Finding the Right Fundraising Strategy

Dear Kim,

We are a tiny grassroots organization with less than two volunteers available to help with special events and no paid staff. We rescue a species of animal whose rescue needs are not concentrated enough to focus on one city, so we operate throughout the state.  Thus, what few volunteers we have are spread out too far to commute to on-site fundraisers.  We have also not had success in trying to get our volunteers to act as salespersons (cookie dough, scratch card, etc. fundraisers). What do you recommend?


A Lonely Wolf in a Large Forest

Dear Wolf in the Forest,

My answer is quite simple: don’t do events.  Don’t sell cookie dough or raffle tickets or do anything that requires people to be on-site to participate.  You are an animal organization and you can raise money by mail and social media by just posting a picture of the animal you are rescuing, along with some babies of that same animal; describe why they need to be rescued, and ask people to help.  Then watch the money roll in!  Actually the last sentence is a slight exaggeration, but only slight.  You will need to thank the donors and keep track of their names so you can ask them again but the reason you are having a hard time is because you are focusing on the wrong strategy.

Good luck!