are fundraising for, with pictures if possible, and why this will benefit them. People need to engage mentally to want to make a difference. So my friend collared the parents at hometime and showed them the state of the toys their children were playing with.

2. Show them the solution and how they can solve it. People need to be told what to do – it may sound a little patronising but it’s true. They’re probably busy with their families, jobs, lives and they don’t want to work out what to do next. And that’s where you come in – no need for them to rack their brains because you know exactly how they can help fix the problem.

So whatever your chosen method is of raising money – summer fayre, coffee morning, sponsored run – tell your supporters what they have to do.

3. Give them specific targets and goals.  Setting targets works really well with easyfundraising, and in particular the Free Funds page – give your supporters a specific example such LOVEFiLM, who will kindly donate £5 every time someone signs up for a no obligation free trial. It’s easy to see the impact something like this can have if you get everyone on board. 20 supporters x £5 = £100. Simple.

4. Show them it works. It’s a great motivator to see that your efforts weren’t in vain. My friend included pictures of happy children playing with the new toys in the next newsletter, together with details of future fundraising initiatives.

Collect your supporters email addresses and send them an email with the good news, not forgetting to give them details of how else they can help.

5. Keep a running tally. Don’t lose momentum after the first goal is reached. Keep telling your supporters how far to go to the next milestone and again, spell out how they can help.

A Facebook or twitter page is also a great way of keeping people informed. It’s incredibly easy to do, have a look at these quick tutorials:

How to – Facebook
How to – twitter

The happy outcome of this little story is by following these simple steps and organising a few simple fundraising events the pre-school raised over £600 in 6 months, and the children now have plenty of lovely new toys to keep them out of mischief.