Giving Back

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Helpful hints for fundraiser organizers

Raising money for a good cause is a rewarding experience. But as satisfying as such an endeavor can be, men and women trusted with organizing a fundraiser may experience a few bumps in the road as they attempt to raise both awareness and money for their causes.

Fundraisers come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few strategies men and women trusted with organizing such affairs can employ regardless of how big or small their event is likely to be.

• Learn about your cause. Not everyone trusted with organizing a fundraiser knows their cause front to back. Some people with a background in fundraising may volunteer with a charitable organization that wants to put their unique skill sets to work as soon as possible. When trusted with running a fundraiser, organizers should learn as much as possible about their cause so they can accurately answer questions prospective supporters may have when asked to donate. Keep this learning process fluid, continuing to study up on your cause even after you have announced the fundraiser and started soliciting donations.

• Choose your audience. As illustrated by the Ice Bucket Challenge, a fundraising phenomenon that took Facebook by storm in the summer of 2014, social media has now made it easier than ever to make the world your audience when raising funds for a good cause. But it's still important to choose a primary audience you want to attract. A large-scale fundraiser may want to target local corporations with deep pockets, as such organizations often make especially large donations that can help organizers quickly recoup their overhead costs and devote more of their donations to the cause. When planning a fundraiser that's smaller in scale, you may want to target small businesses and private citizens in your community, as small-scale fundraisers tend to have a significant tie to local communities and community leaders and residents will be willing to donate to a cause they can more readily relate to.

• Choose an event participants will find fun. Organizers must choose an event that's going to inspire donors to go into their pockets. But the event should also be fun for donors and participants. When choosing an event, think of the fun factor, as an event that prospective donors and participants find enjoyable may spur them to encourage friends and family members to join in their efforts, and that extra participation will likely lead to greater numbers with regard to donations.

• Choose the right location. Convenience is another thing fundraiser organizers must consider. Events that attract more people are almost certain to raise more money than events which don't generate much participation. Choose a location that's easily accessible and comfortable for prospective participants so they are more likely to attend and maybe even bring a few friends or family members with them.

• Get the word out. Spreading the word should not be very difficult, especially if you make use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. In addition to social media, contact local radio and television stations and ask if they can donate some airtime so you can publicize your event.