Setting Financial Goals
Identifying specific needs and setting financial goals are vital first steps in conducting a successful fundraising campaign. With a clear understanding of how much money is needed and how it will be spent, volunteers will be motivated and focused. Clearly stated financial goals also will give the fundraising program a benchmark for success. Too often, fundraising coordinators equate financial success with the percentage of gross sales that their group will keep. While the percent of sales is important, there are many other factors that should be considered at the same time.
For example, one company may offer the fundraising organization 50 percent of gross sales, compared to another offering only 40 percent. The "40% company" may be providing valuable services (e.g., incentive programs, consulting, kickoffs, timely delivery of merchandise, custom packing for individual orders) that save volunteer time or increase sales. The company offering the lower percentage may also have a product so superior in quality that the increased sales volume will net more money for the group. It may be better to choose a program that offers a smaller percentage if the added value of the overall program (including services) will more effectively achieve the group's goal. Remember: percentage does not translate into profit. If a company is offering a smaller percentage of the sales, find out why.
Among the services available to organizations eager to reach their financial goals, is the option to include a reward or "incentive" program. Although the organization's goal can be incentive enough for some volunteers, often prize and reward programs can be a valuable addition to the fundraising program. The best incentives will increase participation and, therefore, profits for the organization. They add fun and excitement and will involve as many volunteers as possible.
Rewards can be based on actual sales by individuals, families, classrooms, etc. Or the reward may be as simple as a "thank you" gift for taking brochures home.
Before selecting an incentive program, take into consideration the age of volunteers and the overall goals of the program. Be clear up front what additional costs, if any, may be incurred by the organization for the incentive program.
Highlight the organization’s goals at every opportunity throughout the fundraiser: