Running a successful fundraising campaign can be mentally and emotionally tiring for even the most enthusiastic volunteer. After weeks and months of hard work trying to keep the community’s enthusiasm high, workers themselves can be in need of a pick-me-up. Here are some ideas to help prevent the candle from burning at both ends and keep your team’s motivation boosted.
1. Make sure there aren’t too many tasks in too little time for the number of workers. Few things are as demotivating and morale-crushing as the perception that one’s tasks are too onerous, too complicated or too numerous. Spread the workload evenly among the team, and check in with everyone regularly to gauge where they’re at. If you receive feedback indicating a need for more support or resources, or learn that some workers are carrying more than their fair share of the weight, make workload adjustments accordingly as possible.
If you’re the head of the fundraising committee, check yourself: Are you carrying your fair share of the work? Delegation is, of course, an important skill for event organizers and managers, but there’s a definite line between delegating and shirking. Be honest with yourself and evaluate your own level of effort.
2. On a related note, honor the people with whom you’re working. Be sure to praise committee members – particularly those who are volunteers – for jobs well done and thank them throughout the campaign – not just at the end – for all their hard work. Not only does genuine gratitude and recognition buoy flagging spirits, it helps foster an atmosphere of open communication, which is critical.
3. Keep track of your committee’s progress toward the goal and be sure it’s visible to all. A classic means of doing this is to set up goal thermometers in public areas with gradations and fill in the appropriate amount that’s already been raised. This lets the community see at a glance how your fundraising is coming and how close you are to meeting your goal – and which often has the effect of rallying people to step up and help your group make it.
4. Along the same lines, regular (if not daily) updates on your campaign’s progress can be made available on your organization’s website and/or social media outlets (Twitter and Facebook are especially useful for this purpose).
5. Coordinate mini-campaigns or surprise 24-hour contests during the course of the fundraising campaign, with fun and exciting prizes that many participants can win, not just the top few. You could raffle off larger prizes, tied in to sales; keep in mind that some prizes, like an all-expenses-paid trip to Disney World or a visit to a winery or other local destination, tend to inspire people more strongly than, say, a jarred candle.
6. When the campaign is over, a nice touch that really says thank you for everyone’s hard work is to throw a party! Have one last gathering somewhere special, such as a bowling alley, a local museum, a public garden or a park. Be sure to make reservations well in advance if required by the venue.
The main thing to keep in mind is that your fundraising committee is composed of people who are volunteering their free time to help support your organization. By making sure you do everything in your power to make them feel appreciated and welcome, you’re raking huge steps toward securing their continued support in future campaigns.