Never Waste An Opportunity
With only a few exceptions, every fundraising event should offer an opportunity for outreach, whether to affinity groups, new members or lapsed members. Likewise, fundraising at an outreach event can be as simple as putting out cards or envelopes for donations or as elaborate as a dinner or excursion.
Joint fundraising events with affinity groups and with eligible state parties can also serve as outreach, within a variety of complex legal limits, creating stronger relationships between these groups and the national party and creating that important investment from one side in the other.
If we can raise $25,000 by tapping a single donor, we’ve only reached one person. But if we spent the same money and effort and get one thousand people to give $25 each, it means we’ve not only raised the $25,000 but we’ve reached one thousand people. And if we get ten thousand people to give $2.50 each, an outcome now practical thanks to the internet, we have reached ten thousand people.
That’s one or ten thousand more Libertarians who are now personally and financially invested in the party. Once people make their first investment, they are far more open to additional investments, if they can see that their money is spent well. We’re not saying we should turn away the single large donor. We should welcome her, too
Spending A Dollar’s Worth of Nickels to Make A Dime
It’s important that we use our fundraising dollars as efficiently and profitably as possible. Taking a lukewarm profit as “the best we can do” is almost as bad as taking a loss.
A rather simplistic example is a bake sale where each cake is sold for $5. That’s fine if the donated cakes cost the bakers less than $5 apiece to make. But what if the bakers are spending $15 apiece? Technically, since the cakes were donated, you still make $5 apiece, but you’d have made three times as much if you’d have had the bakers donate the $15 directly and skipped the bake sale. Or, given the quality of the cakes, raise the prices to $20 and make four times as much.
It’s not enough only to look at the bottom line. We need to look for hidden opportunities, as well, which means we need timely, clear and complete bookkeeping on events, including the cost of generating donations so we can be sure we’re using donated items well.
At first glance I thought this article was entitled “Moron Fundraising”. After reading it perhaps that’s not too far off.
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