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Fundraising Publicity

Publicity is what increases community awareness of your fundraising needs.[/SYN]
By Kimberly Reynolds
Kimberly Reynolds is the author of Fundraising Success and maintains her Web site, Fundraising Ideas for Fundraisers, at: www.fundraiserhelp.com.

The success of your fundraiser depends on how much publicity your group can attract. Community awareness of your fundraising need and your fundraising offering will always increase your results.

Here are some fundraising publicity tips:

Tip 1 - Use your Web site
If you don't have one, get one. Use it to communicate your goals, thank your sponsors, highlight periodic offerings, recognize successes, honor individual contributors, etc. Promote your Web site on all your materials.

Tip 2 - Actively seek more publicity
Get the word out about your fundraiser in as many ways as possible. Get into as many neighborhood newsletters and other public forms of communication as you can. Send out press releases to the local media and invite coverage with photo opps at your fun events.

Tip 3 - Utilize any gathering
Make announcements at other events to spread the word, display products, take orders, make sales, and recruit volunteers. Take a joint venture approach to marketing your group by giving something of value back to all those who join your team.

Tip 4 - Goal awareness
Heavily promote the goal of your fundraiser in all communications, particularly between sellers and buyers. A good cause gets the money out. Make sure that all participants know the specific reason why the money is being raised.

Tip 5 - Communication
Use all available means of increasing awareness of your group's efforts including roadside signs, e-mail lists, phone calling tree, newsletter, flyers, posters, bulletin boards, recorded hotline messages, etc.

Tip 6 - Sponsorship decals
Offer these free to supporting merchants. Sell to membership level supporters. Use the glass stick-on type for storefronts or vehicle windows. This "branding" gets the word out to the community that your organization has a strong support base.

Tip 7 - Bumper stickers
Sell your organization year round with every fundraiser by offering one that says "Proud Supporter of _____." Give one to every volunteer and group member.

Tip 8 - Flyers everywhere
Hit local mailboxes (follow postal regulations) and car windshields in shopping centers. Give fundraiser details in your flyer in a way that promotes sales and gives contact information. Put a coupon or free gift offer into the flyer that will keep it from being thrown away. Your merchant base will help provide the offers because this is free advertising for them. For example, a flyer including a car wash, dry cleaners, or oil change coupon. (Or even all three!)

Tip 9 - Build an e-mail list
Ask for an e-mail address for a newsletter distribution when you're fundraising. Have opt-in links on your Web site. Build an online community of supporters by offering them extras available only at your site.

Put your fundraising publicity plan in place today. You'll reap the benefits in continued growth and additional fundraising success for years to come.



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