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5 Fundraising Tips for Team Fundraising Leaders

Team Cyclysts

We recently published the 7 Habits of Effective Personal Fundraisers, a free eBook that helps your supporters fundraise better. It’s gotten raving reviews from readers.

One of the readers, Emily Rotella, asked if we were going to write one up for team leaders in group fundraising. After finding out she has a wealth of experience in this area, we asked her to share her team fundraising tips and fundraising techniques with you. Check out her guest blog post below. It’s a fantastic read.

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by Emily Rotella

Online fundraising for mission-driven causes comes with a set of challenges and opportunities, which is why CauseVox’s recent paper “5 Tactics for Better Online Fundraising” is such a valuable tool. The second tactic in the paper is to Leverage Your Support Base:

Ask your supporters to help plan or promote the campaign. Getting extra sets of hands is sometimes more valuable than just getting a donation. Many successful non-profits also ask their support base to become fundraisers.

Depending on the kind of fundraising campaign you run, it might make sense to set up teams of fundraisers with team leaders to guide the way.

For example, I help run a yearly softball tournament to raise funds for a literacy and mentoring nonprofit in New York City. While I am totally invested in the organization, volunteer with it weekly, and truly believe in its mission, the members of my softball team are mostly signing up to play in the tournament – the fundraising aspect comes second.

Whatever your specific situation, once you have decided that having leaders to help organize fundraising teams is the right way for you to manage your support base, a new set of challenges and opportunities arises. When leading a team of personal fundraisers, here are some tips that I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me and my teams succeed:

1. Plan ahead, share the plan, and keep track of the plan!
Having a plan makes for having clear direction, and this is something that members of a personal fundraising team yearn for. The plan can include a tasklist (emailing, posting, blogging, etc.), a timeline, and milestones.

Once the plan is written, share it with your team. Present it as a team plan, not just an individual plan, but also be open to suggestions from team members that might work better for their schedules and still get you to the same goal.

Once you get buy-in from the team, be sure to keep track of the plan with reminders about upcoming activities to your team members. It might be good to keep a chart with activities and dates that all team members can see (Google Docs makes it easy).

2. Provide resources
There are lots of resources that you can provide your team members to empower them to fundraise – one of those resources is your plan from tip number one! Other resources that can be helpful can be seemingly obvious, but critical: the wording of the organization’s mission and its programs, images that can be embedded in emails to provide visual reinforcement to your communications, and contact information for team members and leaders. Don’t forget that your time and energy is a resource that you are providing to your team to help them succeed.

3. Lead by example
Feel free to broadcast every move you make in your own personal fundraising. Send examples of emails and posts of your own that you’ve sent. If you’re blogging about your fundraising, share the link with your team.

There may be times when team members feel lost even with the set plan, so showing them the path you’re on can help them get back on track on their own. Feel free to also let team members lead each other – start a group blog or discussion thread that allows them to share what they are doing.

4. Recognize and celebrate wins
I can’t overstate this one enough. People love to be recognized and they love to celebrate. Check if your team members are comfortable having their accomplishments shared with the whole team, or if they’d rather their wins be shared anonymously. Either way, make sure everyone on the team knows that the team as a whole is doing great things.

5. Encourage healthy competition
This is another tip that first requires a bit of gauging your team members’ comfort levels, but healthy competition can really propel people to “go after that next dollar.” You can have team members compete or race against each other, and also point out other teams (or other fundraising efforts altogether) that you can compare your fundraising to, and try to beat!

Bonus tip: Follow the 7 Habits of Effective Personal Fundraising by CauseVox!

Good luck! If you’d like to discuss fundraising team leading, or if I can help by leading a fundraising team for you (in NYC), please email me at emily.rotella@gmail.com or on Twitter at @erotella

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