I’m sure you’re familiar with the old saying “Repeating the same thing over and over expecting different results.” Well I’m going to introduce you to a whole new phrase which applies to the charity world – “Broken Spoke Fundraising.” These two sayings have a lot in common because they address the same issue which many charities like yours are experiencing. But you don’t know why you are having problems.
So imagine this – you and a friend or loved one are a part of a charity who has a fundraising event coming up in a several months. You are invited to go to another charity fundraiser which a local charity is hosting. You have little experience hosting a fundraiser since you only do one or two a year. But while you’re there at the fundraiser you were invited to, you take mental notes on what they are doing to raise money. You think to yourself “We will do these things at our event.” Now, what they are doing seems like a great idea and also appears successful – so why not do them at yours right?
The problem is this – you honestly do not know if what they are doing or did do was successful. What appears popular could have not been a successful way of fundraising. As a real life example, charities all across the country have been doing a raffle called a “50/50” for decades. But…have you taken time to think about it? Let’s say you sell $5,000.00 worth of raffle tickets. The prize which you give away is $2,500.00. Why on earth would you give away ½ of your earnings? Charities hope and pray that the winner donates the money back but after a three (3) year study by our company BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, 83% of the time the winner does not donate the money. As a professional fundraising event planner, those odds are bad and we do not ever do raffles or games which give money away as a prize because we are there to raise money, not give it away.
So, you start planning your fundraising event and utilize the ideas you saw at the local fundraiser you attended. You don’t know if what they did was actually successful even though it appeared like it was. But while planning it, you didn’t take the time to go and speak to the charity and get the full run down of how the raffle works and what you need to run it – so you miss something when repeating it. In reality, the fundraising tactic they used wasn’t successful and when you do yours, you missed something making it that much more or less successful. You now broke a spoke in the wheel which already had broken spokes to begin with.
Then you go through your event and wonder why what you did, did not produce what you thought it would but you decide to move on until next year. You figure “Well, we will try it again and it will be different” – it’s not. You begin to repeat the same things over and over and over again, hoping and praying or expecting different results – which never comes. In fact, you spend days, weeks and months out of your full time life only to not be as successful as you want to be.
This is what I call “Broken Spoke Fundraising.” You truly can’t copy what others are doing for many reasons: #1 – You don’t know if what they were doing was successful and #2 – You don’t realize that people are tired of the same old things.
Another saying which holds very true is “Everything has a shelf life.” What this means is…if you don’t change things or evolve, what you are doing will eventually die out and fade away. In today’s society, people tend to get bored quick. When you’re planning your next fundraising event, think of innovative fundraising platforms which are different and exciting. Get away from the old 50/50’s and wheel’s…and do something that people will have fun with.
More importantly, don’t copy what another charity is doing if you don’t have all the facts – which seldom do. Most charities just accept what money came in and move forward. Be smart and plan to be successful.
BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising would love to help you plan your next fundraising event and provide you and your guests with new, innovative, exciting fundraising tactics which not only your guests would love but will be extremely successful. Contact us today at www.BWUnlimited.com.
BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising leader in a convenient “One Stop Shop” setting. BW can help you plan, manage and host an incredibly successful event which has a diverse amount of fundraising platforms which your guests will love time and time again creating a unique fundraising event that they will come back to each year but will also tell their friends. Let BW help you by contacting us at www.BWUnlimited.com.