The Fundraising Fast Blueprint

(putting it all together)

Hey there it’s Jim Reiner and I want to welcome you to the fundraising fast workshop.

If you are ready to do a baseball fundraiser, this workshop is all about getting you going. Others have used this and done very well.

So this is the third lesson and it’s all about the fundraising blueprint and I think you are going to love it.

Now if you missed the first two lessons in the workshop I highly recommend you stop right now and go read them. They really are required reading for anyone who wants to start a fundraiser or grow one that you already have.

I want you to get the full value of the workshop. Don’t worry; go read them in order and I’ll still be waiting for you here.

Ok, so this lesson is all the next steps
in moving you forward.

My job is for you to have a bigger vision of your baseball program’s future and the way to get you there is with action.

So in this lesson we are going to walk forward in your fundraiser planning and we’re going to do that with my fundraising fast blueprint. It’s all included in the program.

Now I’ve got two warnings for you.

  1. The first is that this blueprint can be intense. There’s a lot there and it’s really detailed. So please don’t be intimated by it. It’s all about baby steps making progress, not perfection. I didn’t get here overnight and you don’t need to either.

    You don’t need to learn all of it and you certainly don’t need to know it all. And you definitely don’t have to do it all. But I wanted to put it all in there so you could find all the parts that apply specifically to you.
  2. So the second warning is that I’m going to move really quickly in this lesson. I’m not going to cover everything because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover and frankly time is growing short. It is almost time to get started fundraising.

So in the first lesson in the workshop I taught you about the critical things you need to do in order to get donations.

And I shared how I started out as a dad and used a simple fundraising letter to raise money to fix my son’s high school baseball field and how it really changed his whole baseball future. 

In the second lesson I showed you the core of the fundraising fast formula and 3 primary types of fundraisers and I told you how my first was bad and how I used a simple letter to get going.

The part I didn’t tell you much about was what happened after that. I did the first letter and it was really epic for me even though I did not raise enough. Now when I am involved in fundraisers, I use everything I learned starting way back in 2004.

I used everything I knew at that time. Next came the $33,000 fundraiser and then the $70,000+ grant fundraiser.

That was almost unbelievable for me.  Even after paying costs it was way more success than I ever dreamed I would achieve.

I went and bought new baseball bats for my sons and me to celebrate and wondered where to go from there.

To tell the truth I felt a bit lost for a while. I hit every goal when I first started out raising funds to fix baseball fields for my 4 sons and I needed to find some new goals.

So after some soul searching and reflection and seminars and retreats, I ended up with 2 things that were true for me.

  1. First: the thing that drives me is making a huge positive impact in the lives of the youth or our communities, and
  2. Second: the best way to make that impact was by helping others raise donations and have the ‘how to’ field maintenance knowledge to build their sports programs.

It's about really making an investment
in youth and your community.

You see I believe our youth are the future of humanity. They’re the people that will be driving progress - The ones who will be creating enormous positive impact on the world.

And by the way, I have a really diverse definition for youth programs – including

  • all the traditional sports such as baseball and softball programs, t-ball to college ball, and
  • there are also church programs, VBS,
  • art programs, apprenticeship programs,
  • missions outreach,
  • leadership programs,
  • home school co-ops, and
  • the list goes on and on.

They are all working with youth to create a better community.

And my goal is to help them make a bigger impact on the character development of the youth.

That’s why I do what I do.  This is my big ‘why.’

The thing that gets me out of bed in the morning is following my calling and growing my impact.

And that’s why I am so passionate about sharing my fundraising formula because by now you know that you need to do fundraising faster and you need to do fundraising that works.

You know that every successful youth sports program, every successful organization, every successful charity starts in part with a successful fundraiser.

You can start slow, but you can’t depend on ‘hope’ marketing. Hope marketing is where you spend all your time on your internal stuff and you just hope your fundraiser does well.

If you’re going to have success, you need a fundraising blueprint, and that’s why we’re here.

One thing about this is that you don’t have to get everything perfect. You can make mistakes.

As long as you follow the blueprint, you follow the formula and you get the core pieces right, you can make mistakes.

Personally I’ve made mistakes in every fundraiser I have ever done. And I’m sure I will continue to make mistakes.

