Planning a fundraiser can be a lot of fun if you take the time to get people involved. If you’re considering planning a community fundraiser, a great way to approach it is to start with contacts in your network, help them to feel invested, and advertise in creative ways. For more on these and some other ideas on how to be sure your community fundraiser is a hit, read on.

Use your contacts and natural network

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A great way to start out when planning your first fundraiser is to think about the people in your friends and family network. Perhaps you know a talented home improvement carpenter who works for an Austin siding installation business and does an excellent job as a siding contractor working to upgrade older homes. Maybe your fundraiser is for a new club or sports team at your child’s school. While it might not seem like someone whose expertise area is vinyl siding could lend a hand in raising money for a new cheerleading or art club makes sense, think again.

Consider calling that friend from JP Construction and asking for a donation in the form of a gift certificate, discount, or free repair. Or, ask for a direct donation of cash you could use as a prize for a winning raffle ticket. The idea is to think about the people you know and ways they could use their talents and skills or resources to help out. When calling your natural friend and family contacts, think about asking them to get the word out, too.

Advertise in church and other community groups

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If you’re part of community groups, it’s a good idea to use them to promote your fundraiser. Even if the cause you’re raising money for isn’t tied to that specific group, you can still use your membership to a church or civic organization to spread the word. For example, maybe you belong to a church and could ask the pastor to allow you to tell people about your efforts in the weekly church bulletin. You could even ask for volunteers to help out, donations, and the use of a church basement or other venue if you’re having an event.

Help people understand the fundraiser’s value to them

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People will naturally be more invested in something that gives them value. One way to get people more interested in your fundraiser is to let them know how it might impact them personally. In short, it’s a good idea to make your fundraiser personal. Maybe you’re raising money for a family struggling with a cancer diagnosis. It will be easier to get other people interested if they feel connected to the family.

Consider sharing the family’s personal story so that people feel more connected. Or, if your fundraiser is a walk for a specific cause, consider giving out things like statistics to make the walk seem more personal. If you’re walking to raise money for MS research, for example, use numbers to help people understand how they or people they love could be impacted by this disease.

Being transparent about your reasons for doing the fundraiser will also help gain people’s interest as well. Where you can, use social media platforms and share your story and motivations as you go. In the end, your fundraiser is sure to be a success if you start the planning early and welcome those who are willing to lend a hand. By making your fundraiser a community effort, you’re sure to not only raise funds for your overall mission but even to make new friends. Best of luck with your fundraising project. Don’t forget to capture the experience with pictures for thank-you notes after your drive, walk, or another fundraising event!