Don’t think you have what it takes to raise money? In December 2016, hundreds of thousands of people around the nation thought the same thing about activism, and they’re now a part of a thriving network of Indivisible groups.
You already have many of the skills necessary to raise money for your group, and we are here to help you put those skills into action. To start with the basics, we’ve outlined a few key principles to being an effective fundraiser.
1. Fundraising is just good organizing.
All of the skills that make you great organizers will make you great fundraisers. The biggest difference is the ask you make. Instead of something like “come to a district office visit,” you are asking for support through a contribution.
2. Develop and cultivate strong relationships.
Fundraising is all about developing strong relationships with other people based on a shared purpose (sound familiar? We told you fundraising is just good organizing!). There’s conventional wisdom in fundraising that people give to people and because of people. They may first be interested because of the cause, but will stick around because of your relationship. In addition to presenting them with the impact of your group and/or your plans, you will need to build a genuine trust.
3. Make the case larger than your group.
Articulate the WHY and the IMPACT of your work. How will the funds you get result in change? Buying paper doesn’t sound exciting. Saving healthcare is.
Be proud of your success! Use this as a testament to why people should support your group. Connect your fundraising effort to a big win you just had, or connect what you’re trying to achieve with what’s in the news.
4. You have to ask to receive.
Don’t be shy. This cause is just as important as causes that your friends and associates may solicit you for. Once you make the ask - take a step back and listen! You will learn a lot about WHY people are inclined to give if you listen. Remember that not every communication should be a funding ask or people will get burnt out.
5. Fundraising should be everyone’s responsibility.
The more people that chip in, the easier it will be to reach your goal. Having everyone in your group on board will allow your fundraising efforts to reach their maximum potential. Develop a fundraising plan and divy up the work among your group like you do when planning actions!
6. Try different things!
There’s not one “silver bullet” when it comes to fundraising, so be sure to experiment with different tactics and strategies, including some suggestions we’ve put together here. Be open to trying new things as well as tweaking existing fundraising efforts to see if it improves the outcome.
One other point to mention—while you may be inclined to focus most of your efforts on cultivating large donors, be sure to do the same with small donors and increase the chance that they move up the pyramid and become large (and loyal) donors! This is one of the best ways to build a sustainable donor base.
Now that you know the basic principles, it’s time to get started! Get together with your group, divide up responsibilities and make a plan. Don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to share your successes.