Do you want to start a fundraising company from scratch? Do you have a desire to help other people and promote noble causes? Here are some useful tips on how to start a fundraising business you should consider before you get started.
Communication skills are vital
Any professional fundraiser should have good communication skills because they will need to work in groups, lead team, talk to potential clients. You will need to communicate with a lot of people in oral and in written form and sometimes, you will need to communicate with foreigners. That’s why you should work on developing your oral presentation skills, writing skills, have basic knowledge of psychology, and learn a new language with tutors. The best way to master it is to communicate with a native-speaker teacher via Skype using special platforms. It’s really convenient and effective. By the way, such languages as Korean, Chinese and Japanese are becoming more and more popular in a business sphere, and it’s worth thinking of learning one of them.
You’ll also need some previous fundraising experience. You can easily get it if you volunteer in fundraising campaigns of different charitable institutions. With previous experience, you will feel more confident and it will be easier for you to persuade people.
Think about your vision and mission
You will need the inspiration to describe what you actually want to create. Your vision should provide the description and it shouldn’t include qualitative measures. Your mission should be more concrete in describing your purpose and intent. It should concisely express the purpose of your organization. You should determine specific achievable goals and your set of values.
Choose a name for your organization
The name of your fundraising business should tell how you can help different organizations raise money. The name can describe the functions of your organization or it can be named for people. You can name your organization that has mission to help other people in memory of specific people to encourage donations. According to statistics, there are more than 1.5 non-profit organizations in the US and they compete with each other just because they support the same cause. That’s why you need to differentiate your business. Do your best to stimulate passion in potential donors.
Create a business plan
Your business plan should include your name and the explanation of how you are different from others, your mission and vision. You should also outline your plan for 5 years and describe your strategy and tactics, including budget, operational strategies, fundraising strategy etc. You should also explain your marketing strategies for promoting your business to your target audience.
Register your business
You should register as 501(c) (3). This IRS code will allow you to work as non-profit. You will need to consult a lawyer and accountant who can help you determine the proper steps you should take to register and operate. You can also find a lot of information online.
Build a website
Use your own website to promote your fundraising business and to collect donations for different events. You can announce there your plans, intentions, inspiration. Don’t present your complete business plan on your site. Let people contact you directly if they need this information.
You will need to raise support from different foundations, individuals, and organizations. You will have to contact grant-making organizations, make a lot of calls, meet a lot of people, and make presentations. You will need a lot of time and energy to manage that but don’t be discouraged and try to do it in a disciplined and professional fashion. Make sure to organize activities on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other. If you lack experience in fundraising, you can find a lot of useful resources on the web.
Start operations and control your expenses. You will typically have to raise initial capital for a year before you commit any cash outflow. Don’t start your organization with a debt. Spend money on the mission of your organization and not on the employees. Be very cautious about spending. People who donate money want them to be spent on the ultimate beneficiaries.
It’s quite natural that you may want to help as many people as possible. But you should also take measures to ensure that your organization will last longer otherwise you will not be able to help for a long time. You will need discipline because survival requires patience. Startups require a lot of work but if you are passionate about what you are doing, you will feel satisfied while helping other people.