As a nonprofit we obtain a chunk of our financial support from fundraising. In my opinion fundraising is viewed more as a marketing and exposure opportunity than it is a real financial hauling. The time commitment it takes to put together an event multiplied by the time of the volunteers well exceeds any amount we actually bring in. Yet the value of the fundraiser isn’t the reason I’m writing this. I’m more concerned about the nature of fundraising in the community and how we can change it to make it more appealing to the everyday person.
Our community views itself as one of the most friendly and supportive in the nation. Yes the nation! Ask anyone you run into at a restaurant, bar, mall or work and I guarantee they will tell you that we have one of the nicest communities out there. Yet when you approach these same people they are hesitant to give you the time of day to discuss your organization. Forget about even inviting them to a fundraiser!
So why are we so nice upfront and so hesitant on the backend of things? Is it because we are so concerned with keeping up with Jones? Do we truly not have the time to discuss those things impacting our society? Are we to stingy to donate a few dollars to a cause that can help nearly every other person in our area? I’m not sure what it is but I do know it isn’t just the mental health industry. It is impacting nearly every nonprofit out there. Whether their focuses is cancer prevention, human trafficking or the humane society (Sorry Sarah McLachlan its true!) we all struggle with raising funds to help those who need it most.
Crowd funding seemed to be the rage (Yes I said rage) for a while. People were able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars almost overnight but as it became more popular the less they seemed to be able to produce. Unless it has backing from a major organization or high profile candidate they aren’t producing as they once were. They certainly are not something you can operate a business off of.
So what’s next? What would be the next big thing for fundraising in our community? If I had that answer I probably wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog post. I’m not sure if there is a drastic change around the corner but what I do know is that our biggest struggle is gaining commitment. What would you as a consumer like to see when it comes to fundraising events? My personal opinion is that 5k’s, Silent Auctions and Food Events are all way overdone and don’t give the attendee the return on their investment they should be receiving.
Are we guilty of hosting a majority of these events? Yes of course we have attempted to do them. We have had our fair share of successful and unsuccessful events. My goal here is to find out what would truly bring in someone’s attention and convince them to pay $30 to $50 to attend an event. We currently have our event in December coming up at K’RaVn that is a Gala event that will include dinner, two drink tickets and dueling pianos all evening. You of course will also have the pleasure of listening to me speak (Sorry in advance). Is this enough food, drinks and entertainment for you to purchase a ticket at $50? We certainly believe so!
Either way nonprofits are full of ideas and think tanks that generate new and unique ideas for their organization that will hopefully generate some income to help those that need their assistance. Does any one of them have a perfect answer to fundraising? It doesn’t appear so. What we need is for you to tell us what you’d like to see. What would get you excited to be part of an event where the proceeds go to an organization helping those in your own community? If you think of something specific please feel free to leave it in the comment section below or shoot us an email and we will talk! In the meantime have a great rest of your day!