best starting place... the hidden secret of fundraising success.
The weather finally turns nice enough to start thinking about baseball
practice. The excitement of a new season starts the wheels turning...
schedules, practices, work days, equipment and supplies to purchase, people
to contact... and on it goes.
You're ready to whip
that field into shape. All you need is a little money and you are
set! Do you start making calls, sending out letters, calling parent
meetings? Do you start fund raising by selling t-shirts, hats, and
signs? Maybe. Maybe not.
From my experience
as a past president of a baseball booster club, you will have
a better long term success funding your baseball field projects if you
start with your 'reason for being'. This becomes
your fund raising message.
Think this through. You'll use this to market your program.
In the marketing world this is sometimes called the USP (unique selling
proposition) or the 'reason for being.' A fund raising message without
a reason for being is just too vague to get many folks to commit money
to your program.
You use this to create
the perception that what you are doing is unique, special, or different.
You emphasize that in your promotions.
You are reading this
because you're involved in a youth program. You are committed enough
to get involved in the fund raising.
you come up with a clear statement for program's reason for being.
This works whether it's little league, PONY, high school, or college.
Whether it's boys or girls. Whether it's baseball, softball, or
any other sport or activity.
sentence below: (this helps you develop your fund raising message)
"My program helps
(whom?) do (what?) better than any other program in the world by (how?)."
I used this for a youth baseball team I worked with:
- We teach young
men to take personal responsibility
- Where young men
learn to succeed
- Helping you in
life and getting ready to go out in the real world
- A Christian moral
environment to establish a young man’s lifelong habits for success
- Help establish
a young man’s lifelong habits for success
I worked with these to complete the sentence like this:
"This program helps
young men develop life long habits for success by combining athletics,
character building, and personal responsibility. The program is
run by experts who don't just teach baseball, but have demonstrated success
with 6 straight years of championships and 7 players with college scholarships."
You need to think
about your own program and complete the sentence. Develop your own
fund raising message.
I worked with this
and settled on two short phrases:
lifelong habits for success
young men develop lifelong habits for success
Then I talked with
some of the players about the character building part of the program.
Here's what they told me they were learning in their own words:
Diligence, Respect, Friendship, Teamwork, & Personal Responsibility
I put these two ideas
into every flyer, every handout, every fundraising letter, and every verbal
message about the team whether it was for fundraising or not. I
used it enough it just became part of what I said about the program.
The next most
important point in your fund raising message is to be
very specific about what you are going to use the money for.
Tell people exactly how much you need and how you are going to use it.
Don't just say, "I need money for my baseball program." Instead
say, "I need $300 for a new fence, $510 to make the field safer and more
playable, and $210 for field maintenance equipment." You'll get
a better response. Guaranteed.
This taps into the
emotion of benevolence and really motivates people. People want
to make a contribution that counts. Not just for another box of
baseballs, but to be part of something bigger with a lasting accomplishment.
Of course you should also acknowledge support by advertising or promoting
their support and with a thank you letter.
It all starts with your fund raising message -
the secret of fundraising success!