Selling your benefits is a key part of your fundraising strategies

Selecting the wrong fundraising strategies can lead to frustrating experiences in relation to community fundraising. Isn't it really annoying when you go to the trouble of organizing and promoting a fundraising event and the turnout is only a fraction of what you had expected? You know loads of people who obviously like your organization but they just didn't bother showing up. Arggggh! Why does that happen?

There's a famous baseball movie where the main character keeps hearing the line, "If you build it they will come". Well unfortunately they often dont bother coming, even if they appreciate your organization (at some level). A more appropriate quote with respect to your community fundraising strategies is, "You reap what you sow".

The reason is related to the fact that, in today's world almost everyone operates on auto-pilot when it comes to advertising and selling. When I say auto-pilot I mean that their sub-conscious mind dictates a large percentage of their thoughts or actions. Have a quick look at your beautiful mind for a little more background on how your mind works.

Today people are continually bombarded with adverting messages and sales requests. The conscious mind finds it difficult to cope with the volume of these messages and requests so it mostly just defers to the sub-conscious. The result is that the sub-conscious filters out everything that it deems not worthy of your attention.

The net result is that unless your organization is firmly in the sub-conscious mind of a person, they will most likely filter out your advertising messages and reject your requests for them to support your fundraising efforts. This is obviously not good for your fundraising prospects!

I had never really thought about our organization in terms of its benefits. I just thought (assumed) people liked us, and that they would support us because of that. The fact is that unless people have your benefits firmly engrained in their minds, then at a subconscious level your organization just doesn't feature highly enough to motivate them. That translates into what looks like an apparent apathy in relation to your fundraising activities.

It would surprise you how many community organization leaders cannot list the benefits off the top of their head! When your formulating your fundraising strategies, the first thing you need to do, is sit down with a group of people from your community organization and brainstorm the benefits it brings to the local community.

Once you got your list of benefits then start selling them. Sell them often. Repetition and variety of delivery method is the key to making them stick. Sell them everywhere and at every opportunity. You can sell your benefits to people via a whole host of channels. Newsletters, local media, your website, posters around the community; the list is endless. This is a key part of successful fundraising strategies.

Keeping re-iterating your benefits; even at celebration events such as your dinner dance. Keep the speeches until after the dinner. People are more receptive to hearing your benefits after eating. During the speeches get your guests to talk up your organization. Another good thing to do at a dinner dance is to have a looping picture set during the dinner showing your good points such as, kids playing, members enjoying themselves, footballers training (smiling etc).

Selecting the right fundraising strategies is the difference between moderate success and fantastic returns (and an easy life). Make sure selling your benefits is at the top of your list!

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