Entrepreneurs in the private sector have always supported non-profit causes. In some cases, these projects are simply motivated by a sense of social responsibility. In others, entrepreneurs have benefited from establishing close partnerships with charitable agencies. In today’s business environment, business people gain legitimacy among their customers by being socially invested, so the bonds between profit and non-profit can be beneficial for both sectors. When planning a fundraising activity for a non-profit agency, businesses should not proceed as if they’re operating in the private sector. It’s important to keep some key things in mind.
Entrepreneurs are good at promoting and selling. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be successful. Non-profit agencies, however, have specific identities. While companies have customers to engage, non-profits have stakeholders to worry about. Therefore, fundraising should be conducted in a way that’s sensitive to the mission of the organization you’re doing it for.
, for example, the ultimate benefactor should be a homeless family. A win a house campaign would resonate deeply with Australians in urban as well as rural areas. Prize homes should not be luxurious. It helps if prize homes are recently renovated or new, but it’s not necessary for them to be extravagant.
Non-profits build their visibility as they grow. When they receive large amounts of money through fundraising campaigns, they get publicity that sets them up for further funding. People who write checks for these organizations are hesitant to do so if they’ve never heard of them, so don’t be too shy about using the same techniques that you use to gain market share as an entrepreneur. Pitch the non-profit. Make sure you have information on it to share with the press as well as the public.
Phone fundraisers are effective. They require that you hire a team of people with good selling skills. Of course, they have to be able to present an emotionally moving narrative of the non-profit you’re raising money for. Actors are often adept at this. Of course, nothing beats rallying together average citizens who truly believe in the cause.
Taking a group of young and charismatic evangelizers for the cause of the non-profit you’re raising money for also works well. If they’ve received adequate training, they can cover lots of ground and get passers-by to donate. Of course, a balance has to be maintained between being assertive and annoying. Inspiration is, however, contagious.
Non-profits are quiet compared to businesses. They often can’t afford to pay for television or internet banner ads. Interacting with the public is essential to their survival. Letting the world know about them and what they do, helps them to get their message out and garner support. Use your entrepreneurial expertise. No one can drum up new business like someone who successfully runs one. When an entrepreneur takes on a fundraising project, potential donors can be treated similarly to target markets. The tone behind the message, however, is really what matters. When you’re selling a product or service for your own profit, the end user is the beneficiary of what they buy from you. When you’re promoting a cause, you’re encouraging the people you engage in financial transactions with to do so in behalf of society.