Here at Bigfundraising we often see fundraisers start strong and finish wondering why people haven’t contributed. These are common emotions and no doubt there is a curve describing the transition from elation and hope right the way through to desolation and, if not despair, a close cousin.
When you are asking people to contribute stuff – DVDs, video games etc.- instead of cash, the challenges are of the same ilk but mainfest in a slightly different way. For example, someone might intend to bring in their unused video games but never quite get around to it because it’s a hassle, in the same way that someone might want to contribute cash but never do so (or they could just be tight in which case they probably borrowed the DVD they didn’t donate and are a lost cause…).
But your community is strong, correct? And closely linked? Then you just need to press the right buttons and be unafraid of being pushy – successful fundraisers in such communities will sometimes only quit asking when the response becomes an exasperated ‘go away!’ because at least they know the message has been heard…
- Get everyone on board – every single person with seniority (positional or time involved) needs to buy in;
- Use social media to promote and to keep promoting what you are fundraising for and how much – build a page with us and use that as a core tool;
- Keep a database of everyone who has contributed – make it an express aim to get everyone to donate;
- Use peer pressure to do so – create a table with all members on it and tick off those who have brought stuff in, even if it is only a couple of DVDs;
- Make sure that people realise this is a collective effort – that in the same way a cricket team can’t win if only five people turn up, so it is with a fundraising effort;
- Because you are asking people to physically bring in things which may be difficult to transport (or embarrassing to be seen in public with), ensure that those with transport help those without;
- Provide plastic bags or boxes to help supporters and to remind them to use them;
- Have a focal point in your clubhouse, company, school, church etc. that has posters explaining what you are asking for and what for and that is clearly set aside as a repository for donations (don’t worry, we’ll pick your stuff up when you are ready);
- Celebrate when you hit milestones (25%, 50% to target) and use it as an excuse to push out your message again;
- To avoid despair, keep pushing and simply don’t accept that people have nothing to bring in – at the very least, someone will have an expensive career development textbook that they will not only be glad to get rid of but will be worth a lot more than they think.
The Bigfundraising team