  • At the core of the fundraising fast formula is connecting with your donor and delivering value to them.
  • It’s about finding out what people want and then giving it to them in a non-slimy, high integrity way.
  • And it is a way that is super affective and gets lots of donations.

Ok lets go ahead and get started with the fundraising fast blueprint.

So, first a big picture overview.

In this lesson I want to cover the high level points that everyone questions after the first 2 lessons.

  • So going back to the main level, the blueprint starts with a big picture that starts with the high level strategy for your fundraiser.
  • Then the types of fundraisers we covered in lesson 2.  
  • Then the big gotchas with fundraisers.
  • Next, the fundraiser and next steps as you move forward.
  • Then the freedoms – why were all here - and resources to make this happen.

Now I put everything in the blueprint to get the true picture of the entire process. But to honor your time I want to cover the big questions that come in. I’ll answer the top questions.

Let’s dive into the formula. 

I like to look at the fundraising fast formula as the opposite of ‘hope’ marketing. That’s where you work on your sports program and fundraising and put it out in the market place and hope that it is going to work.

The thing is there is too much time, energy, and money at stake.  Why not follow a plan ahead of time before you start. That’s how you build momentum and do it in a non-slimy-used-car-salesman way. That’s what the fundraising fast formula is all about.

Here’s the main points:

Start with your program’s “why”.  For example, why does your baseball program exist? Of course, it is something to do with having a productive activity for young people and you can build on that.

Then build a crushing outreach message that is a huge part of the fundraiser. Give it to them. It makes the sale of a donation easier.

Another is the power of success. Doing one of these successfully and investing in your baseball program is the quickest way is to become recognized as a leader in your sport.

Now the fundraising fast parachute. You don’t need to get all this perfect to succeed.  You can mess up 80% and still be ok. It is a very forgiving process - because you use a process and get feedback along the way. And you adjust based on the feedback.

Then you have your fundraising working. And once you use that process you will use it over and over. And it will become part of your core business – and yes, every youth sports program at its core is a business – and will keep you going.

Tactics are the mental triggers in lesson 1.  These are the things that make fundraising fast timeless. The core of telling a story is timeless and has been used for thousands of years. And it doesn’t change and it is tied to the core way our brain works.  Tools change, but core does not.

Sequences is in lesson 1 so we will move along here. Be sure to check out that lesson for more details.

Now donation requests. One big thing to focus on I learned early on.  Most important lesson I learned. If nothing else, this one lesson is worth the time you are taking to read this lesson will pay you back.

Now here it is.  You have to be absolutely ruthless about connecting with what your prospective sponsor cares about.

Not what you think the donor wants, or even worse what you think the donor needs.  I know this seems obvious, but it is absolutely crazy how many people make this mistake. And if you’ve had trouble in the past you might well have been making this mistake. 

I am reminded of the team that thought selling socks for a fundraiser was the way to go. It was a total flop. No one in that community was interested in socks.

What are some of the biggest fundraising mistakes?

  • asking too soon,
  • not asking enough with follow up,
  • not having a plan,
  • not staffing it, or
  • asking only one way, and then giving up.

As you move through the Fundraising Fast Formula you get all kinds of feedback about what your prospective donors want and how they react to your request… and what they just don’t care about. You should also get feedback from your volunteers to help your decision making.

The comments and the questions you get are an entry telling you exactly what your prospective donors are looking for.

That’s what I call the Fundraising Fast parachute and is a secret weapon to create your best donation requests.

And I’ve seen that when you get the request right, the donations just come flying in. 

The difference between a donation request that misses the mark and one that hits it is just breathtaking.

When you have a crushing request it almost sells itself. The Fundraising Fast principle of knowing your prospective donor and the comments you get is how you create the most effective request.

In lesson 2, I covered 3 types of fundraisers and went in to them. Review that lesson here if you need to. Dig into all the details.

