Sep 15 2018

Tips for Successful Fundraising

Fundraising can seem like an overwhelming part tour planning, but it doesn’t have to be. Staying organized and having confidence are keys to success.

The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra has been touring with us – and perfecting the art of fundraising! – since 2005. They have kindly offered these helpful tips:

1) Create a list. The main reason people don’t give money is that no one asks them! So be thorough and think of as many people as you can to solicit. Remember: The more people you ask, the better your chances for success!

2) Be creative. Spread the message about your fundraising efforts through any means possible – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, a blog, a fundraising web site (CrowdRise, Fundly, FundRazr, GoFundMe) or a good old-fashioned letter! Include a personal message describing the tour and your need to raise funds for it. Here is an example of a letter from the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras you can use as a template.

3) Make it easy. Write each letter or email, include contribution forms that mention a clear deadline, and include a stamped envelope or a link to your fundraising website.  If your organization can accept credit card payments on your behalf, ask them for a credit card form you can include.

4) Be specific. Donors tend to give more when asked for a specific amount.

5) Be confident. Keep in mind, always, that you are not “begging for money” – you are seeking support for a major educational and cultural opportunity under the auspices of a very fine group. Ask with confidence!

6) Follow-up. If you haven’t received a response from someone you’ve asked for a donation, be sure to follow up. Make a phone call or send a quick email to make sure they haven’t forgotten.

7) Say thanks! Once you have received a contribution from someone, let the individual know that the contribution – whatever the amount – is important to you. You can also invite your donors to your concerts so that they can hear the results of your hard work in person. It is a good idea to send a personal thank you to show how very much you appreciate the support!

8) Be in touch. If at any point you need help, advice or encouragement, check with your fellow group members.

Thank you to the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras for sharing their wisdom!

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