“The Dollars and Cents of Fundraising” was the title of Curt Witcher’s session. The takeaways from his talk were simple yet powerful:
1. Do good things. As a society, do good deeds and provide good service. Then be ready to share about your group’s accomplishments. Examples include assisting 20 scouts in getting their merit badges or documenting the headstones in a local cemetery. Donors gravitate toward positivity, so alwas do good things.
2. Ask. Many societies who need funding do not take the basic step of asking for assistance. Witcher was clear to point out that donors do not like to pay for a society’s basic operating costs, but like to support projects that support their own preferences and missions. Two issues that arise from this circumstance are that a.) you need to know your society’s mission and b.) you need to be aware of when the donor’s intent overshadows the funded project’s purpose.
3. Fundraising is friendraising. Witcher states that fundraising is a continuous process, and the responsibility of more than one person in the society. We all know people through local business relationships, college alumni groups, sports teams, etc. Donors do not give to strangers, so we as societies must continually build and foster relationships.
Witcher’s very informative session used these three main themes and they all built on each other. You must know your society’s financial situation, do good things, and be prepared to share about those good things when you seek donations.