One of the 5 ways teams can raise funds is to solicit donations form individuals and organizations. Donations are the transfer of something of value to your team with no expectation of reciprocity other than that provided by the tax code. However, those making donations commonly walk away from the transaction with something that is intangible; a story or a feeling. These intangibles are the keys to fund raising through donations. Here’s why, all donations are made by people, they may come from organizations such as companies or trusts, but inside each of these organizations is the person making the decision to donate. People need to feel that they are making a difference and supporting something they have an affinity for. For this reason, organizations that raise funds through donations need to clearly communicate their mission, their approach and their story so that donors can internalize these things and create emotional connections to the organization. Without that emotional connection, donors will have little reason to go through the hassle of giving.
As a first step to soliciting donations your team will need to create and document you team’s mission and vision. Most teams may already have a mission that is a variation on the theme of growing students, STEM and community. If your team does not not have a mission and vision, check out the links below to get started;
- Unleashing the power of purpose
- Creating mission and vision statements
- What should a mission statement say
Once you have the mission and vision documented you need to lay out your approach. The approach will commonly be one of the major differentiating factors that you will need to separate your team in the mind of the donors. The approach is often the item donors relate to most, it is the how. The approach can come in few different flavors;
- Administrative – help keep us going
- Program – help us create / grow this program
- Capital – help us fix / buy this thing
Having a mission, vision and approach documented allows you to start to attracting donors. Donors are people that connect with your mission, vision or approach based on their life experience and perspective. This connection is often personal and rarely shared. Trying to approach random people to become donors is extremely challenging since you rarely know how the organization’s mission, vision or approach might resonate with them. Instead, teams should focus on getting as much public recognition and word of mouth communication as possible to increase the chances of a donor finding the team.
Once a donor finds you, you can start to discuss how they can best help the organization. Donors have many options available to them and teams should be aware of all of the options so as to make donating as painless as possible on the donor.
- Donate cash
- Donate time
- Donate goods
- Donate service