Supporting early childhood professionals worldwide in
their efforts to craft thriving environments for children and adults.
By Roger NeugebauerGo to page: 1 2 3 4 5
Child Care Information Exchange has surveyed over 100 child care centers about their successful, as well as their unsuccessful fundraising projects. From the experiences of these centers, the ten factors described below have emerged as keys to successful fundraisers.
Define Your Purpose
The willingness of staff members, parents, volunteers, and members of the community to give their support to a fundraiser will be enhanced to the extent that the need for funds is clear and important. People need to know that their contribution of time, talents, or resources will make a difference.
Therefore, before launching a fundraising effort, a center should assess whether it is truly necessary and, if so, for what purpose. This intent should then be identified at the outset of any appeals for support. Centers have found that the more specific the purpose can be defined the better. It is easier to generate support for "constructing an outdoor climbing structure" than for "building up the contingency account""; it is more inspiring to contribute towards a "scholarship fund" than towards "general operating expenses."
In child care, fundraisers often have important secondary purposes as well. Centers often utilize these projects to provide publicity for the center and to enhanceparent involvement. These purposes should clearly be identified at the outset, also, so that the project can be organized in such a way as to ensure their accomplishment.
A common pitfall here is when a secondary purpose is really the main purpose. Centers sometimes use fundraisers as a device for getting parents involved. This can unnecessarily waste the precious time of parents and can backfire when the parents realize their efforts do not accomplish anything of importance.
Set a Goal
Centers have found it beneficial to set a target amount to be raised each year. Having a financial goal helps planners to gauge the magnitude of the effort required, and to decide on the type of activities which are appropriate.
A center needing to raise $500 would not establish a thrift shop, nor would one requiring $6,000 schedule a bake sale. Having a specific dollar goal is more likely to instill confidence in potential donors that the center knows what it's about. Once the goal is set, it can also help focus volunteers' efforts if they are kept informed about the progress toward that goal. Some centers even post a chart at the center, much like the thermometer of United Way, which shows volunteers how close they are to accomplishing the goal.
Know the Audience
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