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Landing Holiday Fundraisers - Advice for Fundraising Reps
By Michelle Pearson
If you're a fundraising consultant, you know that now is the prime time of year that groups begin to plan their holiday fundraisers. If you're new to landing fundraisers, or if you're experienced with fundraisers but haven't yet delved into direct mail as a means of landing fundraisers, read on for tips that will help you this fundraising season.
Gathering a List
There are a ton of groups that fundraise throughout the year to raise money. Try focusing on a single type of group in your local area to begin with. A few groups that regularly try to raise funds include:
And plenty more.
To find the groups local to you, you can hit the yellow pages or use an local search engine to find a list of names, addresses and phone numbers. Call each of the groups you'd like to send information to and use the following script (or adapt it to your needs):
"Hi. I'm sending you some fundraising information and I'd like to know who in your office to address it to."
Write down the person's name and now you know who to ask for when you call to follow up on the information you send out (this allows you to get past the "gatekeepers".
Sending the Letter
Craft a one page letter (not a flyer) that simplifies your program, and most importantly, how using your program can benefit their group. These letters should always be one page. You want it to give them a useful overview without being so long that they don't read it.
Mail the letters to the organizations on your list, with an "Attention to:" the person whose name you got from the prior phone call. Include with the letter a sample brochure.
This is extremely important. If you do not plan to follow up, then it will be a waste of your time to send out the letters. About a week after you've sent them, start calling the organizations you sent them to – ask directly for the contact person as if they are expecting your call. Then, tell them you had sent them information, ask if they have had a chance to look at it and if you can answer any questions.
At that point, it is up to you to pitch the sale. If the group says they won't now, but would be interested in the future, add them to a future call list to re-contact in about three months. Good luck!
About the Author
Michelle Pearson is a former fundraising consultant who currently is a writer for the Fundraising Know How Magazine at fundraisingknowhow.com – a site that specializes in helping fundraising coordinators offering information on cookie dough fundraising, fundraising ideas, car donation fundraising programs and more.
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