The importance of telling your fundraising story

Behind every fundraising campaign is the narrative about the project. And for any campaign to be successful, the story must be clearly communicated to your target audience – your potential donors.

When preparing your campaign, there are four key areas that need to be addressed to maximise your fundraising potential. They are: The Need, The Cause, The Impact and The Ask.

From the outset, you must explain why the funds are required and the specific area where the funds will be directed.
For example, a junior football club may be looking to raise $50,000 to attract more female players into its player ranks (The Need).

By raising the monies via tax-deductible donations via the Sports Foundation, you can explain the club will be able to provide playing jumpers, training equipment and specialist coaching for the new female players, plus upgrade dressing-room facilities to accommodate the needs of female players (The Cause).

You will then be able to outline that if the fundraising target is met, that it is anticipated that 10 new female teams will be fielded during the season resulting in a larger and more inclusive club that will be delivering wide-ranging health and social benefits to the local community (The Impact).

To realise your fundraising target, you need to define how much money is required, what is the project deadline and how and where people can donate. (The Ask) This is incredibly important as people will not donate unless they are being asked.

Once these four key areas are identified, you will need to consider who is your target audience – the people most likely to donate to your project.
Often this target audience is much larger than you think.

Does your club have a current player and membership data base? Does your club have a list of ex-players and supporters? What business networks, sponsors and suppliers does your club have? Are your playing facilities shared by another sport during the summer months and can they also benefit from upgraded facilities? If so, involve them in your project.
Also tap into club or association newsletters to promote your project and use social media forums such as Facebook to spread the word.

Look to build a compelling story and approach the local newspaper to print a story to create broader community awareness and reach a wider local audience.
If you have a high-profile player who has come through your ranks and is now playing at a professional or an elite level, approach him or her to become the “face” or champion of the project. More often, they will feel a debt of gratitude to their junior club and would be happy to assist, if approached.

With their permission, you can use their image and quotes in your promotional programs to attract stronger cut-through.
And remember to promote that donations to your project via the Sports Foundation are tax-deductible. This is important as the Sports Foundation is the only sports body that can offer a tax receipt to donors.

Once these key points have been ticked off, hopefully your club will see the financial benefits of your work in the ensuing months to come.
But don’t rest on your laurels because the project has just begun.

As explained in last month’s Newsletter, it is critically important to keep all donors informed of the progress of the project and when clear milestones are achieved.
When your target has been reached, acknowledge this with donors and celebrate the success with your club and community.

Good luck with your projects and happy fundraising.
Ryan Holloway
National Sales and Partnership Manager

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