Arizona is a caring state and no one represents the kind nature of the community better than our nonprofits. The philanthropic community in Arizona is essential to helping those in need and dealing with a variety of different causes. Nonprofits do a lot of good work, but they can’t do that work if they lack adequate funding. Fundraising is the lifeblood of any nonprofit. They cannot maintain programs or mobilize in the community without the funding to do so. Fundraising is essential which is why it is important that nonprofits conduct effective and efficient fundraisers. The more money your organization raises the more resources you have to help the community. Here are a few tips to help Arizona nonprofits improve fundraising efforts and conduct the best fundraisers.

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Know your goal and don’t be afraid to set higher expectations

One of the most common issues I see nonprofits struggle with is setting a fundraising goal. It seems like an obvious thing to do, but knowing how much money you need for a particular project can be more complicated than it seems. Clearly define what you are trying to achieve with this fundraiser and how much you think it is going to take to get there. A more specific goal means you are more likely to have a successful fundraiser.

One tool you could use is the “SMART” method for goal setting. A goal should be (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)chievable, (R)ealistic, and (T)ime-sensitive. Think about the major projects your nonprofit has next year and use  “SMART” to really learn the amount you need to raise for that project.

Knowing your goal is great, but you should also be thinking about what you will do if you start exceeding that fundraising goal. Establish a stretch goal that gives your donors an opportunity to see what you can do if you went beyond your fundraising estimates. For example, if you reach that $50,000 mark what could you do with an additional $10,000? Set that as your next goal and show donors what that amount of money can do for your nonprofit and the community.

You can even be strategic about when you unveil your stretch goal. Let’s say you are doing an in-person fundraising dinner and you are reaching our goal quickly and your donors’ desire to donate is starting to wane.

Revealing your stretch goal in these waning moments is a great way to reengage and reenergize your donors and improve fundraising efforts. It is a new challenge and goal for donors to meet and help the community.

Conduct an auction or sweepstakes with great incentives and prizes

One of the best ways to raise money is to find rewards and products that will incentivize donors to give more. In an ideal world, everyone would give completely out of the kindness of their hearts, but the reality is that some people are more likely to donate if there is a prize they really want. Conducting an auction or sweepstakes is an excellent way to motivate donors to come to your fundraiser and donate more. These events are great because they work well for both large gala events and smaller events. You can use a variety of different prizes depending on the makeup of your donor base. For instance, some auctions may sell signed sports memorabilia while another might sell a vacation travel package or a bottle of fine wine.

The type of auction you want will depend on the size of the event and how much money you need to raise. A black-tie gala where you have the attention of the audience might call for an auction with an auctioneer. A silent auction would be better suited for a nosier and more sociable event.

If your organization needs help finding what types of prizes or packages you need for your event there are professionals that help come up with auction ideas for nonprofits.

Know your donors and foster relationships with them  

Before you do a fundraising event you have to understand who your donor base is and establish a strong outreach program that builds strong working relationships with them. Now is a great time to connect with donors. There are a plethora of channels you can use to build a stronger connection with donors.

Offline you can use traditional mail to send postcards or letters. This type of outreach keeps your organization in the donors’ minds. The mailers should be personalized to each donor you are reaching out to whenever that is possible. If they have donated to your organization in the past then mention that in your mailer and thank them. Get to know your donors by learning what they do for work and what else they are passionate about. Meet up with them in person or over a voice call periodically. These efforts at personal outreach can go a long way in establishing a long-lasting relationship with a donor.

Mailers work for smaller audiences, but broad donor outreach is going to take a well-oiled social media campaign. Social media and email marketing are great ways to promote your fundraiserswhile highlighting the impact your organization has on the community. Strong socials help potential donors build a relationship with you, making them more likely to support your cause and donate in the future.

Assemble a great team

It takes a village to conduct a successful fundraiser. You can have the perfect idea for a fundraiser but it means nothing if you lack a passionate and efficient team. Work on building up a good roster of paid staff and volunteers to help you with your outreach. Having a diverse team means you are working with passionate people who can help you expand your organization’s donor base. Your team may know friends, family, or another business that can help you get your fundraiser over the finish line.

Arizona nonprofits are the backbone of community aid, which is why they must do everything in their power to ensure they are raising the most money possible to further their cause and help the community. As long as they know their goals, assemble a top-notch team, and throw great events their fundraisers will raise money and be a boon to the community.


Author: Mike Hess is the founder of Philantopia, a company working with nonprofits to offer them unique risk-free travel packages designed to raise money for fundraisers, sweepstakes, or raffles. Philantopia offers a variety of vacation travel packages to destinations across the world.