Guide to Fundraising Essentials

Guide to Fundraising Essentials

Nonprofit organizations significantly depend on fundraising efforts as a method to raise contributions from outside the organization. These efforts not only help supply the funds required to operate, but also offer impactful opportunities to connect and collaborate with the communities that your organization serves.

Before exploring fundraising ideas and establishing a plan, it is important to take a couple of preliminary steps to ensure maximum results.

Pinpoint Your Target Audience
Determining the makeup of this group is very important to make the most of your fundraiser. These are the individuals that strongly believe in the goals and services your organization provides and are perhaps already invested in the cause. It is important to pinpoint these individuals because they are most likely to get involved and put money towards the items or services being provided.

Establish Fundraising Goals
Your goal is the foundation and centerpiece of your fundraising efforts. In order to establish a goal, your organization should determine what its exact needs are, and the amount of capital needed to meet those needs.


Once these two initial steps are completed, you can begin to lay out what your fundraising plan will look like. There are a myriad of approaches when developing a plan, and this is an opportunity to get creative and have fun with the fundraiser that you organize. What this boils down to is determining what idea best fits your organization and the purpose that it serves.

To help get you started, here are some common ideas to utilize as a launching point for your fundraiser:

The focus of a fundraising auction can vary, but consider incorporating a silent auction where guests bid on items that have been donated in the name of the cause, or even auctioning off services provided by individuals willing to donate their time for a great cause.

Food Focus
Food-related events are usually a worthwhile fundraising option to explore. Whether you are hosting a dinner, or a pancake breakfast, selling admission tickets to an event like this is a classic technique to involve the community in your organization’s efforts.

There is always a good time to be had when bringing people together around music, which can also yield some substantial fundraising results. Perhaps you’d like to throw an open mic night, or even a poetry night. Communities love coming together to dance, enjoy themselves, and raise money for an important cause.

Creating a specific fundraising event around a business or community relationship that you might have can lead to some unique fundraising solutions. Some common areas to explore are partnering with a local business to throw an event, or partnering with a business to create merchandise like t-shirts or hats. This is an area in which you can get creative and utilize connections within your network that may share interest in similar fundraising goals.


With these seed ideas, you can begin to focus and develop what your ideal fundraiser looks like, and what you are hoping to achieve with it. The areas to explore are almost limitless, but with the right audience targeted and effective goals in place, you can ensure that you achieve your fundraising goals in a way that accurately reflects your core mission.