Now let’s move to the gotchas. –

  • You wonder about having a donor list. No list of prospective donors? Always focus on building your list and building your community. The key is to get started. The best time to start is today. And best way is with launching a fundraiser.  You need to keep track of every organization contacted, who was contacted, what you contacted them with, and what was the result.
  • You are stuck on the fundraising “event, project, or idea” question – you need to get information from donors to build out your fundraising plan – these are decision about how you are going to do your fundraising. Events, activities, letters, community outreach, walkathon, online, offline, product sales, etc.
  • You think to yourself, "I’m not a fundraising guru." But even the top organizations had to start somewhere. You have to believe in yourself. Take the first step. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.  Everyone does. Learn from it.  But start simple and take the first steps. The youth in your sports program are counting on you.
  • You think, "I don’t have a large, well-known program" I am trying to make an impact in. It is Ok be in a small program. You actually have less competition!
  • What if my organization is not in the USA? There are successful fundraisers all over the world. People are influenced by mental triggers and want to do business with people who have the knowledge, who they like, and who they trust.

    And that’s what this Fundraising Fast Formula gets you. There are results out side the USA. It might bruise some American egos here, but there are great successes in Australia and Europe and Canada.
  • Another gotcha – my overall needs are not very big - I am a very small operation. You look at others and say ‘my program is not that big’.  Well if you look at the cost and time it takes to get a fundraising consultant at tens of thousands of dollars and compare, then the Fundraising Fast is a downright bargain.

    Bigger organizations may have outreach to a huge market of prospective donors. You can have enormous success in a small market. Valley Christian Academy in Roseville, California is a prime example. Small K-12 program that has sent dozens of baseball players to college teams.
  • Or it won’t work for my kind of sports. It will work in your sport. It works in lots of them.
  • It won’t work for me. You are right if you don’t believe in yourself. If you have mental head trash going on then nothing will work for you. If you are confident that this won’t work for you, then it won’t.

    But if you put in the work, it will work for you. There is lots of proof that it can. Start small and moving forward. If you are fighting that mental head trash, then this is my sincere hope for you: that you just decide it is time to step up and make this transition and make a decision that now is the time.
  • I’ll never raise a million dollars…  a lot of other folks say they got a big program, but I’ll never raise a million dollars. And you’re right. You probably won’t raise a million dollars. But it is a small minority.

    Most baseball fundraisers don’t raise a million, but most don’t have to raise a million to be a success. It’s all about taking baby steps. Build and level up.

In lesson 2, I talked about fundraising stacking. Let’s compare that to you - your own personal development where you keep on building on your own personal success. Build on your program’s success.

That’s why I am in this business to help create success for you. It’s about the positive impact on you and the positive you will have on your sports program.

Next the fundraising path was covered in lesson 2. This is more like looking at the variety of ways to do fundraising.

You have got to start and believe in yourself and the process. What does not work - is just sitting there and thinking about it.  Start. Get in the game.

Go read lesson 2. Give your prospective donors a little glimpse into your life in your sports organization. Give a glimpse into your day... Into the day of your youth athletes.

Then there are freedoms a fundraiser gives you. I covered this in lesson 1.  Check it out if need a refresher.

  1. money - freedom from want. To be able to support what you are doing with your sports program.
  2. location - freedom to be where you what to be – playing the game on your sports field.
  3. time – freedom to work more on what you want to be doing – developing your players and your program.
  4. who you work with - freedom of pick and choose who you want to work with. Life is easier and more fulfilling if you can work with those you enjoy working with. My experience is that adequate funding prevents lots of forced interactions you’d prefer not happen.
  5. purpose - freedom to do the stuff that is so fulfilling for you. That’s why you are on earth. I am blessed to be working my purpose – making a positive impact for our youth. 

These are the freedoms that drive me and I suspect they drive you too.

And then there are the resources for you. The program has a master edition manual and 7 special reports that cover all the details. I did not cover everything in these lessons. My first draft had everything and it was 45 web pages long. Yuck.

You don’t need to remember all this or do all this. Even the most advanced fundraisers pick and chose what to use.

It is about taking baby steps to put into action.

Don’t be too cool for school. You can always be learning. Just start and follow the fundraising fast formula. This is working for many youth sports organizations in many parts of the world.

I’ve had tens of thousands who have been helped by this. And the positive impact they have been able to make on the world is tremendous.

That impact is why I keep on pushing.

So if you are ready to join me and you make a positive impact from your success, be sure to check out lesson 4.

My next workshop lesson is going to be all about you moving forward. it has the details about the fundraising fast program and how you can get started. 

But in the mean time think about your fundraising path. Now that we’ve gone through the blueprint, what does your path forward look like?

Leave a comment, I love to hear from you. 

What would a successful fundraiser mean to you?

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.