HOW TO DEVELOP A FUNDRAISING STRATEGY – the KEY to a successful event

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  1. puttingAs a starting point for building your strategy, decide on the type of tournament you want to run. i.e. Consider the number of players, price point for the entry fee, total amount you want/need to raise.  Create an outline of what you want to do, what you are hoping to achieve (both financially and exposure-wise), and how you intend to reach your fundraising goal.
  2. Organize a team. Recruit individuals to help you who are dedicated, responsible, and who work well together. Also, determine who on your team has relationships with local business and media. Established business relationships are often essential for securing large donations. It can be very beneficial to get individuals together who come from various skill backgrounds. This will help if you need to write letters, solicit local businesses, perform physical labor, talk to local media, or outright ask people for money. By choosing a fundraising team with varied backgrounds, you can allow each person to work in his specialized area to optimize your fundraising strategy.
  3. Develop a timeline. Figure out exactly what you need to do, and by what point each step needs to be accomplished.
  4. Prepare a budget. Now that you know who you have working for you, and a timeline for your fundraiser, you can decide on a fundraising goal and the resources required to meet the goal. All other related expenses and revenue should be part of the budget.
  5. Research the community. Find local businesses or individuals who have an invested interest in your organization and would be willing to contribute money, donate items or offer other support.
  6. Discuss your event with local media. The television, radio and newspaper can be your best form of free advertisement in a news story. This will work well if your tournament has a special cause or unique theme. Develop a letter or press release with a contact person listed who can discuss details of the upcoming tournament.
  7. Organize a post-tournament program. Get some of your volunteers to be in charge of sending out thank-you notes to everyone who helped make your tournament a success. Businesses are more than likely to work with you again and think of you and your organization more highly if you take the time to thank them for their help.

IN SUMMARY:     

  1. Delegate. Put together a team of individuals who are responsible and can manage mini-projects and various parts of the fundraiser on their own.
  2. Keep your plan simple and organized.
  3. Always remember to thank everyone who helped with the tournament.
  4. Approach local media to cover your event as a new story to get publicity.
  5. Exercise discipline when managing your budget.